‘Fake news’ worries Amos Chanda
By Staff Reporter
Special assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda has bemoaned the rampant fake news that has continued to flood the nation, noting that the false propaganda is costing the nation millions of Kwacha in lost investment opportunities.
Speaking at the 2019, ZAPRA Conference in Livingstone Chanda said the pervasive threat of disinformation threatened election results and democracies all over the world.
“Those deceptions and manipulations are most damaging when packaged and reported as though they were truths,” he said. “The pervasive threat of disinformation threatens election results and democracies all over.”
He told the hundreds PR practitioners gathered from both the public and private sector that they needed to help government ‘confront the fake news monster’ by equally being on social media platforms and telling the truth.
Chanda observed that peddled fake news mostly by the opposition political parties had caused an attack on GDP, exchange rate, encouraged anarchy attack on market as well as threatened the nation’s democracy.
Chanda noted that the only way to fight back against this is with more freedom, more openness, more traceability, more accountability and more transparency.
He told the gathering that the PF government wants to work closely with public relations and communications industry and told public relations practitioners in public institutions that they had State House backing in defending the truth.
“All public relations practitioners in public institutions have express permission from State House to respond to fake news as it is given out without waiting for the ‘clearance’ which could render the response irrelevant,” Chanda said.
“And that is why I am here with you, not only to pay tribute to your valuable work that this group has done but to show that this government is committed to this issue and committed to protecting democracy,” Chanda said.