TGNews Public Lecture: Eschew fake news, Prof Pate warns media professionals

… says ‘when you creates crisis online it’ll translate to crisis offline’

Tom Garba, Yola

The Vice Chancellor of Federal University Kashere, Professor Umar Pate has warned Media practitioners against the dangerous use of rumors and lies to generate context that will disinform, misinform, and mal-inform the general public culminating to fake news.

Pate said this when he gave a public lecture on: “The Media, Social Media, and National Security: Balancing the free flow of information with responsible journalism in Nigeria” organized by TGNEWS, an online media organization with its corporate Headquarters in Yola, Adamawa State.

Pate, who is an ace broadcaster and veteran journalist as well as an internationally renowned Mass communication expert, said credibility, truthfulness, reliability, and dynamism are hallmarks of practical principles of good journalism.

He warned journalists, especially those taking the advent of technology to practice online journalism to run away from generating fake news as content for the general public because it changes the psychological mindset of people, especially in crisis situation.

According to him, when a journalist creates a crisis online, it will translate to a crisis offline which will lead to serious chaos, killings, and bloodbaths across many parts of the country, each having its own share of insecurity challenges, including bandits, Boko Haram, kidnappers, Shila Boys, and Many others.

“When you create a crisis online, it translates into a crisis offline as a result of poisoned information that will always poison the psychology of the citizens.

“When this is achieved there will be a crisis in interpersonal relationships among communities, and once relationships are not properly defined, conflicts, chaos, killings, and bloodbaths will envelop the entire nation,” Pate said

Pate addressed Politicians, captains of industries, traditional rulers, community leaders, media executives, and business tycoons in their number who gathered in Lelewal Hotel’s Hall who have come to witness the award ceremony to honor prominent Nigerians and unsung heroes as part of Tgnews corporate social responsibility.

He warned Media men never to allow the challenges caused by the advent of the internet and the revolution of information and communication technology, ICT, to stop them from maintaining ethical standards because it’s the only way that fake news, disinformation, and other media mishaps like Quack journalists are using to cause confusion and lack of trust among people, communities, individuals, societies, organizations, and nations

This according to him could also mean that the Journalists working in the field of journalism are not safe. Their political, economic, social, online, and psychological safety is not guaranteed, and It will lead to a Crisis in the qualities of practice which will now translate into a crisis in the qualities of Journalists.

He worried that the convention media are grappling with the challenges of Credibility, funding, and intellect because of bottleneck of the advent of modern technology.

“In the past media organizations could easily depend on adverts and sales of their products and survive but today the concept has collapsed. Google, Amazon, and many other big organizations have taken advertising concepts from conventional media because of the wider advantages of technology they are leveraging.

“Online TV stations, Radio stations, blogs, online newspapers, and magazines are competing with media organizations in angling adverts, which is a serious challenge for the media organizations.

“Technology is the window that connects Media organizations with the rest of the world. Reach, Revenue, resilience and many more are what will keep the media foun. The gadgets and the equipment are the right technology that the media industry needs from other countries to operate better.

“With good equipment and sound intellect, local organizations can compete well with big international media organizations.” He added

He further explained standard news created by Quacks, unprincipled or those journalists who do not want to maintain ethical standards are adding more salt to injuries to the issues of insecurity by what they are dishing out to the public as news.

He revealed that in Nigeria today because of insecurity challenges people have restricted themselves to their communities. Young people only grow to know and understand Nigeria and Nigerians on social media platforms.

For that reason according to Professor Pate the empathy and feelings of other Nigerians are missing, so many people lack knowledge of the other parts of Nigeria, and the systems that make up the country’s economy are localized.

“You can hardly see teachers from a different community working in another community. People who do not know and appreciate themselves will not bring good content to a country like Nigeria.
“Because of misinformation and the dangerous use of social media people tribalize and Politicize everything.

“It’s unhealthy for our nation that People speak to you based on ethnicity, and religion not based on merit or objectivity. We will continue to pay painfully if the advent of technology is not rightful use will continue to cause problems for all of us.” He lamented

Pate proffered a solution that Online Journalists need to be trained to understand the principles of practicing good Journalism within the context of global standards that will bring peace and tranquility to Nigeria.

Pate who was also an awardee of the TGnews for dedication service was honored and extolled as a Man with the heart of goal for humanity.

Pate alongside Rt Hon Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, immediate past secretary to the federal government of Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, former governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, and the member representing Fufore/Song federal constituency in the house of representatives, Hon. Aliyu Wakili Boya.

Those conferred with meritorious service award include; Arch Bishop Panti Philibus, Sheikh Nuruddeen Khalid, HRH Kurhaye Hassan Dishon Dansanda II, Kwandi Nunguraya, HRM Daniel Shaga Ismaila, Hama Bachama, HRH Umar Sanda, Gangwari Ganye, HRH Abubakar Isa Ahmadu Emir of Mubi and Alhaji Abubakar Murtala, Dan Lawan Mubi and district head of Belel.

Personalities who were conferred with award for dedication and quality service include; Rear Admiral Jamila Malafa (Rtd.), Prof. Umar Pate, Dr. Abdullahi Dauda Belel, Barr. Chafari Kanya Shadrack and Mal. Hamisu Idris Medugu.

Those conferred with TGNews unsung heroes award include; Shoe Cobbler, Ardo Usman, and grouthe ndnut seller, Celina Peter.

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