Persons with disabilities have bemoaned information disorder and are calling upon players in the industry to widen their approach in order to curb disinformation among their members.
Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day workshop on New Trends and Emerging Practices on Misinformation and Disinformation in Elections organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Chapter in Bulawayo recently, Tsepang Nare stated that there is a need for every institution to adopt a disability user-friendly communication format to curb misinformation among people with disabilities.
“If disinformation is spread among people with hearing impairment, they do not have other means of getting factual and authentic information except those in the hearing world, so when that information is relayed to them, they are going to speculate and spread misinformation among themselves,
“Even if efforts are being made to do information dissemination rarely are disabled user-friendly communication formats adopted and used such as the use of brail, so people who are blind rely on second-hand information when they could read on their own and access gadgets that enable them to access real-time and authentic information,” said Nare
MISA Zimbabwe project coordinator, Buhlebenkosi Tshabangu-Moyo said the organization is currently working on creating a safe and professional environment for media personnel to eliminate all information disorders.
“It is unprofessional for the media to spread false or misleading information that is created, presented and disseminated for profit or to deliberately mislead the public as such information has the potential to cause public harm,
“The project that we are currently running is focusing specifically on misinformation, disinformation, mal-information and real information disorder which have been a problem in the past couple of years as it requires expanded fact-checking capacity for journalists and the media to help disseminate verified and credible news” she said.
Disability Amalgamation Community Trust (DACT) director, Henry Chivhanga said the public media should communicate the truth as people with disabilities trust the media and make decisions based on the information supplied.
“The public media communicates propaganda which is devoid of any truth. People with disabilities trust the media and make decisions based on the information supplied and this leads to communities being divided, causing hatred and leading to violence thus putting people with disabilities at risk and vulnerable,” said Chivhanga.