“…Journalism wasn’t designed to accommodate just anyone with phones,…”

Abdullahi O. Haruna Haruspice

You can’t hide under activism to practice journalism

By Abdullahi O. Haruna Haruspice

The audacity in which we ejaculate in fake news baffles me, the worst is the obstinate vigour in which when corrected they get offended. You sit not near an event but you break it with so much confidence. Almost everyone reported the Ibrahim Gambari story yesterday, in fact, even trained journalists were caught in that infamous poohpooh to break a news that you aren’t sure of. Some even went as far as writing the biography of the man while others were already on the fornicating bed of tribal equation; with some arguing, he is ‘Yoruba Fulani’! Such arrant and jejune prejudicial masturbation.

Journalism is near its end in this part of the world and no one seems to halt its hasty end. Everyone is united in witness to the end of quality journalism. The Gambari story may be true after all but why the rush to break as news what you have no clue of? Before you respond to your itchy fingers to break what you are not privy to, why not take a pause, reflect, verify and authenticate what you want to break given the fact that you aren’t witness to the occurrence? Nothing makes a man stupid than puffing in ignorance. Perhaps buoyed by pride and arrogance, people never retract their falsehood nor apologize for sharing fake materials, they go on in smelly braggadocio – as if there is a medal for being deceptive.

The leader of the Izalla Sect in Nigeria was reported dead by Sahara Reporters few days ago, till this moment, no retraction of any sort. In fact, he was giving the Ramadan Tafsir online when call got to him that Sahara Reporters has reported his death. So confused was the man that he rushed to make a video to his followers that he is alive!

Similarly, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’abba was gleefully reported to have died of Coronavirus in faraway London. Almost everyone believed that tissue of falsehood until the man made a video refuting his forced death in the hands of satanic people who parades themselves as media men. What is worst than reporting dead a living man?

Just yesterday, a guy was paraded by the DSS for writing in authority that Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State used N7 billion to build a tent that was blown away by rainstorm! He didn’t stop there, he took time to cast aspersion on the man describing him in different stained words. Here was someone in far away Bayelsa writing with authority about Kogi- the flare in which people thrive in falsehood baffles me. Now, the dude is drooling in tears and nasal mucus for he has used his uncouth mastery of keypad to land himself into needless troubled waters.

Being a blogger does not confer on you the legitimacy of stupidity, you do not purchase any license to be mischievous. Journalism wasn’t designed to accommodate just anyone with phones, you must undergo prescribed training where you are taught the rudiments of communication. You can’t hide under activism to practice journalism. The journalist is not an activist, if he must be, then he must drop the pen.

The time has come to separate hustlers from journalists, that you know how to write does not make you a journalist. You must be duly baked in the oven of journalism. The Nigerian Union of Journalists who has turned itself as opposition to government must rise up to halt this nonsense. Only certified persons should be seen practising journalism. You have dashed your noble profession to quacks and vocational folks. Halt your commercialization of beats where journalists now form best associations. You can’t continue to reduce your worth because of the stipends that come from the beats you cover. The reason people with just handsets and good writing prowess are taking over your jobs. Wake up NUJ.

There is no better time to halt the antics of fake news peddlers, unregulated blogging and emergency journalists than now. The time is ripe. Critically musing

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