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Fake news: Youths urged to subject information sources to proper … – Tribune Online

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Youths in Africa have been urged to properly scrutinise the sources of information they are exposed to as part of efforts aimed at checking the spread of fake news in the continent.
This advice was handed down by the experts at the 2023 Youth Day of Service (YDOS) Media Literacy Webinar organised by Legit.ng and LEAP Africa to promote media literacy as a tool for social change.
The event which brought together stakeholders from the media and impact sectors of Nigeria also attracted media enthusiasts from different parts of Africa such as Malawi, Cameroun and Kenya.
Speaking on the topic of the event, “Digital Citizenship and Online Etiquette,” the Editor-in-Chief at Legit.ng, Rahaman Abiola, said that the webinar was put together to end the spread of fake news which was fast becoming endemic across the globe, most particularly in Nigeria.
“We currently battle an influx of unvetted social media blogs that do not adopt ethical standards of sourcing for news, and spread news with malicious intent. This has done more harm than good to the threads of unity in our nation and the continent as a whole and certainly doesn’t help us in our fight against misinformation. 
The youth have a huge role to play in putting an end to this because they are the main players who can either make or mar depending on how they choose to use the media. This is why what we are doing through the media literacy project at Legit.ng is very important and should be supported by all. We are grateful to LEAP Africa for sharing a vision for a Nigeria devoid of misinformation, with help from the youth.”
Keynote speaker at the event and fact-check officer at DUBAWA, Elizabeth Ogunbamowo, who spoke on “Navigating the truth in a digital landscape: Empowering youth through media literacy and fact-checking, noted that information disorder is thriving in our society and is beingamplified on youth-driven social media platforms.
Ogunbamowo urged the youth to take fact-checking seriously as this is the best way to navigate truth in a digital landscape. 
“It is imperative that African youths subject sources of information to proper scrutiny to ensure that we are not consuming the wrong information. When an otherwise unknown blog pushes out information regarding the whereabouts of a public office holder, it’s important to cross-check the same on other credible news outlets as in most cases information is not always exclusive to a medium.
Beyond this, at DUBAWA, we strongly advise that our researchers use multiple sources of information to carry out the verification process. This is important because we don’t want the youth to become ignorant puppets in the hands of propagandists.”
Ogunbamowo stressed the need for all to imbibe the principle of truthfulness and fairness which will help drive a good level of media literacy in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. 

Award-winning journalist and Legit.ng Copy Editor, James Ojo, who facilitated the webinar workshop, also taught participants to distinguish between fake news and authentic news while giving practical steps on how to stop the spread of fake news. 
“The internet is a powerful tool to engineer positive impact. Do better with it and do not destroy lives, but rather improve your world, Ojo said.
Co-host and Communication and PR Manager at LEAP Africa, Ellen Ukpi, thanked the media platform for partnering with it to lead the impact campaign designed to harness the agency, creativity, and voices of African youths for the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals by equipping them with the resources, skills and tools for personal and community transformation. 

© 2023 Tribune Online – an online publication of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc. All rights reserved
© 2023 Tribune Online – an online publication of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc. All rights reserved
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