Hate speech and fake news contribute nothing to society but disunity and destruction of peaceful co-existence.
Chairman of the 15th All Editors Conference ongoing in Sokoto, Aremo Olusegun Osoba stated this on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the conference.
Olusegun Osoba a seasoned Journalist said media professionals in the country are not part of social media because journalists have standard, ethics, check and balances.
Osoba said journalism is a profession that provides training and code of conduct to professionals, unlike social media platforms.
According to him, as professionals, the institution will continue to fight hate speech and fake news.
The chairman advises the federal government to apply existing laws on those spreading fake news and hate speech in the country.
The Acting President of the Guild, Mustapha Isah, expressed opposition to fake news and hate speech.
” The Nigerian Guild of Editors is not in support and will never support fake news and hate speech.
Isa said,” Our members are trained professionally. It is true that the social media space, like any other ecosystem, is being abused by some people.’’
The Acting President of the Guild, however, said the guild was not in support of any move to “surreptitiously ” curtail press freedom.
He also advised the government to work with critical stakeholders in the media industry to address the challenges relating to fake news and hate speech.
Mustapha said the guild chose the 2019 theme of the conference, “A Distressed Media: Impact on Government, Governance, and Society,” with a view to focusing on the media as a business.
In a remark, Sokoto state governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said that the death penalty being sought for hate speech and fake news by the national assembly is undemocratic and draconian.
He described the media as a check and balance to those in power that fought for the end of colonialism and military rule in the country.
Tambuwal advised the media to give priority to online news to fit in the global practice and competition to improve their revenue earnings.
The governor commends the efforts of the federal and state governments for overcoming the security challenges facing the country.