By Amgbare Ekaunkumo,Yenagoa
As journalists in Bayelsa State join others in the world to mark this year’s Press Freedom Day today, the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has cautioned social media users on the dissemination of fake news which endanger journalism practice and it’s consequences on public trust.
This is contained in a statement by the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Samuel Numonengi and Secretary Comrade Ogio Ipigansi who noted that fake news is capable of damaging any democratic process and cause harm to enormous part of public safety as well as mistrust amongst the citizenry.
The statement added that the theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day “Journalism Under Digital Siege” not only highlights the ways fake news endanger journalism practice but also the consequences of public trust over digital communications.
The statement notes that World Press Freedom Day is a day for media workers to reflect on issues of press freedom and ethical standards and a day to demonstrate support for Journalists and others in media who work tirelessly to distribute information and bring news from across the world to people’s homes.
It is extremely significant, as the United Nations consider it an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom across the globe, defend the attacks on media independence, pay tribute to journalists who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
The statement concludes by commending journalists who keep to ethos of the profession inspite of the risks and hazard involved.
It also lay tributes to media professionals who lost their lives in the line of duty.