Good governance: Critical thinking skill necessary to combat misinformation

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STAKEHOLDERS in the media sector have been charged to refrain from partisan dissemination of information while citizens were urged to imbibe critical thinking in engaging information.

This call was made on Monday, May 15, 2023 at a media workshop for journalists titled: Balancing Ethics and Patriotism – The Obligations of Journalists to their Country organized by the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa (CGGEJA).

John Mayaki, the country director of the coalition, in his welcome remarks, stated that substandard journalism framed and coloured by ideology is dangerous for the survival of any nation.

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“The problem with sub-standard journalism is not the existence of factual narratives, but poor professionalism and political biases of those who engage in it for their immediate benefits without considering its dangerous ripple effect to the society as a whole,” he said.

Speaking to The FactCheckHub, Mayaki emphasized that the aim of the workshop is to train participants to detect and uncover new cases and forms of misinformation and disinformation.

Opeyemi Kehinde, The FactCheckHub editor who is also the National Coordinator of Nigerian Fact-Checkers’ Coalition (NFC), in his presentation stated that fact-checking has become necessary for journalists as technology is somehow becoming a nemesis with the influx of deepfakes, following the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Citing examples of misinformation and disinformation, he said, “not everything or anything you see or read online should be taken seriously.”

Emphasizing on media literacy, Kehinde said, “to be media literate is to raise the right questions; a citizen’s role in a democratic society is to think critically to enable him/her differentiate facts from non factual information, recognize biases, evaluate sources of information and become active listener while also getting involved in topical discussions that could foster healthy and peaceful society.”

READ MORE : 2023 in Review: Major fake news that clouded Nigeria’s media space

He charged journalists to improve their skills and embrace fact-checking as the knowledge gained has limitless potentials.

Also speaking at the event, Abiodun Adeniyi, a Communication professor at Baze University, Abuja while speaking on the topic: Ethical Considerations in Source Management, urged journalists to be ethically-conscious when tapping sources for information.

The FactCheckHub reports that the CGGEJA is a civil society focused on the attainment of inclusive and sustainable economic growth through productive and transparent leadership in Africa.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected]

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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