Naija Media Clueless

The Nigerian media has come a long way,really.It’s seen lots of ups and downs – privations, gag laws ,clampdowns and all that –
through the years, from the military and the democratised-militarist regimes.

It has also enjoyed it’s moments of glory right from when Obasanjo was trying to demilitarise himself till the rule-of-law chanting era of this dicky-hearted Yar Adua.
 
Unfortunately,the fleeting glory has lulled the NIgerian media into
a professional slumber which has been plaguing the practice.

Even back in the days 0f Dr Nnmidi Azikwe ‘s African Pilot,and Chief
Obafemi Awolowo’s Daily Telegraph,when the media was used as a nationalist weapon against the freaky colonialists,the Nigerian media was just as unprofessional.
Forget Zik’s jawbreakers and Awo’s philosophies.All they did then was apply their creative writings to malign and castigate the imperialists.

We appreciated this,though.

But good journalism goes beyond acidic writings.it involves writing
consistently on clean-cut social or political ideologies and theories.

You figure out this problem better when you realise how Nigeria as a
nation is bereft of concrete,socio-political and enduring economic
theories.
 
And as Mc Quail’s Normative theory states:the media usually takes on
the colouration of its political and economic environment.That means
the Nigerian media will definitely reflect the confusion,barbarism,
and mediocrity of its environment.

This explains why newspapers,mags,radio ,and tv stations mushroom with no intelligible reasons or purpose.

No capitalists.No socialists.No liberals.
Even those who seem to practise social resposibility philosophy have lost their focus.

Newspapers
The likes of the DailyIndependent,The Sun,the Nation, are personal organs of some political fugitives cross carpeting by the day;or at best
they’re mouthpieces of some very important politicians.The Sun, apart
from worshipping Orji Kalu,is extremely alarmist.

The Guardian,as far as ideology is concerned, is a confused  publication
managed by an ideologically divided editorial board.Reuben Abati,one of its prolific columnists,is so unpredictable that he could gall a government today ,and sing that government’s praises to high
heavens tomorrow.He’s got the stuff,but he’s unsure of where he belongs.
On the same board is one Marxist,Edwin Madunagu.He’s another egghead whose socialist rants have a wide readership.But for whatever reasons,he’s working for a hardcore capitalist,Alex Ibru, whose disgruntled workers picket almost everyweek.

Magazine
TELL,NEWSWATCH,THEWEEK ,The NEWS, and tens of others I hate to mention.
TELL and The News came to limelight the same way The African Pilot did: creative but unjournalistic,mainly bent on humiliating IBB ,Abacha,and
other jackboots.
They were hate-filled,acidic writings of some radicals and unguided
revolutionaries trying to prove that the pen was mightier than the sword.

TELL ,among others ,used to be vociferous and investigative,engaging and controversial. But since some of its founding editors – Dare Babarinsa and Ilori – dropped their dane guns to scramble for political posts,that mag,TELL, has become more unfocused.Its classic writing style with its verbiage of apposition,and winding ,modifying clauses,bores you white.
It’s now more commercial,more entertaining,more entrepreneural,and more likely to go obscure.
 
The Source,The Insider and others are just there to help Nigerians know
the name of their president,and retain their English vocabularies.

However , The City People,The Fame,and other softsells are the only mags that seem consistent,by design or otherwise,with the racy ,irresponsible journalism that characterises softsells.

RADIO AND TEEVEE
The most ubiquitous and most boring radio and tv stations are the government-controlled ones: NTA, FRCN. Others that are little bit focused are EKO FM,Ogun Radio and Osun Radio.Nobody rules out their arse-licking and pro-establishment stand.
The PDP actually proliferated radio and tv stations in Nigeria for their
open-secret third term agenda and massive rigging of the 2007 elections.

The private ones – Raypower, Star FM, Minaj, AIT, Channels – are all living up to their commercial expectations. The most professionally run, staffed, and coordinated is Channels TV. Others like Raypower, AIT are filled with tribesmen and sumptuous, wifely ladies who now marshall high offices in the organization. Some of them are zoologists, historians, theartre artists.

Eko FM, Star FM, Cool FM, Rythm are disco stations over-run by deejays,agony uncles and aunties. Some ,among them ,speak like Chamberlain  to seduce their callers. Others of them,like one George Amy, use americanism to cover up their poorly coordinated English and unprofessionalism.

Several factors are responsible for all these:
1. Poor training in journalism.
2. Poor salaries and allowances.
3. The whims and caprices of the owners.
4. Lack of direction by the audience and the country.

However, like you read the other time, Channels TV  is still the one with a difference. It’s focused, consistent, well managed, and professional.
Maybe because the owner,John Momoh, was once a journalist.

In all, for the Nigerian media to live up to its reputation of  professional
watchdogism, it must have some control standard: some self-censorship.

Someone, some organization,some BLOG,like naijamediablunders.
wordpress.com, some publications must be there to critique, correct, review and judge media performance in Nigeria.

There used to be some media review publications back then,and some
tv columns in some of the newspapers. All have fizzled out now. And that’s why media practice is now open to all sorts of abuse.

Towards professionalism
 -There must be some sort of self-censorship.
 -The Nigerian Union of Journalists should professionalise journalism.
 -Proliferation of media reviews, media critique by whoever is competent.

Areas of Concentration
There are unlimited areas of focus,and no doyen of Nigerian journalism can restrict or define the scope,especially in a developing democracy like Nigeria.

Anybody can focus any of the following:
      .language
      .news value
      .writers/presenters
      .Style
      .policies
      .editorials
      .reports
      .character of the media
The list runs on.

With these approaches,the nigerian media could be put on its guard.
It could be made principled,disciplined,andideological . And the audience could be selectively exposed to good English,good programming , good editorials that don’t insult their sensibilities.

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