BEING OPENING ADDRESS AT THE SECOND JIFORM ONLINE INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION SUMMIT, WITH THE THEME MANAGEMENT OF COVID-19 INFORMATION BY THE MEDIA, BY MR ABIOLA PETERS, ORGANIZING SECRETARY OF JIFORM, ON APRIL 24, 2020.
Good to know that you are all very safe our erudite keynote speakers at this event as well as the distinguished leadership and members of Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM).
Permit me on behalf of you all to quickly appreciate God for sparing the life of our dear Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr Muhammad Bababandede, pray for the recovery of those undergoing treatments at the different Isolation centres, while we commiserate with bereaved families.
It is with great delight that I welcome you to Day Two of this Second International Online Migration Summit, the first one haven been held on April 4, 2020,with focus on the changing dynamics in human migration amidst global economy striving to defeat the dreaded coronavirus.
One of the recommendations at that one day summit was that the media should not engage but discourage the circulation of fake news and other sensitive editorial materials on the COVID-19 not in the interest of nation building.
Management of Information on the COVID-19 by the media in the past weeks have been quite challenging at a time fake news is rivaling factual reportage, amidst the New Order of media pluralism.
The availability of hand – held internet enabled devices, has indeed made the world a global village, while increasing the vulnerability of many users to fake news, including media professionals who do not bother to fact check.
The novel COVID-19 pandemic comes with its psychological impact on the people, especially the wanton deaths being recorded daily or the associated security threats from terror gangs occasioned by the lockdown under the excuse of hunger.
Sadly, some of these reports are either oversensationalised by some of the notable media organizations or they turn out as fake news, which has the propensity of causing damage to the health, as much as the dreaded COVID-19 itself.
The clarion call at this critical period is Responsible Journalism, while the professionals must be availed truthful information by government officials and other stakeholders.
The media professionals deserve recognition as frontliners too in the collective battle against the COVID 19 pandemic and encouraged with protective kits and palliatives, being a profession that is with one of the poorest condition of service, especially in this clime.
At this point, I implore us to engage in the conversations to be heralded by our very resourceful speakers
Once again, I welcome you all.
JIFORM Organizing Secretary,