By; ABUBAKAR MAISHANU, Dutse
“The traditional media has gone forever. The social media has taken over, what is important is how to train people to have critical minds in this critical time of fake news. To countered those fake messages and hate speech to reject the rejectable and accept the acceptable.”
The Dean faculty of Communication at Bayero University, Kano. Professor Umar Pate, stated this in a paper presentation at Federal University Dutse.
Umar Pate said, the era of gate keeping which has been in practice in the traditional media has gone obsolete because of the evolution in communication technologies, adding that, the increase of hate speeches against one another on social and traditional media poses an unprecedented threat to integration and corporate existence of Nigeria.
The paper presented was titled: ‘Mass media and Nigeria’s National integration and development in the midst of hate speech and fake news.’
Pate, a Professor of Media and Society stressed that, hate speech has graduated from individual level, now elevated to media.
“People are calling names, using abusive words, negative stereo type in Radio Programmes,” he said.
Pate also stated that, the high level of ignorance among Nigerians has made it possible for politicians to device the use of hate speech and lies to win the hearts of their people for achieving their parochial political interest at the detriment of the nation, adding that, the abusive and fake information going viral on social media is impeding national integration and development.
Umar Pate also lamented that religious clerics who aught to preach love, tolerance and sincerity are now promoting provocative speeches, hatred and bigotry
“The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) where people used to source for a credible news has have gone obsolete, the short wave of Kaduna National station is dead. Government is still unable to buy a transmitter to boost their services,” he said, adding that, 57 years after nationhood, Nigerians are still lagging, resort to killing of one another, identifying themselves with their cultural ethnicity instead of judging one another by their content of character.
“It’s a pity that Nigerians are not regarding themselves as Nigerians but rather to the regional or religion affiliation.
Pate admonished politicians, religious clerics and media organisations to be mindful of their speeches to avoid the Rwandan experience of 1994 where a particular race was wipoe-out, “It started through media hate speech,” he pointed out..
Prof Umar maintained that, there was no country in the world that ever set out a specific time in which it was going to war, but hate speeches and fake news are the build-up towards war.
He charged the government to come up with effective mechanism to decisively counter the increase of hate speeches and fake news before it pushes the country to disaster.
Professor Umar, however, charged media practitioners to as a matter of collective national interest desist from accommodating unscrupulous politicians who are using hate speech and lies in pursuing their interest at the expense of the nation.
“The best way to stop fake news, is to expose yourself with the credible media organisations. Cross check, be intellectually active, expose yourself to multiple sources of information.
“Develop your intellectual capacity from myopic understanding of Nigeria, widen your horizon to look at things beyond the tunnel,” he advised.