By Mr. Ambrose Bernard Gowong.
The sequence in which Nigerians are fed with religiously laced hate news is alarming; "Boko Haram behead CAN chairman in Adamawa" "Ropvil a Christian boy from plateau state killed by a ten year old Book Haram" "Leah Sharibu a Christian who was forced to convert to Islam gave birth to a top Boko Haram Commander".

All these within a space of one month is the dominant news feature and the agenda set by the media for Nigerians to discussed. In addition, daily "Fulani Herdsmen" hymn, Amotekun and other sundry security issues that generates fears and leaves most Nigerians with a feeling of despondency.

This is the new found turf the Nigerian press finds palatable and is feasting on uncontrollably.

With the avalanche of these kind of reportorial from both conventional and new media, a lettered mind may not be wrong to ask, all these 'news' items to the benefit of who? Has such reports helps in integrating the society better, has it assisted in improving our nations security or is it serving a motive other than societal norm?

These reservations deserve some quiet moments particularly when Journalists seemingly shield Boko Haram news sources from authorities with "according to a close source to Boko Haram" etc as evident in the report of Sahara Reporters item of Leah Sharibu putting to bed and splashing such poison with the potential of making Nigerians pick up arms against each other along faith lines as "Breaking News".

This not uncommon trend of reporting within the press precinct especially as it affects the entity Nigeria, runs conversely to a very crucial pillar in journalism study. "Mass media social responsibility theory" is what every learned journalist is aware of right from elementary stage till graduation. The theory, "Is an ethical theory, in which individuals are accountable for fulfilling their CIVIC DUTY; the actions of an individual (journalist) MUST BENEFIT the WHOLE of society. ... If this equilibrium is maintained, then social responsibility is accomplished".

By civic duties here we're referencing "Respect the Rights, Beliefs and Opinions of Others" and "Defend the Country, if Need Should Arise" among others. Our brand of journalism seem to be respectful and only responsible to the opinions of Boko Haram and not to the beliefs of Nigerians.

Journalists should also know that the society must exist as a corporate entity for ANY to fertilize his/her own idea. The media primary role as the fourth estate of the realm is to serve public interest and not act the role of tearing the very fabric holding its unity.

About Dunio Mabushi


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