The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called on the media to rise to the challenge of fake news in Nigeria.
He believes this is important, especially as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic and fake news will not do the country any good.
Gbajabiamila made the call in a statement on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day.
He urged media practitioners to resist every temptation that would make them promote reportage that could be seen as anti-people.
READ ALSO: Nasarawa Assembly Member Dies Of COVID-19
“The choice is ours: either to make our country great through good reportage and analysis of issues, or to allow fake news and, in many cases, flagrant falsehood to take over the space,” the speaker said.
He added, “At this age of social/online media, the onus is on the real journalists to make a difference. But I believe that the Nigerian media would not do anything that will take us backward.
“I also want to believe that media practitioners in the country are ever committed to seeing the country move forward.”
Gbajabiamila lauded the doggedness of the media in reporting and helping in finding solutions to the challenges facing Nigeria over the years.
He noted that although the Nigerian media has contributed a lot in stabilising the country, it would not be out of place to call on media practitioners to be more factual about their reportage of activities in the society with a view to promoting development.
Commenting on this year’s theme for World Press Freedom Day – ‘Journalism Without Fear or Favour,’ the speaker said no country would thrive if the media spreads falsehood.
He asked the media to support the government in its drive to make a meaningful impact in the country, as well as call the same government to order where necessary.
“We must show patriotism in our dealings as media men and women. We must fight fake news, especially at this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
“I also wish to pay tribute to journalists who have been working hard at the frontline of reporting this pandemic at great personal cost,” Gbajabiamila said.