Electoral campaign: Rabehi warns media professionals against "fake news"

Minister of Communication, Spokesman of the Government Hassan Rabehi on Monday in Algiers warned media professionals against the risk of "fake  news," calling on them to "comply with rules of professionalism so to be in the service of the profession and preserve the social cohesion."

Speaking to the Echaab daily forum on "fake news and the means to tackle it," Rabehi said that "as the electoral campaign approaches, the mission of media professionals may prove difficult. Not only they are required to provide accurate, reliable and sourced news, they also must be cautious and prevent the trap of "fake news" which are unfortunately disseminated and spread by some parties."

Algeria which "defends the values of openness and liberty, notably freedom of the press, likewise the countries with secular democratic traditions, will not accept the spread of "fake news," he said.

To tackle this scourge which undermines social media role, the minister made two proposals. Rabehi called on the “media professionals to combat this scourge through high quality professional performance and compliance with ethics.” The second proposal of the minister relates to “the need for the citizens, driven social engagement, to serve the general interest.”

Fake news pose a "true competition to the news produced by conventional media. Those media outlets faced a decline in young audience, he said, adding that combating fake news cannot be confined to social networks. It rather necessitates a renovated news-centered approach in the traditional media which are the professional and moral producers of the official, responsible and reliable news.”

The traditional media can lead "a large communication operation towards the different generations and categories, notably amid the educational environment, in order to raise citizens' awareness of the dangers of fake news with insidious and malicious goals," he said.

Rabehi called for "drawing on other experiences in order to put in place the appropriate legal arsenal to stamp out this practice that has changed the trajectory of crucial political processes and destabilized some countries."



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