Africa must fight fake news – FAAPA President

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By Isaac Aregbesola

Fouad Arif, the President, Atlantic Federation of African Press Agencies (FAAPA), says the continent must work collectively to fight the spread of fake news and its attendant negative consequences.

Arif said this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of a training seminar themed: ”Fact-checking: Detection of fake news in media content”, holding in Rabat Morocco.

“It is of utmost necessity for all of us to embark on this endeavor of fighting fake news all over the African continent”, he said, adding that this was necessary to protect the people and the credibility of mainstream media.

Arif, who is also the Director General of Moroccan News Agency, said he would collaborate with NAN to fight the spread of fake news on the continent.

‘‘We have to fight this everyday, and we have to help people distinguish between what is false and what is right in terms of information,” he added.

The FAAPA president explained that the training, which brought together participants from some FAAPA members countries, was designed to respond to the threat of fake news.

“We are very happy to welcome African journalists here in Morocco, their second country, and we count on FAAPA to become a very efficient and useful platform in fact checking, in fighting fake news,’’ he said.

Partcipants at a training seminar themed: ”Fact-checking: Detection of fake news in media content”, holding in Rabat Morocco.

Arif said news agencies on the continent should forge collaboration against fake news which is having very negative impact on the society and the mainstream media.

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‘’I am pleased to give this statement to the NAN with whom we’re looking pretty much forward to enhance our cooperation.

‘‘I’m looking forward to host the Managing Director of NAN here in Morocco and to sign an updated version of our partnership along the lines of the excellent relationships between the Kingdom of Morocco and Nigeria,” he said.

NAN reports that a total of 23 journalists and five facilitators from different news agencies across Africa are participating in the one week seminar, which is focused on fact checking.

‘‘We have to fact check whatever information is circulating out there, because if we need to fight false information, we need to fight fake information.

‘‘People who are circulating this, oftentimes have hostile intentions towards the audience and towards the entities that they are targeting,” Arif added. (NAN)’nannews.ng)

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Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Maharazu Ahmed

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