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e-BANGI ; 18(10):117-126, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1787302

ABSTRACT

Following Nigeria's first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in February, 2020, there emerged diverse information from a multitude of unknown sources on how to curb and prevent the novel virus. As with other disease outbreak, the novelty of the disease created an information gap which made the net the last resort for Nigerians on the prevention and cure of the virus. Within a short period of time, unverified information on COVID-19 flooded the internet. Some questions beg for answers: How do we evaluate the news contents provided by online media such as Google, Facebook, and Whatsapp? This study is aimed at highlighting misinformation about coronavirus discourse in Nigeria and how critical literacy skill can be deployed to unravel the veracity of such sources of information. Data were generated from official publications, reputable journals, newspapers, conference papers, and internet sources. These sources were augmented with direct observations with the adherence to Covid-19 protocols. The content analysis method was used to analyse the data. The study revealed that there are quanta of misinformation about COVID-19 in Nigeria. Similarly, findings indicated that many Nigerians hardly put their critical literacy skills into practice as many of them swallowed hood, line, and sinker, every news item they read and heard about the pandemic without verifying their sources. On the basis of the findings, it was recommended among others that Nigerians should cultivate the habit of questioning digital news. Also, critical literacy skill should be included in Nigeria school curriculum. Last but not the least;parents should train their children to acquire critical thinking skills required for understanding online news.

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