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What Manner Of Journalism?

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Mass communication experts must be cracking their brains with heavy sledge harmer to actually find a new and more suitable adjective to describe what used to be known as junk Journalism. As for me, what is happening today is much deeper than junk. For want of a better expression, lets call it ‘information terrorism.’

It has crept into journalism practice and now confuses our understanding of the profession. What also suprises many communication experts is the rate at which the political class who are often the victims of the terror, display, gullibility for this trap. Their patronage is the sap that has sustained the oddity in Port Harcourt, the once glorious Garden City; so many of such news trash have sprang up like mushroom in the last few year. Tens of others are currently in their incubation stage – lava, pupa, name it. Most of the wild papers are printed in cubicles located in and around the famous Mile I market. No thanks to computer technology which forms the major technological accessory.

With one functional computer system and a copy typist, a publisher’ is almost adequately equipped to get on with the business. The names are not always outlandish. From ‘Morning Sun’ to ‘Evening Moon’ Newspapers. Indeed, their editorial contents sound like moonlight tales. Rather than teach morals, educate or inform, they go all out to kill and bury. They castigate where they should criticize. They misinform where they should inform and they pass judgment for objective comment.

For them, libel is no longer an enforceable law and should not be respected. Social responsibility is now a game for the irresponsible. The casualties are not only the political class, but the reading public whose right to be truly inform and to read objective and balanced criticism is flagrantly abused.

Last year, the Hon. Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Tonye Harry came on the firering line over some of the allegations made against him at the Justice Eso Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

One of the captions reads ‘More troubles for Rivers Speaker – As he battles to save name.  This was followed in quick succession by another even more embarrassing caption in another edition “Tonye Harry Recruits Thugs: Doles out N5m”.

The supposed front page news reads in part: “The Rt. Hon. Speaker may be parting ways with Governor Rotimi Amaechi, as any moment from now, the sword of Damocles hangs over his head. Sooner or later, Rt. Hon. Harry would be referred to as former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly if the forces against him finally had their way.”

This is a clear example of editorialisation in which the reporter injects his personal views and sentiments into what should otherwise be a news report.

It is against the ethics of journalism practice, but since we have convinced ourselves that papers like this are engaged in something other than journalism, it can be pardoned and the issue of etiquette need not arise.

Again, the second supposed news headline is telling whoever its readers are, that the Hon Speaker Tonye Harry has abandoned the serious business of lawmaking for which his constituency sent him to the State House and for which Rivers People made him Speaker, and taken to the recruitment of thugs to scare his accuser, Tonye Harry, son of late Chief Marshal Harry. May be because the latter accused him of having a hand in the kidnap of the mother of the former Governor, Sir Celestine  Omehia.

The write up also alleged that the Speaker had already committed N.5 million into the project. The article obviously presented the allegation made against the speaker before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as if it was an established fact proved beyond reasonable doubt.                    Recently too, one of the Port Harcourt based local  tabloids, Envoy made allegations of frand against a Rivers State lawmaker, Hon. Olari Brown in four different editions without substantiating the claim.                    Such reports can inflame passion. They run contrary to the overall objective of journalism.  Any report that ignores  facts is junk journalism and does not represent the interest of the public.

Junk must not be packaged as an integral part of journalism. Social Responsibility must be given an overriding consideration above any form of economic and political gains in the efforts to disseminate information.

Journalism is a noble and honourable profession and should not be allowed to be hijacked by ignoble and dishonourable people in the name of politics.

Chukwu is a media consultant based in Port Harcourt.

 

Ebere Chukwu

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Ex-Minister, Senator Emerge PDP Senatorial Candidates In Kwara

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Former Minister of Sports, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, has emerged the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate for Kwara central senatorial district.
Abdullahi was elected through affirmation by delegates at the PDP’s senatorial primary at Mariam Event Centre, Ilorin.
The national officer that conducted the primary, Hashim Jimoh, announced Abdullahi as the winner, having been returned unopposed.
Also a former Senator, Rafiu Ibrahim was elected as the PDP’s candidate for Kwara south senatorial district.
Ibrahim also emerged through affirmation at the primary in Omu- Aran in Irepodun local government area of the state.
Chairman of PDP in Kwara south, Comrade Bisi Fakayode raised up Ibrahim’s hand after his unanimous election.
Speaking with reporters after his emergence, Abdullahi thanked the PDP stakeholders and delegates for confirming him as Kwara central’s candidate.
He also thanked journalists for their support, adding that :” I do not take your support and that of the PDP’s stakeholders for granted.
Abdullahi assured the people of his constituency of quality representation at the Senate.

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PDP Primary: Two Ondo Senators Fail To Secure Return Tickets

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Two sitting senators from Ondo State, Ayo Akinyelure, and Nicholas Tofowomo, have lost their bid to return to the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
They lost in the primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held on Monday in the state.
Akinyelure is representing Ondo Central Senatorial District while Tofowomo represents Ondo South Senatorial District.
In the primary held in Akure, the state capital, Akinyelure came second, polling 58 votes behind Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, who scored 82 votes.
On the other hand, Tofowomo scored 74 votes behind a former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Agboola Ajayi, who polled 78 votes in the exercise that held in Okitipupa, in the Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.
In the Ondo North Senatorial District, Mr Adetokunbo Modupe, defeated his opponent, Mr Foluso Adefemi, with 124 votes as against 93 votes.
Speaking with journalists after the election, Akinyelure attributed his loss to the influence of the former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who did not support him.
Akinyelure said, “As a ranking Senator and with all I have done for them in Ondo Central Senatorial District, the three ad- hoc delegates that favour Olusegun Mimiko, they gave instructions for them to vote me out. I am happy about this but I know my God will never fail.
“I know what I am talking about. We have six local governments in the central, by the grace of God I am still a sitting Senator. The election was so transparent but I know that with the volume of what I have done for the Ondo Central Senatorial District, I did not expect to be paid this way. But I have a destiny that nobody can stop.”
The winner of the Ondo Central primary, Adedipe, said it was the first time he would be contesting for elective office, calling all members of the party to support him to win the main election in 2023.
He said, “The exercise has been peaceful and very free. It is the PDP that has won and not Ifedayo. It is the party that conducts a free and fair election. My fellow aspirants should see this as a vote for all of us.”

 

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Rivers Dep Gov, Others Win Senatorial Tickets

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Mrs Ipallibo Harry Banigo, has won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the Rivers West Senatorial District election.
Ipalibo, who hails from Degema Local Government Area, scored 264 votes to clinch the party’s ticket for Rivers West.
The senatorial primaries, which held across the three senatorial districts, also produced Allwell Onyesoh as the candidate of the PDP for Rivers East.
Onyesoh, who hails from Etche Local Government Area, was said to have scored 270 votes to earn him the senatorial flag of the party.
The party also gave its ticket for the Rivers Southeast Senatorial District to a former House of Representatives member, incumbent senator Barinada Mpigi.
The state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Sydney Tambari Gbara, who described the exercise as peaceful, said consensus method was used in some areas to elect the candidates.

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