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National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, has urged the media to avoid dissemination of fakes news especially as COVID-19 vaccines is concerned.
Isiguzo said this in his New Year message on Monday.
He noted that fake news is atrocious at this moment and appealed to media to rectify such before the 2023 poll.
He further said if fake news persists, the citizens may continue to lack trust in government therefore affects the election.
He said: “Addressing such cynicisms ahead of the 2023 national elections in the country will improve democratic participation of the citizenry. We wish journalists in Nigeria a happy 2022 and hope that the year will bring forth good tidings for media professionals and the industry.”
The NUJ boss decried that media have its pinch in the pandemic pertaining to conspiracy theories flying around.
He added that it is important media reform the way it is perceived by the people.
“We have witnessed copious volumes of falsehoods and distortions about COVID 19 vaccines, which have cost so many lives all over the world, and unfortunately, these have found their way into traditional media outlets that should ideally be sources of credible news.
Ahead of the 2023 general election, Isiguzo appealed to government to collaborate with the media in sensitising the citizens.
He put it thus: “It is instructive, therefore, to note that the survival of Nigeria as a political entity will depend to a large extent on getting it right in 2023 national elections. Certainly, it will be foolhardy to ignore the precarious situation of the media industry presently.”
He, however, called for the proper renumeration of media practitioners to ensure they maintain ethical and professionalism in practising.
He added: “Another area of concern is the issue of welfare of media professionals. We believe and insist that enhancing the emoluments and other entitlements of persons, who work in the media, will have a positive impact on our democracy.”
“It will be reckless to assume, that not doing so is not important, and can be wished away in the usual clumsy manner.”
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