By Busy Brain
It is no more a convolution that journalism has been diluted with murky water of quackery and ineptitude in Nigeria. The fast rising in the number of blog sites and caliber of untrained and unskilled journalists running the affairs of the sites is more than worrisome. The spate of bloggers that haunt traffic leaving behind professionalism have been a threat to the profession.
Ajimobi, former Governor of Oyo State was killed by the media yesterday. It is somehow appalling that the prominent journalists also joined the league of people that jumped into hasty conclusion and Kemi Olunloyo that I have never trusted for once was so calm and made proper findings on the death rumor.
Ajimobi who is allegedly suffering from Covid-19 complications is still alive and not dead. The media and most of the journalists who broke the news erred. Ajimobi is a Muslim and Muslims don’t waste time on burial. If the news was real, he would have been buried since yesterday or early in the morning. He can never be kept in a mortuary.
Many out of the news platforms were forced to delete the post on their site after creating confusion with a misleading information and many journalists also retracted the death news having confirmed it to be lies. Nobody is above mistake but mistake can be prevented with calmness.
Unfortunately, many were in doubt yesterday but could not keep out. As interesting as journalism, the influx of quack members and the hiker level of ineptitude is leading the profession to a very dangerous acme.
Unlike other profession like law, medicine where members will have to be granted license to practice after they must have been well certified, journalism has no license, everybody cannot be a lawyer, everybody cannot be a medical doctor but everybody can be a journalist with data and android phone. The porous nature of journalism has migrated from bad to worse. Fake news, hate speech, rumor and malicious contents have taken over the media. People rush to break the news, they don’t mind breaking the profession. But the breaking news is piercing the profession into pieces.
For the fact that it is very hard to regulate the media, the Nigeria Union of Journalists can make the field to be more professional. License can be granted to practitioners. This will reduce the level of quackery when people without license cannot practice. Journalism is deep; it goes beyond the way it is being portrayed.
The media has dashed out the watch dog role to fake news, hate speech, malicious contents, unverified facts, witch hunting and commercialization of news contents. What is now left of the media than hazy future. It is funny that once one has a phone with data subscription, one has qualified to be a journalist from his/her room. I think journalism requires standardization in order to restore the lost profile. May God be with Ajimobi and other Covid-19 patients. May our land be healed from the scourge of coronavirus.
Busy Brain is an Opinion Writer, Poet, Journalist and Public Relations Practitioner
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