Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Ethical Standards: AMDF Media Clinic Tasks Journalists To Differentiate Selves From Bloggers

By Joseph Edegbo

The 2024 Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF annual media clinic has been held virtually with panelists drawn from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Burundi.

Themed, ” New Technologies and Ethical Consideration in Media Production and Distribution”, the panelists, Boi Beatrice Kenneh of Sierra Leone, Solomon Odeniyi, Nigeria and Thibilisse Nkurunziza of Burundi shared their experiences on the advantages and disadvantages of the usage of new technologies.

The Panelists

While it was viewed that new technologies have exposed the media to fake news and misinformation, it was however acknowledged to have made the work of journalists in content creation, production and distribution easy.

Having noted that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, it was suggested that countries which take social media seriously, could regulate the usage of the new technologies to ensure sanity.

On the usage of Artificial intelligence, AI to write stories, the Panelists are of the view that there is the need for continued research to determine its advantage and disadvantage before incorporating it into journalism practice.

But at present, the panelists are unanimous that AI is not accurate, the concern that is also being expressed even in Europe.

On bloggers, although it was observed that bloggers have carved a niche for themselves and have come to stay, journalists on the other hand should remain professionals.

Journalists should also help the public to understand who they are, so as to differentiate themselves from bloggers who lack credibility in their work or code of ethics, warning that anyone who believes in any information from a blogger, does so at his or her own perils.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the AMDF Executive Director, Mrs Sekyen Dadik had said the annual event brings together, reporters, producers, presenters, editors, media managers, media executives and CSOs to meet to discuss and set agenda on trending issues in the media.
Topics discussed so far, she emphasized, include fake news; social media, ethical and professional conduct of journalists, among others.

Referring to the theme of the event, Mrs Dadik contends that as technology continues to advance, media production and distribution is also experiencing significant changes.
“New technologies have made it easier and more accessible for individuals to create and distribute media content.
“However, these advances have also raised important ethical considerations that need to be addressed. Some of the issues: copyright infringement, rise in fake news and information manipulation and interference where we have misinformation, disinformation, mal-information.
“All these call for pro active steps by media professionals to ensure the integrity of the profession.
“I believe our panelists today, media professionals from Nigeria, Sierra leone and Burundi, we will get an insight as to the country specific challenges and what needs to be in place to checkmate such so we can harness the opportunities that come with technological advancement for a better media practice”, she conclude

Apart from the panelists, the event which was moderated by Mrs Martha Asumata Agas, a Nigerian, drew participants from within and outside the country.

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