The pressure to beat competition, stay in business and maximize profit, are some of the factors fuelling incidences of fake news in the Nigerian media space, an expert have disclosed.
Mr. Senator Iroegbu, Publisher, Global Sentinel, said the upspring of alternative sources of news to include citizen journalism, online blogging among others, have made the news media space even more competitive especially for the conventional media, as they tussle to break news first, get more traffic, patronage as well advertising constitutes a major source of revenue.
Iroegbu said conventional media in a bid to stay afloat and sustain patronage have often ‘fallen victim’ of fake news peddling.
Iroegbu said this on Wednesday while playing guest to a virtual Rodeo on “Countering Disinformation in the Journalism Proffesion”, organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
The expert also disclosed that there are lots of quacks in the Nigerian journalism practice especially among bloggers and citizen journalists, which is also giving rise to fake news.
Mr. Iroegbu explained that there are three forms of fake news which includes; Misinformation, Malinformation and disinformation, all of which he noted are harmful to journalism practice and often cause harm among the populace.
“Disinformation is deliberately created to cause harm, misinformation is created not with the intention of causing harm, but you end up misleading and sway people, and Malinformation is based on reality, but with the meant to inflict harm”, he said.
He stressed that it was important for professionals to fact check information, distinguish themselves and show the public what the real news is and what fake news is.
Iroegbu, added that it was unethical for journalists to take tips to write stories as often obtained in the Nigerian media practice. He pointed out that there is a difference between journalism and Public Relations (PR).
He said PR is done by Organizations with the purpose to promote their image, and should therefore be paid for, but advised journalists against writing stories under monetary influence.