A leading online news platform in Kano, KANO FOCUS on Monday trained 20 broadcast journalists on how to use social media to obtain factual and reliable information that can be utilized to produce credible news content.
The workshop was conceived to address the pervasive circulation of false, inaccurate and questionable information online, a trend that is commonly referred to as “fake news” on various social networking sites such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter among others.
The 1-day training session held at the Kano office of the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), where certificates were issued to the participants drawn from different media organizations.
The training is part of KANO FOCUS’s modest contribution to the restoration of sanity and responsible journalism practice in Kano state, especially on the use of social media platforms, which have become indispensable tools of newsgathering.
Speaking after the event, Editor-In-Chief of KANO FOCUS, Nazifi Dawud, urged the participants to utilize the skills they had acquired during the training to produce credible news content that members of the society can benefit from.
Mr Nazifi said fighting the scourge of fake news in Kano state has become necessary because the ugly trend is posing serious threats to the peace, security and development of the state.
“Practicing journalism means much more than owning a smartphone and an internet connection.’’
“It is disturbing that some people who have no journalistic training in any way would just grab their phones and start posting false and misleading information that causes confusion in the society,” he said.
“This is why we invited our colleagues to train them as part of our efforts to ensure sanity and responsibility in journalism profession in Kano state and Nigeria at large,” Mr Nazifi added.
Similarly, the Executive Director of CITAD, Dr Yunusa Zakari Yau, who hosted the workshop commended KANO FOCUS for the initiative, which he said would help in entrenching public trust in journalism practice in the state.
While encouraging the participants to utilize the skills they had learned, Mr Ya’u also pledged to collaborate with KANO FOCUS on ICT-related areas that will promote peace and development in the state.
In a remark, chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Kano Chapter, Comrade Abbas Ibrahim praised KANO FOCUS for organizing the training most especially at this time of spreading fake news on social media.
Mr Abbas also revealed that the NUJ would soon unveil ethics and the disciplinary committee that would apply sanctions to any member of the union that breaches ethical standards through broadcasting, sharing or publishing false information.
On his part, Publisher/CEO of KANO FOCUS, Dr Maude Gwadabe thanked the participants and guests that graced the occasion including representatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) and PRAWA, a non-governmental organizations that promote peace, security and justice.
Journalists from Liberty TV, NTA Kano, Aminci Radio, Guaranty Fm, ARTV, Dala FM, Dabo Fm and Yali Express online radio stations participated in the workshop.