A former Ogun state Gov. Chief Segun Osoba, says fake news, and blackmail by some bloggers are threats to the integrity of online medium.
Osoba, represented by Mr Lanre Idowu, the Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Publications Ltd. said this during the 2nd Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) held in Lagos on Friday.
The conference had as its theme “Online Publishers’ Role Towards a Sustainable Economy, Credible Election and Security in Nigeria’’.
He said that the menace of fake news, mischief and blackmail by some online bloggers was a global concern and urged online publishers to come up with solutions to resolve the menace.
“How much training and retraining can you put together for your members and other online practitioners to ensure we do not allow the menace to grow?
“I am aware your association is made up of responsible journalists but all it takes for your reputation to be sullied is a handful of the deviant people, who have other objectives for their presence in the public sphere.
“Precipitate publications on the economy without appropriate contextual analysis are not the forte of responsible journalism.
“Naked partisanship that downplays the views and positions of some candidates so as to promote our biases is not the way to build credibility for our news organisations or the electoral process.
“The media have a major role to play as impartial arbiters who should present the issues, the candidates and their positions on these issues in a way that helps the public to make sense out of the contending views,’’ he said.
Osoba urged online publishers to drum the point into the hearing of their members, because the medium had the greatest potential to stoke conflict through precipitate and unverified information.
He said that in a country with large population of uneducated people, the media had to be careful not to unwittingly stoke violent conflicts, stunt economic development and imperil the future of citizens.