A professor and communication scholar, Umar Pate, on Saturday elaborated on the factors that fuel ‘fake news’ and hate speech.
Mr Pate, of the Faculty of Communication, Bayero University Kano, also praised PREMIUM TIMES, saying it is the best media outfit in Nigeria.
The don spoke at a “colloquium” organised by the Plateau State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists ( NUJ).
The theme of the colloquium was “fake news, hate speech and Nigeria’s democratic sustenance.”
The communication scholar said the content of PREMIUM TIMES is more investigative and not highly commercial or partisan like many others.
“Premium Times is the best media outfit in Nigeria. Its content and house style is more investigative. It is not highly commercialised or partisan like other media outfits in the country,” Mr Pate said.
He said because of its content, people rely more on the news published by it adding that that the unique feature is giving PREMIUM TIMES an edge over others.
The professor enumerated factors responsible for “fake news” and “hate speech”
He described “hate speech” as any speech act aimed at inciting to denigrate other people on the basis of ethnicity, religion, geography, gender and other socially conceived parameters.
Fake news, he explained, “is partly caused by absence or late arrival of official information which creates a vacuum filled by rumour and imagination
“Explosion in social media makes the spread of rumours, hate and dangerous speech and fake information easy and fast. Fake news is being spread for economic reason, especially on social media where efforts were often made to attack people to pages and timelines.
“Desperate politicians, ethnic and religious jingoists, foreign interest and mischief makers are main sources of fake news,” Mr Pate added.
He said the consequence of fake news is that it undermines the confidence people have in the media.
Mr Pate called on Nigerian media to venture into investigative journalism and not concentrate on politics or commercial activities.This, he said, would enhance journalism practice in Nigeria.