In a bid to combat fake news in the country, the federal government has stated its willingness to partner with the Voice of America (VOA).
This was made known by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed when he received a delegation of the management of VOA led by its Director, Amanda Bennett, on today in Abuja.
The minister stated that VOA has done much in promoting fair report in Nigeria, while urging its management to continue with the good works.
He said the world is crumbling under the weight of fake news, adding that even the BBC recently reported that herdsmen/farmers clashes and other crisis was fueled largely by fake news.
Mohammed noted that the forth coming general elections would face the phenomenon of fake news, which was threatening to democracy and co-existence of Nigerians.
“We seek your cooperation in the resolve of the VOA to partner with us to combat fake news because the first victim of fake news is the media.
“Your visit at this period is important because it will really help VOA to understand the dynamic of politics of the country.
“And this visit is a very good opportunity for us to call your attention to rampant misrepresentation of event in Nigeria by the media, both local and international,” he said.
He said the reporting of the country’s fight against Boko Haram was not being reported in the correct context, especially the farmers/herdsmen clashes were being misrepresented as ethno-religious crisis of which it was not
He said the present administration had recorded tremendous success in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram, adding that all the territories that were hitherto under Boko Haram were liberated.
Earlier, Bennett, said VOA provides around the world fair, objective, neutral and fact based information and it would expand its presence in the country.
According to her, even though VOA was hundred per cent finance by the US Government, however, it was completely independent when it comes to news judgement.
“ That is one thing that makes it possible for us to pursuit news independently without any interference.
“ We are here to partner with the Ministry of Information and Culture and we hope to play an important role,“ Bennett said.
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