THE Nigerian Press Council (NPC) has lamented the rash of fake news in the media, and called on media organisations and practitioners to adhere strictly to the Code of Ethics to enhance professionalism in the reportage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr David Adeniken said, “these false news, tend to create a larger than life message, as far as the COVID-19 is concerned.”
He said that so much misleading information, on social media is in circulation and charged media organisations and journalists to ensure that information about COVID-19 pandemic are verified and certified authentic before publication.
As part of its strategy to detect fake news, Adeniken said the council was currently involved in a daily review and content of newspapers to determine any violation of the Code of Ethics.
To resolve the complaints of victims of malicious publications, Adeniken said that in the absence of the board, the council had deployed the Direct Complaints Resolution Mechanism.
Adeniken noted: “The council is trying to collaborate with stakeholders including the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), to chart a way forward for the industry.”
He noted that as an institution that would deliver on its mandate, NPC would ensure professionalism as it related to journalism through trainings, workshops and content analysis.
“We have the leadership that would ensure the achievement of the mandate of the council, which principally has to do with promoting the professional standard for the Nigerian press among others.”
The NPC boss appeal to Nigerians to abide by the proactive hygienic guidelines provided by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 by observing social distancing, washing of hands with soap and running water, and wearing of face masks especially in public.