Don’t kill yourselves over rush to break news, Akpabio advises Nigerian journalists

The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio has cautioned journalists on need to monitor their health and not allow the pressure for ranking and other parameters of performance heighten blood pressure or compromise their health.

Penpushing reports that Akpabio gave the caution note while speaking at the 2023 annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) on Wednesday at Abuja Continental Hotels, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

‘I call on you Gentlemen of the press to please monitor your health and do not allow the pressure for ranking and other parameters of performance heighten your blood pressure or compromise your health’, he emphasised.

Penpushing further reports that he encouraged the online publishers to fashion out plans for common health checks individually and for members, adding that he believes that they can negotiate a better deal if they go as a group to health institutions on this.

‘I reiterate this because of the common saying, health is wealth. I beg of you to limit your goodselves to News Update, Breaking News, Just In, Developing Story, Happening Now, News Alert and such tags that I know often heightens the blood pressure of any individual’, Akpabio added.

Penpushing also reports that he equally noted the menace of fake news in the society particularly in this era of breaking news online and tasked the Guild on need to jointly address this ugly development which he said kills faster than gun

The Senate President pointed out that he has been a victim of fake news on number of times, adding that a few days ago, an online publication pushed a story that his wife was being given an office in the Senate in a 20-paragraph story.

‘Three of the paragraphs in that story mentioned the issue while the remaining 17 paragraphs were devoted to reciting fables and other mysteries about me that were totally untrue and unconnected’, he recalled.

‘Such story ordinarily would have raised my pressure so much but my respected colleagues in the Senate and other reasonable Nigerians reacted so positively in its condemnation as an unwarranted act on the innocent wife of the President of the Senate’, Akpabio said.

‘If I survived, many other Nigerians may not have survived the fake news published by many platforms against my person and offices I have variously held. The pressure on me as an individual getting this bustle of alerts on my phone indeed heightens my pressure. The pressure could even be worse when the news update is conveying some depressing happenings in our country’.

‘I believe that the primary duty of the media is to provide information that enables society to make informed decisions. It is the duty of the media to guide everyone in this venture. As such I believe that any news break or alert from your platforms must be conveyed with the primary interest of securing this vital essence of decision making for all stakeholders.

‘I therefore call on you, to ensure that everything that is published on your platforms help the citizenry in making the correct decisions. As a political actor, I have severally been the victim of fake news marketed by some sections of the media including some of you here, albeit maybe ignorantly, for example’.

‘When a news platform reports that a government project, say a road has been commissioned, members of the public who read the news may be led to believe that the road is good for travel. However, if it is not true and that the road actually may be laced with death traps, unwary motorists could be led to accidents and deaths.

Penpushing reports that Akpabio posited that it is appropriate for media men to interact among themselves and sharpen their instincts in their role in building creative tension for those in government and other assignments in the public space.

‘Beloved gentlemen of the press, I dare say that you must not be shy in this task. As you regularly try to fish out the malfeasances among those of us in the political class and other segments of society, I plead with you to also carry out the same self-cleansing exercise by not just identifying the fakes purveyors in your midst, but also by helping the National Assembly to fashion out a framework to curtail this practice’.

Penpushing further reports that he stressed that fake news can be a channel for mass destruction, and therefore urged the media professionals to treat fake news as a dangerous weapon for the destruction of the society.

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