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General News of Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Politicians, government institutions responsible for spread of fake news – Kwesi Pratt

Editor-in-Chief of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt has challenged the narrative that fake news is propagated largely by social media.

The veteran journalist speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana maintained that political parties and government institutions were also behind a large number of outrageous contents circulated as news on several outlets.

Mr. Pratt debunked the assertions that social media was the main hub of the spread of fake news phenomena.

“…the impression is also created that fake news can be found only on social media. I disagree completely with that suggestion. Yes, there’s a lot of fake news on social media, but we also do know that political parties, state institutions and so on put out fake news on a regular basis… I can give you ten, twenty examples of fake news which did not start from social media, started from recognized institutions; sometimes like political parties and so on…” he revealed to host Randy Abbey

He admitted that although the circulation of fake news can distort reality with grievous consequences, there was the need to come to the realization that it is not just a social media phenomenon.

He called for the public and stakeholders to develop the attitude which respects empirical evidence.

The growing rate of fake news and rapid circulation on various outlets has become a challenge to many governments and institutions across the globe with several leaders declaring war on the phenomena, especially on social media.

President Akufo-Addo has on several fronts charged the media to be more responsible about the spread of fake news and its publications.

“This is a major threat to the integrity of the news world as we have known it. It is not something to be left only to regulators to deal with. It is something that the whole world of media practitioners must resolutely confront and assist the society to identify and eliminate”, he charged during the World Press Freedom day celebrations last year.