Busisiwe Matlou from Lebwakgomo, Limpopo is a young reporter staying at home with her father and siblings during the COVID-19 lockdown. Even though it’s not easy to be home, her family understands the importance of adhering to the suggested safety measures in order to get through this period. It’s also allowed them to set aside their busy schedules and find time to bond. They avoid ‘fake news’ and stay informed with real news by verifying facts on channel 403 and channel 404. She believes that we should leave it to the NPO’s out there to help those who are vulnerable in the community, everyone else should do their bit by just staying home.
FACTS & DEFINITIONS:
Staying informed about the latest news on the virus is the first step towards stopping its spread. In South Africa, anyone that creates or spreads fake news about the coronavirus COVID-19 is liable for prosecution.
- ‘Fake News’: does not have a straightforward or commonly understood meaning. This is because ‘news’ means verifiable information in the public interest, and information that does not meet these standards does not deserve the label of news. In this sense then, ‘fake news’ is a contradiction, as it means that the credibility of information is undermined and therefore isn’t really news.
- Disinformation: is a term generally used to refer to deliberate attempts to confuse or manipulate people through delivering dishonest information to them. This is often combined with communications strategies or tactics like hacking or compromising of persons. Disinformation is dangerous because it is frequently organised, well resourced, and reinforced by automated technology. Disinformation is information that is false, and the person who is disseminating it knows it is false.
- Misinformation: is generally used to refer to misleading information created or disseminated without manipulative or malicious intent. Misinformation is information that is false, but the person who is disseminating it believes that it is true.