A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE DELTA ONLINE PUBLISHERS FORUM (DOPF) AT END OF ITS CONVENTION HELD IN ASABA ON 7TH NOVEMBER 2019.
The Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), a certified Corporate organization held its annual convention with the theme: The Role of Online Media In 2019 Election: Managing Fake News on Wednesday 7th November 2018 at Asaba, Delta State.
At the convention, the lead speaker, Prof. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika tackled the topic in her lecture paper which was discussed and solutions proffered to how fake news can be curbed by a high profile constituted panelists.
The two-days convention also featured a workshop training on Business Management and Customer Care, and Online Optimization for Online Media Practitioners, from a highly rated business coach and Google certified trainer from Google Nigeria, award to deserving personalities and induction of new members.
At the end of the brainstorming deliberations, the convention resolved as follows:
1. That professional media practitioners must show commitment to continuing to wage the online war against fakes and it’s adverse effects by distinguishing ourselves from purveyors of fakes and not join the bandwagon of those who rush to break the “news” on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or other online platforms without confirming same.
2. That we are determined to keep faith to the principles of our formation which are centred on the tripod of Ethics, Professionalism and Service in the delivery of our journalistic mandate as publishers and purveyors of credible news and authentic verifiable information.
3. That we strongly condemn the scourge of “fake news” which has become an International phenomenon and would continue to re-brand our online news portals as source of verifiable and authentic news carriers.
4. That we express our concern about how the social media was used as a tool by politicians to spew hate speech, lies, abuse, divisiveness and distraction during and after the 2015 general elections and therefore resolved that we must collectively fight the menace which has become anti-people and anti-development as 2019 general elections approaches.
5. That the DOPF would continued to ensure that its members provide unbiased platform devoid of partisanship, favouritism and fakes.
7. That we will not be part of the copycat machination of those who build online platforms in order to make money through click baits and other nefarious reasons, rather as professional journalists in the media industry we will ensure mechanism through which fake news are eliminated and ensure that truth prevails at all times.
8. DOPF charged stakeholders in the industry to publish what is true, accurate, balanced and in support of national unity as well as employ independent fact-checking mechanism.
9. We resolved that as the 2019 general elections draws near, the media must endeavour to accentuate its agenda setting capacity by advocating issue-based campaign among politicians.
10. It held that the media must ensure a robust and articulate debate among the various presidential candidates so that the 2019 general elections do not go the way of fake news, hate speech and other rhetoric.
11. That seasoned online journalists must work at the credibility problems in the online media by ensuring whatever they publish has all the elements of credibility as the menace of fakes has continued to tarnish the good work of seasoned journalists and online news media publishers.
12. Conclusively, the Convention maintained that as Nigeria prepare for the 2019 general elections that will usher in a new set of leaders, the media industry especially online media practitioners must be at the fore front of ensuring that the right narrative are in the public domain. And that the media practitioners must not allow themselves to be used by politicians to throw tantrums at each other.
Joe Ogbodu, Chairman
Communique Drafting Committee
John Egie, Secretary
Communique Drafting Committee
For: Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF)