By Nobert Chiazor
I seldom give a take on group social media platforms.The preference is to watch with rapt interest being a long standing media guard.
A worrisome press pattern has however drawn this observer-participant’s attentiveness – waning quality of news reporting and analysis.Though pieces of excellent journalism abound,the present generation must watch it! All is not well with Journalism.
In social media,we see ludicrous syntactic and factual slips,screaming at us daily.Even in the more informed and formal mainstream media, journalism gaffes are noticeable in scary constancy.
“Mace” staff of office on legislative table” is now “maze” bunch of paths and hedges” “Advise”,verb is misused in stories as “Advice”-noun.No difference!
The other day one did an innocuous post on Ned Nwoko” He is everything but irresponsible”,then see brouhaha! Not a few thought my Idumuje Ugboko brother was under fire while indeed he was gratified simply as a responsible dude against all labeling.
Every story no matter how frivolous or stale now opens with the prefix “breaking news” served with tired cliches,boring and unoriginal.Journalists most times fly press releases from political fields without due diligence.
That is why we read everyday across the country that “5000 dump APC for PDP” “3000 decamp from PDP to APC” etc even in gatherings with less than 400 people! When a misunderstanding as little as a fisticuff occurs or minor phenomenon comes,excited contemporary reporters go to town with the news “Crisis tears Delta community apart ” “Benin community boils” “Kaduna Youths at warpath” “Yahoo boy turns girl to snake” and so on.
Fake news here and there.Accurate probing vital in newsroom is on the decline.Today,Sensation and falsehood trend more in all-time high, online and hard copy. We must not always “share” “like” or “follow” glaring fiction any where on cyberspace. Spare your finger and fake news will die!
The golden rule of journalism -if in doubt leave out or double check has taken a sudden flight.The other day we saw a media feast everywhere reportedly inspired by “pastor Enenche” celebrating the life and times of Late Prophet T B. Joshua in a widely read article, first published on Daily Post Online. The post that went viral was actually by a self styled “Abuja based writer”with double single name or mononym- Enenche Enenche.
The fact that the name of popular Pentecostal pastor, is Paul Enenche and not Enenche Enenche should have been a red flag to any discerning media man.On reading the piece,one initially had a hunch that “Enenche Enenche” could be a fictitious poster writing under pseudonym for little mischief. After all he must have sensed that pastor Paul Enenche is a famous Nigerian religious leader whose “words” on T B Joshua would be eye-catching.
It strikingly turned out on investigation that Enenche Enenche is a comedian based in Abuja! Pastor Paul Enenche of the Dunamis Church has even issued a rebuttal that he is not the author of the piece quoted in the media.
On the late synagogue pastor, the wife is from a place in Delta North,Ukala Okpunor, barely 30mins drive from Asaba capital territory.With the exit of T. B Joshua in the shadows of life- long controversies counter balanced by his global celebration in death,the thought is that local correspondents nearby would have taken TV cameras ,IPads, phones or notes and pens and swopped on the little Anioma village for scoops.
Beautiful human interest stories would have emerged from interviews and close up findings on late Joshua’s in-laws. It would be great journalism reading their thoughts on the myths and realities of their world known pastor- Son in law as man of God or magician!
Truly we can have good journalism for the public without news about PDP or APC.Stories fair in content and fine in language.
Media Folks! It’s possible.