BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) will be hosting a two-day media summit focusing on fake news, particularly on social media, beginning on Thursday.
The Nust department of journalism and media is co-hosting the media summit with the Zimbabwe Centre for Media and Information Literacy (ZCMIL) to be held under the theme New Media and Democracy: Beyond Fake News, Disinformation Misinformation.
This comes at a time when government has hinted on regulating social media.
According to the organisers, the summit, jointly sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the United States embassy, brings together various stakeholders
from the media, academia, government and civil society organisations.
“The conference provides a unique platform for theorising, dialoguing and engaging on how the growing relevance of new media shapes our socio-economic and
political interactions, and changes the way citizens access and process information,” Divine Dube, the summit co-ordinator, said.
“The convention is part of ZCMIL’s mission of using digital media to champion the ideals of democracy and good governance by promoting free and professional
media through digital journalism trainings as well as facilitating networking and dialogue platforms.”
The media summits are an annual event, Dube said, with the inaugural edition held last year in the city.
“The summit will focus on digital misinformation and disinformation or rather fake news, and how it shapes public perceptions, opinions, behaviours and its
impact on political processes. Information from internet sources is fast becoming a mainstream source of information for millions of Zimbabweans,” Dube said.
“For instance, social media shutdown has been adopted by some African governments, including Zimbabwe. A discourse on fake news, digital disinformation and
misinformation and its impact on democratic processes in Zimbabwe and Africa at large is timely because the continent is part of the global village and
uniquely interwoven in the global political economy agenda.”