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INFORMATION MANAGEMENT — FACTORS THAT BREED RUMOUR & FAKE NEWS — FASSY YUSUY

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Arising from COVID 19 pandemic, two issues are deficient in our polity. These are our political culture and communication, and information management. According to Oxford Dictionary of Sociology, ‘the modern use of political culture dates from the period after the Second World War with studies showing how cultural development and political development move hand in hand.’ Fundamentally, political culture relates to the norms, values and symbols that define and help to legitimate the political power system of a society, and when a political culture collapses or is thrown into doubt, a crisis of legitimacy is created. The various fake news, information hoarding, rumours, speculations, failures, misinformation and disinformation are undermining citizens’ faith and belief in the whole system. They indeed, acerbate the disconnect between the government and the governed. It is melancholic that our political culture since independence has not changed. Rather, our political norms, values and symbols that should be improving continue to nose dive, thus our political culture is not only collapsing but a crisis of legitimacy is being created. Or how else do we explain what we have been witnessing in our political space to the extent that matters already dispensed with by the apex court of the land are being brought back for a review, despite the constitutional finality of the Supreme Court. LEGITIMACY: Our leaders must realize that their legitimacy is derived by the people and they hold power in trust. It is, therefore, expedient that they strive to grow our political culture to ensure transparency, accountability, probity, and egalitarianism in our polity. We do not seem to have learned anything from history and if this trend continues, our political culture would be more chaotic. For now, our attitudes, beliefs, and values underpinning our political system must be re-jigged. Ethnicity, tribalism, religion and other primordial sentiments must disappear from our political culture. According to Holtz-Bacha and Kaid, ‘political communication refers to the communication sent out by or taking place among political actors: the messages of the political system and its individual parts to either the media or directly to the citizens and the politically relevant offerings of the media.’ Wikipedia, on its own, says ‘it can be defined as the connection concerning politics and citizens and the interaction modes that connect these groups to each other.’ Contextually, we are concerned with the production, dissemination, processing, and effects of information, both through mass media and interpersonally.’…

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