Dubai: Former CNN host Larry King told the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) that ‘fake news is here to stay’ on Wednesday.

Sudden health issues meant the 85-year-old American couldn’t travel as scheduled to the event at Sharjah Expo Centre this week, so he instead addressed the audience through pre-recorded audio.

“Now more than ever, every member of society can make a difference by playing important roles to influence citizens through social media,” said King, when discussing the challenges that governments around the world are facing due to technological advancements in communication.

He emphasised the need for governments to ensure they communicate the right messages to individuals, while pointing out that governments alone do not build nations.

“Fake news is not something new in this day and age,” he added. “But it’s on a much larger scale across new technologies where false rumours travel faster than light and create great damages.”

To build a strong communication system with the people, governments must responsibly leverage social media as such platforms create world public opinions, King suggested.

governments must also strengthen their communication capacities so that they are transparent, based on a two-way communication system, and include strong partnerships in order to be closer to their people, he added.

Expressing his regrets about missing the forum, King concluded by advising governments to “keep the conversation going and continue training their teams” through an era where communication is increasingly playing a role in governance.