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Journalists challenged on disinformation

William graphic
10 Dec, 2020
Each slip up undermines all journalism

Director of Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) William Bird has said journalists need to be pro-active in sifting credible news from crap or disinformation.

Bird said this Thursday, December 10, 2020, when he presented on the topic ‘Using Good journalism to Fight Disinformation’ at the ongoing virtual conference on the future of journalism education in Southern Africa.

“As the lines become more blurred, it is adherence to journalism principles that distinguish reliably sourced, evidence based, transparent, ethical and accountable reporting. Each slip up undermines all journalism,” Bird said.

He said digital skills are more important to journalists now than ever before and journalism education must strive to capacitate journalists.

“Journalists need to know how to manage their digital footprint. They need to manage dangerous attacks including those that are gender-related. A modern journalist needs digital media skills set, needs to have full grasp of ethics and treat journalism for public good,” he said.

Bird said journalism has huge power to deepen democracy and there is need to empower the public and civil society through digital literacy.

In his presentation on ‘Trust in the Media’, Basil Hamusokwe, a lecturer at the University of Zambia, said the media must be accountable to the people it serves.

The conference has been organised by MISA Malawi, Namibia Media Trust and DW Akademie.

 

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

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