SHARJAH: Fake news is here to stay, said American TV Veteran Larry King in a recorded message televised at the inaugural session of the International Government Communication Forum on Wednesday in Sharjah.
“Fake news is not new to human society. It has mocked the Cold War era too. But today, it exists and affects us on a much larger scale due to advent of new technologies,” said the TV celebrity who could not attend the Forum due to recent health issues.
“On the brightside, governments can use the same technologies to strengthen communication channels with their people, build partnerships and trust. So, be ready, train your teams and keep the conversations going between the governments and the people,” he said.
The 85-year-old TV personality asserted that government communication is going to play an increasingly important role in good governance, and must be seen and shaped from the participatory governance angle in future.
He added, “Governments around the world are scrambling to find the best ways to communicate with their people. Social media and other technologies have given the public an outlet for their opinions. It has also given them a platform for misinformation and rumours, and fake news – and that is sad. This is why it is important for governments to strengthen their communication capacities to be transparent and closer to their people.
“Now more than ever, each member of society can make a difference and play an important role to influence a group of citizens through social media. This means governments need to do more to motivate their people to do the right things for themselves and for society,” he added.
Another star speaker at the opening session was American spoken word artist Richard Williams, aka ‘Prince Ea’. He offered a critical review of current education systems saying they are based on memorisation and suppress true individual potential. “First, make education available to everyone, and second, educate the youth in a way that brings out the best in them, not prepare them to compete with artificial intelligence.” “Repetitive knowledge-based we must leave behind. We see a lot of young people graduating from schools and heading straight to join the unemployment line. Companies today don’t even look at grades, and Google has said that GPA is a worthless criterion for hiring.”