Under the patronage of Eugene S. Young, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Congo, the meeting was attended by the Interdepartmental Director of Congolese National Television Pointe-Noire/Koulou, Irma Nadège Ikama. The aim was to exchange and provide tools to combat fake news, a phenomenon that consists in revealing false information. In addition to the main theme, the participants followed sub-themes developed by different speakers who are members of the said club. These focused on “A journalist’s attitude to fake news: how do you avoid the trap? † developed by Albert Mianzoukouta, publication director of the weekly magazine “African Week” † “The experience of a press correspondent working for foreign media” by Loïcia Martial, RFI and AFP correspondent in Congo; “Web TV confronted with fake news” by Ornella Kouanga, Director of Online TV, “pontoon light”† Moderation was provided by Guy-Gervais Kitina, editor-in-chief of the daily “The Shipments of Brazzaville”†
While not new, fake news (false information) has gained momentum in the world with the internet and especially social networks. And as Eugene S. Young noted, “Fake news presents a challenge to young people because it manipulates the truth and makes the false real. Together we must find solutions to counter this global phenomenon. This workshop will make it possible to find methods adapted to the context of the Republic of Congo, with a view to combating this phenomenon that is responsible for the damage in all societies of the world”.
And to combat fake news, the press, which wants to provide information, has a big role to play through research, based on real sources of information. Eugene S. Young pointed out that fake news exists in all languages of the world in addition to the English language. He also recalled that the media still has real power in society and this is all the more true in the digital age.
“We see daily how the media shapes the thoughts of people in all walks of life. In the digital age, the question arises: who is a journalist anyway? Unfortunately, it is very difficult to answer this question because the new information and communication technologies (NTIC) have revolutionized the information circulation. A simple telephone connected to the internet is enough to inform millions of people. Communicating opinions via the internet is not a bad thing in the context of democracy and freedom of expression. The flip side of the coin, however, is that some people are using these technological advancements to manipulate, deceive, and influence opinions.” he explained.
In his presentation on a journalist’s attitude to fake news, Albert Mianzoukouta gave some tools to avoid his pitfalls. In order to protect and protect against them, he advised in particular respect for journalistic rules, the duplication of sources and the verification of information, to ensure its veracity. “Fake news is alive because we make it live. You have to provide the correct information. The parade against this phenomenon lies first within ourselves. You have to check the reliability of the source, look for its relationship to the truth and see if it can be disseminated.he stood on it.
Moreover, he emphasized that thanks to NTIC, today the journalist finds himself somehow deprived of his sovereign function of announcer or commentator of information, because with the technological means anyone can disseminate information on a large scale through various media.
For its part, the director of the channel “pontoon light” shared the tricks used by this web TV to tackle fake news. She insisted that it is always necessary to verify information before it is released. “Today, with the evolution of technology, journalists have to be very attentive to sources for proper handling of information. For our part, we always make sure not to publish fake news on our channel.she said.
Loïcia Martial shared her experience as a press correspondent and spoke about the difficulties and limitations of the profession; then some attitudes that should be characteristic of a press correspondent, especially rigor in the handling of information, a good address book, moral honesty, humility, courage, mastery of the subjects to be covered and prudence. He explained “that a press correspondent is both the eye and the ear of the media he represents and which has an editorial office abroad”.
Note that this session is the first activity of the Press Economic Club since its inception in October 2021. This club is a space for discussion and exchange on current economic issues.