Re: Tinubu’s aborted visit and Omo-Agege’s phantom N150m donation to Delta flood victims: Another version of APC lies
Our Understanding of Journalism
By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board
Despite GbaramatuVoice consistent adherence to the time-honoured journalistic dictum of condemning sparingly, commending sparingly and criticizing charitably when writing our editorial comment, our most recent intervention titled ‘’Tinubu’s aborted visit and Omo-Agege’s phantom N150m donation to Delta flood victims: Another version of APC lies’’, received torrents of conflicting reactions-many agreed with the kernel of that position while others disagreed.
While GbaramatuVoice appreciates all the reactions particularly those who saw merit in our position, there is however, a particular comment that came in the form of question (just one) that disagreed with the newspaper’s position. And in the process of justifying its asymmetrical position as advanced, confirm GbaramatuVoice fears about media practice in the state and in some measure explain why media practice in the area is currently not matching forward but groping and stumbling, divided and confused with no value moral values or professional confidence.
It referenced comment reads; Is GbaramatuVoice Newspaper into activism or journalism? To be candid, recent pieces from this platform doesn’t portray the ethics of journalism. You guys take on personalities, in my candid opinion is great, but it should be issue-based and objective.
Before addressing the above issues, this intervention will cast a glance at some of our forbearers’ understanding of journalism and news.
To Mark Rhea Byers Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations. For George Orwell, News is what somebody does not want you to print. All the Rest Is Advertising. For Alfred Harmsworth, News is something which somebody wants suppressed: all the rest is advertising.
From the above spiraling understanding, the questions may be asked; where has GbaramatuVoice gone wrong? Why is it that these commentators in question kick each time we comment/report issues that they would have loved suppressed?
Globally, the role of the media in every evolving democratic society like ours is to among other functions inculcate and reinforce positive political, cultural, social attitudes among the citizenries. Create a mood in which people become keen to acquire skills and disciplines of developed nations.
And when the media fails to perform these roles, the nation can never hope to raise the standards of living of the people or achieve the political development of the state.
As noted elsewhere, the media remains a contributing factor to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political woes as the majority of the practitioners have overtly become more cautious than courageous in performing their agenda setting roles. They watch the making of political cum economic decisions that breeds poverty and perpetrates powerlessness, yet took the easy way out without addressing the underlying factors. They have seen power lately gone the wrong way but assumed it’s the right thing – watched the nation’s political gladiators redefine democracy in the image of their actions but viewed it normal.
And very oddly, the practitioners no longer see themselves as problem solvers or watchdogs of the society but now occupy a high ground they do not understand while leaving the masses that initially depended on them confused. Majority of the practitioners have lost the philosophy to challenge the nation’s economic logic and capacity to pursue the theory of government in order to effectively inform the general public.
For instance, ‘the failure of the media to study the various propositions presented by the leaders in the past, and their failure to inform the masses accordingly has resulted in situations where politicians persuaded Nigerians to endorse and applaud policies that were harmful to their interest’.
At GbaramatuVoice, we recognize three realities.
First is the fact that the ‘function of the media is very high. It is almost holy. It ought to serve as a forum for the people, for it is through the media that the people may know freely what is going on. And to misstate or suppress the news is a breach of trust’.
Secondly is the awareness that without criticism, reliable, and intelligent reporting, the government cannot govern because without a viable media practice, there is no adequate way in which it can keep itself informed about what the people of the country are thinking or doing.
Thirdly and very important is that every decision a journalist makes when gathering, organizing and presenting the news requires a value judgment. Different decisions bring different results. All decisions have consequences that are direct and indirect, intended and unintended, short term and long term. And journalist’s decisions affect others; those decisions may influence thousands of people’s opinions on a political issue’.
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