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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ondo State Council has congratulated media professionals across the world on the occasion of 2019 World Press Freedom Day and calls on journalists to always adopt investigative journalism as a major step to checkmate rising trend of fake news and disinformation.
The World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by UN General Assembly in December, 1993 following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference on May 3 and the theme of this year’s celebration is *“Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”* .
The Union in a statement issued by the State Chairman, *Adetona Aderoboye* and the State Secretary, *Leke Adegbite* reminds that fake news is already posing a serious threat to the journalism profession, hence the need for media professionals to collectively tackle the menace of disinformation.
The statement expresses concern over the high rate of fake news in the country that has continued to cause security breaches, communal, religious and ethnic distrust.
Ondo NUJ advises journalists to always exercise restrain and verify information before reporting such as news items and urges the public to always verify information from reliable media platforms before sharing same on social media.
The Union notes that the media professionals should take up the responsibility of using their news reports to expose maladministration and put the government at all levels on their toes as the best ways to tackle insecurity, economic hardship and other societal challenges.
The statement commends journalists in Ondo state for being in the forefront of upholding ethics of the profession and urges overzealous men of the Police and other security agencies to always see journalists as partners in the task of nation’s building and stop harassing media professionals in the course of discharging their constitutional responsibilities.
Ondo NUJ which also restates the call to improve the remuneration of media practitioners, subscription to NUJ life insurance scheme for journalists and regular payment of salaries by media owners, added that such welfare packages would enable journalists to practice freely and join effectively in fighting fake news and disinformation for national integration.