Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Dying Profession Of Journalism in Nigeria

The draft not getting to the craft
You begin to wonder what is happening to the journalism profession in Nigeria, with the many unfortunate events like badly filed reports that make no sense or serve no purpose than act as space fillers of incomprehensibility.
Then the Shibboleths of Nigerianese that have become the foundations of Nigerian English following none of the rules of common English grammar.
Where we are spared running the gauntlet of inscrutable English, it is verbosity that leaves you marooned as a castaway from context and reason as to why the writer deigned to put pen to paper.
Forget the fine art of fact-checking, proofreading or spellchecking and you end up with a slurry of a jumble of words produced by any fingered primate typing feverishly at a keyboard in the miraculous hope of producing a magnificent volume to upstage the works of Shakespeare.
Whimsical with the unethical
Then we move on to the ethical issues of journalism, where some are mercenaries for hire ready to plant a fabrication to favour a cause, a patron or some bias, many refusing to allow objectivity to get in the way of sensationalism as we have our focus diverted by the bold and screaming headlines of yellow journalism.
Plagiarism is rife, the lack of attribution, reference, acknowledgement or recognition of originality as the race for circulation and any other pursuit means everyone and anyone is trampled upon without any hope of an apology or restitution for the misuse of copyright or sources of material.
Which brings me to the most recent scramble to the nadir of this profession, the fictional construct of a story about human trafficking, supported and sponsored by heretofore reputable organisations, at least we have been deluded into thinking they had any semblance of integrity until now.
We’ve been had too many times
This made me post a comment on Facebook about the supposed investigative epaulets of Tobore Mit Ovuorie.
“That girl would be the complete ruin of any semblance of journalism in Nigeria as newspapers exacerbate this continual fiction of every undercover story appearing to endanger her life.
She has found an emotional and sentimental switch on the Nigerian psyche, speak of endangered life, and we almost always lose the ability to reason and question as we begin to sympathise and empathise - we have been blackmailed into losing our rational minds.”
Indeed, she appears to have found what we as Nigerians are too susceptible to, our lack of curiosity in the face of consuming activity.
We’ve lost our bearings
Our senses stimulated by macabre, bizarre and atrocious stories, pictures and videos that drags our humanity into inurement to the sufferings of others as we feast on what passes for news when it is mostly gossip, rumour and uncorroborated events.
We race so well ahead of the truth and the facts that when they eventually catch up with us, the damage is done as we wait for the next heroin high of another sorry tale of life in Nigeria.
You then ask, who would rescue this noble profession of journalism from the dregs of reprehensible, lying and unscrupulous purveyors of the contemptible? Who?


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