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VON to partner Media Trust to fight fake news

The Voice of Nigeria (VON) has sought the partnership of Media Trust Group, publishers of Daily Trust titles and owners of Trust TV and Trust…

The Voice of Nigeria (VON) has sought the partnership of Media Trust Group, publishers of Daily Trust titles and owners of Trust TV and Trust Radio in combating fake news.

The Director General/CEO of VON, Jibrin Baba Ndace, disclosed this when he led the management of the federal government public broadcaster on a courtesy call to the corporate headquarters of Media Trust Group in Abuja.

They were received by the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer/Editor-in-Chief, Print, Ahmed I. Shekarau and Group Executive Director/Editor-in-Chief, Digital, Naziru Mikailu and other management staff.

Ndace said, “One of the challenges now is we’re in the age of noise. Traditional media like ours is challenged by platforms, sometimes very inconsequential but have the capacity not just to embarrass individuals but nations and that has led to fake news – misinformation and disinformation.

“As traditional platforms, we’ve responsibility either public, like ours, or private like yours. We must come together to fight these unfortunate threats. Individuals sitting by their corner, they have not read any book and don’t listen to people – they don’t have anything at stake. They’re willing to destroy individuals or even our country.

“And when we all go out for our legitimate business, either in or outside of the country; you’re looked at either as a criminal or someone who is from the worst country in the world, while we’re not.

“We cannot allow those individuals or groups of individuals to continue to propel fake news. We must be ahead of them. We must be deliberate as traditional platforms. We must create the desired believability and trust that you’ve built over the years.

“Because once Nigerians believe in both traditional public and private media organisations, then naturally, fake news and misinformation are dead. So, we shouldn’t give them any gap to allow these individuals to circulate fake news and de-market our country,” he added.

According to the DG, VON is the only public broadcaster in Nigeria that transmits in eight languages daily – four local and the other four foreign languages.

He added that “Based on global trends and reality on the ground, we’ve opened the discussion to also start broadcasting in Mandarin, Bahasa, and Malay going forward, based on what Nigeria is doing in the Gulf of Guinea. We also look forward to expanding the horizon and also look at Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese. We’re doing all this because the challenge of the world is high.”

He expressed his commitment to working with the Media Trust Group in fighting the menace of fake news and misinformation and ensuring that the mainstream/traditional media is always ahead.

Ndace further stressed that VON is always willing to share with the MTG its contents, knowledge and even training opportunities.

He also commended MTG’s discipline, honesty and hardworking spirit, adding that MTG has broken the jinx by weathering the storm of running a gigantic news platform particularly in the North despite the numerous challenges.

Responding, the Acting GCEO/Editor-in-Chief (Print), Shekarau said the company is welcoming the partnership, especially its radio arm, adding that beyond that, MTG has continental aspirations.

“Having transitioned from being a newspaper company to now a digital multimedia company; there’s a lot we can do together between VON and Media Trust Group. We’ll explore all those areas that we think we can work together.

“One key area you mentioned; we’ve Daily Trust Foundation but we also need knowledge and experience sharing by experienced journalists including professionals in other fields.”


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