Home The Politico AGENDA SETTING AND MEDIA (Continued from last week)

AGENDA SETTING AND MEDIA (Continued from last week)

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By Tunde Rahman

 

Most of the politicians at the confab have their

various agendas for coming to the confab. Some

of them are there to seek relevance, to demonstrate

that they belong, in our manner of speaking.

Some are there to position themselves for the next

election. Our interest as journalists, I think, must be

the interest of the people, the survival of the nation. We

must be able to pinpoint the various agendas of these

delegates and draw attention to only those ones that

can serve the good of the greatest number of our people.

I’m sure many here will agree with me that doing

this may put a strain on us, which may expose

the underbelly of the media; expose our idiosyncrasies,

our limitations, our shortcomings.

I do not intend to dwell much on our shortcomings

as journalists, which we already know and

which include the proprietorial influence, the low

remuneration, the brown envelope syndrome, too

much concentration on personalities at the expense

of issues and what have you. The way we can combat

this is to be sure-footed, for we all to always remember

that our profession is noble and we should

n’t engage in acts that can assault that nobleness.

This may sound simplistic. But what I’m saying

is the job demands integrity and acting in

good conscience no matter our circumstance.

What I’m saying is a journalist must be resilient

enough to rise above these shortcomings

and do his/her work diligently.

And it is at this juncture that I need to remind

our colleagues engaged in online media that to

be truly seen to be journalists, they must subject

their work to the rigours expected of media

reports-accuracy, impartiality and fairness.

They should shun unnecessary sensationalism,

shun publication of half-truths or

no truths at all or journalism of blackmail.

The new media, which have helped to

boost our work, should not be abused.

I think that in the role of both chroniclers of history

and agenda setters, the media have assumed immense

responsibilities for the next generation. This demands

that we must be patriotic. We must eschew our

prejudices about the confab and keep an open mind.

But I believe that for our work to be fulfilling,

we must recognize that there is life after the confab.

Some of those delegates will leave the confab

at the end of their work but the media like the nation

remains. We must do our work in line with

our profession and in the interest of the country.

In closing, let me paraphrase a senior colleague

who says Nigeria creates a spectacle of a big, black

giant, stumbling purposefully towards the future,

but the giant has its head turned back to the past.

Some have also put this in another way: that the

country takes one step forward and two backwards.

Can we can get that big, black giant to turn its head

and take its steps forward on the path to future and

progress and not backwards? The challenge is for

us as journalists.I thank you all for listening to me.

 

Rahman, Managing Editor of Western Post,

presented this paper on Friday, April 11, 2014

at a conference for journalists covering the

National Conference in Abuja.

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