The Role of Media in Troubling Times | By Abdullahi Abdullateef

NEWS DIGEST – Media organizations saddled with the responsibility of informing, educating and entertaining people have artifully skirted these ethical standards and serve as mechanisms who glorify bad occurrence in the country. The media actors have chosen the path of belittling the developmental agenda of democracy.

According to reports, Over 100 bandits stormed Barawa Community in Batagarawa Local Government Area in Katsina. Nigerians woke up to bad news report in every seconds. Media actors should reawaken the hope of unity in the mind of Nigerians by reporting the successes of the security operatives against the bandits, insurgents and kidnappers.

A veteran broadcaster, Jim Lehrer observed that journalism is about how event impact people. It is still “Johnny and Jane chasing the ambulance but it is where and how the johnnies and jannes are chasing the ambulance. The overriding interest in journalism is to keep relaying information to the medium audience on a 24/7 interactive platform.

According to the Nigeria Broadcasting Code(5th edition) chapter(1)conditioned that “Immediacy enables broadcasting to bring information on issues of national concern to the audience spontaneously. In the event of crisis, however, the advantages of broadcast technology shall be exploited in order not to aggravate the situation or adversely affect those emotionally involved.”

The News media are therefore to transmit information which showed the successes recorded by the Nigerian Army and other security operatives in sweeping out the dreaded nature of insecurity in the state. A great deal of success stories were not reported to the public due to little attention of media coverage.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has however posed a threat to the entire human society. It has now become imperative for media actors to restore the traditional practices of the profession. This virus has told us that there is apparent linkage between Mass Media and Medicine .

Over the years, people overlooked these cognate fields especially in Africa because they taught health reporting was mere straightforward news item. Now, the audience has tasked the media actors to explain and elaborate the transmissibility of this unprecedented virus and come up with a comprehensive way in admistering the COVID-19 Vaccines.

Traditionally, media as a running institution of the society informed people about happenings in different communities. This motive has turned negative on the part of the receiver of the message due to the obsessed news skyrocket the lens of its receivers.

The research of the European Civil Protection Mechanism shows that the media is by far the most reliable source of information on the European Union Countries far more than governments, NGOs(Non-Government Organization).

If truth is irrelevant then what is the position of Journalism and Journalists – Dr Nura Ibrahim

Information gathered on the Faculty of Communication’s Facebook page. The lecturer made a rhetoric statement that propel media practitioners to revist the role of media in order to gain trust from the public.

In recent recent times, stakeholders have condemned the speed of news transmission by citizens journalists and trained journalism concerned with keeping audience update on various issues.

The Head, Department of Information and media studies, Bayero University,Kano told the news agency of Nigeria that “Studies indicated that majority of the readers don’t read the full news; they only scan through the headlines. Most of the fake news that make the headlines,if you read the content ,they are never in tandem with the headline.”

The lopsided news content triggers crisis

Following the outrage of Nigerian youths on the police brutality, tagged the #EndSARS Protest, news media in Nigeria popularised this protest at the height of jeopardizing the national unity.

At the same time, most Nigerians were not aware that the Federal Government made decisive step to disband the Special Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS in the first week of the protest. In addition, the government pledged to reform the entire police force in terms of pension payment scheme,training and recruitment processes.

In the same view, most journalists have failed to investigate the “Massacre” killing of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate . A well detailed book “101 Fake News on #EndSARS” by Mohammed Dahiru Lawal exposed the myths surrounding the EndSARS Protest.

In a world marred by alarming insecurity, information disorder and the unending COVID-19 pandemic, media managers need to crusade the fact to the public so as to gain the trust of the populace.