Minister warns journalists against misinformation, fake news

….Says “It is damaging as terrorism”

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on Tuesday, cautioned journalists against misinformation and fake news, saying it can be as damaging as terrorism.

Idris applauded the media professionals for their efforts in the ongoing counter-terrorism war in the country.

He stated this at the opening of a two-day training workshop on ‘Effective Reporting Towards Strengthening Alternatives to Terrorist Ideologies’ for security and defence correspondents held at the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

“Please note that sensational reporting can inadvertently glorify terrorist acts and spread fear. Similarly, misinformation and fake news can be as damaging as the terrorist acts themselves. You must avoid this at all cost,” Idris said.

“Terrorism is not merely a physical threat; it is an ideological battle of the mind with the extremist groups exploiting vulnerabilities, spreading fear, and propagating messages that present them as fighting for a social cause, in order to further their depraved agenda.

“To counter this, we must offer compelling, positive alternatives that resonate with the same audiences targeted by terrorists. Therefore, your reporting plays a pivotal role in this endeavor.

“To achieve this, the media should continue to project successful initiatives and programmes of NCTC (National Counter-Terrorism Centre) and ONSA that counter radicalisation as well as the rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant terrorists into the community.

He enjoined defence correspondents to work closely with security experts, sociologists, psychologists, and community leaders to provide a multi-faceted perspective on terrorism and its alternatives. “Use data and research to back your stories, thereby enhancing credibility and depth,” he said.

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