“Fake news is the same as terrorism as well as any epidemic that we see”, Mr. Ayiku stated while contributing to an international press forum Wednesday, May 2 at the Accra International Press Center.
The forum was organized by media conglomerate, Media General, parent company of TV3,3FM, Onua FM, Connect FM, Akoma FM, 3news.com and APL, as part of activities marking International Press Freedom Day.
Mr. Ayiku noted that fake news “ is also a global crisis” and countries around the world are taking particular interest in it while others are also formulating laws to check fake news.
Even though he acknowledges fake news is an age-long phenomenon, he admits the advent of social media escalated the issue.
“I think fake news has been there for a long time but social media has made it worse,” he noted.
The communication lecturer bemoaned the growing phenomenon of fake news in the system and called for a concerted effort to fight the menace.
He observed that the Ghanaian media space usually has an upsurge in fake news during election periods where political parties try to outdo their opponents using fabricated stories.
He specifically used the late President Evans Atta Mills to illustrate how the media reported severally about his death before he died, and more recently the ill-health of the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who was widely reported to have been seriously ill and may not survive.
Mr. Ayiku urged media houses to take keen interest in investing in checking the quality of their news. He also called for the formulations of laws that will help check fake news so that culprits will be brought to book
The event attracted high profile media personalities across the globe as well as other media practitioners, journalists, student journalists from African University College of Communication (AUCC), Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and University of Professional Studies, Accra, and the general public.
Leading the discussion on the panel were Liesbeth Tjonameeuw from Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Francis Sowa, a member of the Senegal media regulatory body and lecturer, Samuel Darko, former BBC journalist, Mr Kwame Ahiabenu, the Executive Director of Pensplusbyte, Dr. Alhaji Sidick Abubakar Media Manager of Radio Universe, Peter Dogebe from Radio France International and others.
By 3news.com |Ghana