Fake news travels faster on social media, NITDA DG, Kashifu laments

NITDA CEO Kashifu Inuwa receives press release after digital journalism workshop at PRNigeria Center Kano

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Fake news travels faster on social media, NITDA DG, Kashifu laments
… Affirms Nigeria’s pledge to achieve 95% digital literacy by 2030

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, lamented that fake news travels faster than factual stories on social media, threatening the journalistic profession.

The boss of NITDA made this known on Friday at the just concluded digital journalism workshop for journalists in Kano.

NITDA DG, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa receives ICT Personality of the Year by Network of Advocates for Digital Reporting at PRNigeria Center Kano
NITDA DG, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa receives ICT Personality of the Year by Network of Advocates for Digital Reporting at PRNigeria Center Kano

The workshop on “Digital Journalism, Media Ethics and Responsible Reporting” was jointly organized by Image Merchants Promotion Limited, the publishers of PRNigeria and the Penlight Center for Investigative Reporting with the support of NITDA

“Today, thanks to the internet and social media, fake news travels 15 times faster than factual stories, posing a great threat to journalism. Thus, training like this would help media professionals mitigate this threat.

“At NITDA, we have an ambitious goal of achieving 95% digital literacy by 2030. We will be working with journalists and other organizations to see how we can promote digital literacy, because it is the greatest resource you can have to thrive and survive in the digital age.

“We are in the age of the knowledge economy – the digital economy where what lies beneath us doesn’t matter like what we know – the talent we have and the media have the best tool. to help our country achieve this.

Speaking on cybersecurity in Nigeria, Kashifu said the government has put in place structures to protect the ecosystem as part of its strategic roadmap and action plans.

NITDA DG with Digital Journalism Workshop Participants at PRNigeria Center Kano
NITDA DG with Digital Journalism Workshop Participants at PRNigeria Center Kano

He said: “Cyber ​​security is one of the strategic pillars of our strategic roadmap and action plan, which is more about social engineering. So, we are doing three things. We do a lot of outreach so people need to know the dos and don’ts on social media. This is what will hold them back to protect confidential information.

“Second, we have a center called the IT Emergency Preparedness and Response Center that works around the clock to ensure that we proactively protect our digital space. We help MDAs, private organizations and individuals protect data and information.

He further revealed that the agency has people trying to get into what is happening in the Deep Web and Dark Web in a bid to proactively protect the country, adding that a team of professionals are also in the process. waiting to help people restore their services in case their system is compromised.

Earlier, IMPR boss Malam Yushau A. Shuaib said the workshop aimed to familiarize journalists and social media influencers with the appropriate digital tools to promote professional standards and improve their jobs.

Shuaib said more than 100 journalists have benefited from the 3-day training which was held in Abuja, Kwara and Kano states. He added that some of the workshop topics included: digital journalism to tackle the threat of fake news; Media ethics and responsible reporting, open source intelligence tools (OSINT), media monitoring and search engine optimization, self-censorship and national security, media management, among others.

At the end of the workshop, the Managing Director of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, received the ICT Personality of the Year award from the Network of Advocates for Digital Reporting (NADIR), a forum of journalists covering the sector. ICT.

Meanwhile, at the end of the workshop, participants (journalists) noted that there are expectations of the media, government, regulators and members of the public to achieve journalism ethical and responsible online.

Yushau Shuaib of IMPR with DG NITDA Mallam Kashifu Inuwa at PRNigeria Center Kano
Yushau Shuaib of IMPR with DG NITDA Mallam Kashifu Inuwa at PRNigeria Center Kano

In a statement signed by Isiyaku Ahmed, it was observed that digital technology is essential to the professional practice of journalism, especially in the adoption of digital tools to perform fact-checking and investigative reporting.

Therefore, the importance of formulating appropriate regulations to guide the practice of online journalism and citizenship, and self-censorship to promote patriotism and national security. They noted that it is imperative for media professionals to adopt ethical standards and conduct in their reporting in order to adhere to global best practices.

While congratulating the organizers and sponsors of the training program, in particular the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Ali Isa Pantami who has been at the forefront of advocacy for the use of digital tools for economic development, they expressed optimism that this initiative will be supported as part of the measures to ensure responsible online journalism, national security and the growth of the digital economy.

In their determination to ensure the practice of digitally-focused, ethically responsible and development-minded online journalism, participants pledged to ensure that 20% of their reports focus on digital literacy awareness and to inclusion; demonstrate the practical use of digital tools for fact-checking, investigative and development journalism as well as promote national unity and cohesion and thus actively participate and attend periodic trainings and other relevant institutions for regularly improve their online journalism skills, as well as resign knowledge to colleagues.


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