Online journalists have been urged to insist on ethical practice and cautioned against rushing to publish, so as to guard against the spread of fake news. The call was made in Ibadan on Thursday by the South West Bureau Chief of The Nation Newspapers, Bisi Oladele and Mr. Wale Ojo Lanre, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Oyo State Council. He made the call while speaking at a lecture organized by the Online Media Practitioners of Nigeria, OMPAN.
Oladele, who has been a journalist for more than two decades tasked online journalists on fact checking and being innovative. “You must get good and credible content all the time. You must also remember that innovation is the language that can sustain you in this industry”, he said.
He pointed out that digital journalism is moving at top speed, hence the need for online journalists to upgrade themselves on a regular basis. “No one who wants to remain relevant can remain static”, he told the participants.
Speaking on gratification and why it should be delayed, Oladele said “your attitude to money will distinguish you. If you don’t delay gratification, it will delay your progress in journalism. It is those who pursue the things that bring money that make money”, he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Wunmi Faniran noted that online media is evolving every day. He also noted that the traditional media have commenced online operations so that they are not left behind. While commending the leaders of OMPAN for putting the lecture together, he urged members to “keep writing, write accurately and inform people well”.
In his presentation, Ojo Lanre explained that online journalists can sustain traffic on their websites if they make integrity, truth and diligence their watchwords. “Fact-checking will not only prevent you from being part of the multitude, it will deliver you from the error of majority thinking”.