Journalists and other media practitioners in Nigeria have been urged to shun fake news as it can damage a country.
This was the admonishment of the Catholic Bishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins at this year’s commemoration of the 51st World Communications Day in Lagos with the theme “The truth will set you free, taken from Jn 8:32 with a sub – theme : “Fake news and journalism for peace”.
Delivering the homily during mass on Sunday at the Holy Cross Cathedral, in Lagos, Dr Martins said Journalists should at all times be able to differentiate what is truth from fake news since only the truth can set them free.
In a related development, the Bishop told members of Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, CAMPAN that the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria has directed all dioceses to organise a peaceful demonstration on the date of the burial of the atrocious terrorist attack at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ukpor-Mbalom, Benue state that witnessed the brutal killings of two Catholic Priests and a number of Parishioners on 24th April, 2018.
The Bishop added that requiem Masses will be celebrated for their souls in the Archdiocese of Lagos state, even as priests are directed to sensitise and moblise their Parishioners to come out and be part of this important event.
Similarly, Pope Francis asked Journalists to concentrate less on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to the their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes.
He regretted that most media practitioners deliberately distort information to achieve personal gains and called on all peoples to resist such fake news, which will destroy rather than build societies.
The Holy Father warned against the use of derogatory and deceptive language which he said ” can darken our interior life”.
He said peace ” is the true news” and called on media practitioners to strive at maintaining peace even while reporting sensational issues.