Kano Focus, an online news platform in Kano has 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–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 on Monday at the Kano Office of the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) , where certificates were issued to the participants who were drawn from different media organizations.
Speaking after the event, Nazifi Dawud, editor-in-chief of Kano Focus, 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 smart phone 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, Dr Yunusa Zakari Yau, executive director of CITAD, 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. He said there is a lot of opportunities in a cyber space that one can help in creating jobs and empowering members of the society.
In his remark, Comrade Abba Ibrahim, chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) Kano Chapter, 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 an ethics and disciplinary committee that would apply sanctions to any member of the union that breaches ethical standards through broadcasting, sharing or publishing false information.
He also urged participants to make sure they put what they have learnt into action so as to help sanitize the journalism profession.
On his part, Dr Maude Gwadabe, publisher/CEO of Kano Focus, thanked the participants and guests that graced the occasion including representatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) and PRAWA, a non-governmental organization that promotes peace, security and justice.
Mr Gwadabe, a PhD holder in mass communication, said the training is part of Kano Focus’s modest contribution to the restoration of sanity and responsibility in journalism practice in Kano state, especially on the use of social media platforms, which have become indispensable tools of news gathering.
Journalists from Liberty TV, NTA Kano, Vision FM, Aminci Radio, Guaranty Fm, ARTV, Dala FM, Dabo Fm and Yali Express online radio stations participated in the workshop.