Archive for January, 2009

Guardian of Idle Editors

January 30, 2009

Cover Story,The Guardian,January 27,2009.pg1&2.
I’m not going to prey on those four reporters sharing the byline, and their professional blunders. I hope by and by they’ll learn to write English, and make out the difference between ‘belief’ and ‘believe’, ‘shut’ and ‘shut down’.

However, every hawk-eyed and informed reader in Nigeria must have observed the predominant lazy journalism The Guardian practises nowadays.

First off, the story is sick and inadequate. It suggests the editorial board is either lazing away in some cocktail party or meddling in another labour union wrangling – as The Guardian is prone to. Or how on earth would Reuben Abati and Jewell Dafinone have chosen what no longer matters – oil prices – to Nigerian as a cover story?

Besides, the story – four snippets of about 2000 words, strewn over two pages – is full of repetitions and say-nothing attributions. Each of those reporters just slapped up some quick-fire interviews, and wired them straight to Rutam House.

Ignoring all the defects – dangling modifiers, abuse of proper nouns as in ” government” or “the government, inadequacies, bad spelling, repetition – the story isn’t topical. It could have been better as a brief or feeler – not as a cover story with that screaming headline.

Here’s the calamity .The Guardian, known to be hotbed of serious journalism, has degenerated into a nest of bread-and-butter journalists trying to sell us stale, shallow stories. Well .Their editors – those idle, rump-fed gatekeepers – call those stories news, and cockily expect you’d be salivating to consume the stale servings of their door-knob cold news.

Things have changed, and it’s unfortunate The Guardian refuses to admit this.
Informed Nigerians know where to get news – fresh, topical, authentic; they know and determine what’s news. They’re now the gatekeepers through selective exposure and selective perception.

Never again will a guild of lazy, selfish, pliable editors distract or misinform Nigerians.

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Akuyili Needs Brighter Grammar Series

January 21, 2009

Nigerians should begin to hang their heads in shame now as their minister of info. and communication blunders in simple grammar.
You had to be at George Akume’s birthday in Benue state,last week, when she spurted this nonsense:I congratulate you(Akume)for building….
This blunder could have been pardonable in her bedroom, or in an exco meeting with Yar’ Adua, but not before the wall of cameramen and journalists covering the event.
It’s even treasonable for a supposed professional communicator that’s expected to care more for niceties of grammar in public to have made such a dumb mistake.
Obasanjo’s Bell Nursery kids would effortlessly fix this grammatical breach committed by a professor, you know.

Professionalism vs track records
I hate track records,hell knows.
And that’s a pinch of the whole lot of shit with which misplaced track records will smear Nigeria’s ministry of info. and communication.
Boy, how would you compare Frank Nweke – that young,saucy, mischievous apologist of Obasanjo’s – and Ofonagoro,and Chukwumerije – those bad old boys of the khaki regimes – with this pretty madam dressed in a borrowed robe?
Nweke,for instance ,had no track record as a minister. But he had an Advanced Learner Dictionary and something like S.M.O. Aka which he found time to study in spite of his busy schedule.You know he made a smoothing-talking squealer that the BBC respected then.

My fear for Akuyili is: she pretends to be unaware of what over-reaching her ego – in that strange office -could do to her and Nigeria.
Truly, NAFDAC, her former portfolio ,was up her alley because she’s a natural and conscientious narcotic hound. Plus her academic and professional qualification .She was able to do a terrific job sniffing out those drug barons in Aba, Onitsha ,Alaba ,and wherever.And the whole world appreciated that.
But information and communication is a blind alley for her.
She lacks the professional grooming and the perfectionist temperament of a good grammarian that makes a great communicator.

Don’t cringe when you hear her on the BBC and VOA congratulate the nigger in the White House for his success.

DAAR Boss Blunders,too

January 16, 2009

Read anything about the recent maximum blunders of the DAAR Communications boss and his squarest minister of information – Prof.(Pharm.)Akuyili? It’s in the Nigerian Guardian of January 12, 2009.
Can’t Funke Fadugba or some geezer in the NUJ tell these clowns that their scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch -yours tactic isn’t funny?

Truly, I ain’t expecting anything better than that: the shameless pandering of a highly respected professional misfit that Akuyili is by an equally dovish media emperor.

Square Akuyili
I wish Akuyili would go over Dokpesi’s backhand compliments again – the squarest peg for the square hole – and understand that those sycophantic visitors – journalists and their bosses – have their scruples about her competence as information minister. They just can’t scream it in her ears – that she’s square – like those Trojans on the Senate Committee on information and communication did last week when Akuyili was defending her slipshod budget.
And what about the budget? It’s full of generator expenses, renovations, repairs and other silly items. She was careful enough to avoid the Etteh style anyway. Akuyili isn’t even thinking about the FOI bill. What the heck does a narc expert know about FOI? She’s got no 3-or 2- point agenda – like Yardie’s – to make Nigerians take her seriously.

Unprofessional Lying
Worse still, she doesn’t know how to manipulate history to curry favour for her past and present bosses. How would she have made Nigerians swallow that lie – that Obasanjo and his Yaro have been drooling like a rapist over the sexy performance of AIT? Wow!
The DAAR entourage chose to be gulled here. None of them could remember the hunting of Gbenga Aruleba and the fire that gutted AIT Abuja.
Good for them.

Well, she is getting the hang – lying through her teeth, unprofessionally.
That’s Dokpesi’s squarest peg – the best town crier, the one and only government misinformation agent Nigeria can’t afford to lose.
Hope some voyeurs are watching the blind romance between Yardie’s government ineptitude, and the capitalist greed of media moneybags ,like Dokpesi, in Nigeria, as it plays out in this information ministry mal-appointment.

Blunders have Payday

January 12, 2009

Failures are the horrible effects of blunders – professional or ethical – accumulated over times. As financial crises ripple across presses in America so every nation whose press follows that failure pattern will necessary come to grief.The Nigerian press is no exception.
It’s no news again that the American Tribune and other big -time American newspapers are declaring bankruptcy and folding up. ABC and other broadcast stations are also downsizing unprecedentedly. The
surviving ones are pinning their hopes on Obama – maybe his government might interest Americans and change their perceptions of the media. Americans – just as Nigerians –are tired of the press, its poor performance of the information role.
Simply put, these media houses would survive if the Obama government changed journalism in America. What a shame.

Online Journalism
However, there is a thriving brand of journalism that takes the biscuit now.Its growing in leaps and bounds. It’s credible and full of human interests. No gatekeeping. No censoring. No praise singing. It’s blogging – citizen journalism – online
journalism. It’s everywhere, even in the most repressive China, Kenya, Egypt and Algeria.
The tide is gradually changing, too, in Nigeria, especially as more people become cyber-savvy. More than 8 million people now use the internet in Nigeria. The well informed ones go online to select – free of charge – the information they need.
Nigerians are tired of paying N150 to read obituaries, adverts placed by hopeless employment agencies, dead-dry news, sponsored columns, wired news with no local angles.
There’s no reporting again in the Nigerian press.Everybody is a columnist or writer.And when reporting, five reporters – shallow reporters – cluster round a dog-bites-man story of five paragraphs,using shoddy tie-backs to add boringdetails to the story.Samsung, Sound City, Kenny Music and reality shows have taken over the broadcast stations too.
Stories of corruption, government profligate spending,and bad governance go unreported -sometimes reported superficially.
Investigative reporting is dead. The editors cram the pages or screen with trivia.
This is the failure pattern. It’s graphically manifest.

But thanks to citizen journalism. It offers us what traditional journalism cannot – for fear or favour.
Where else can one get the kind of scoop SaharaReporters dishes out daily? What about its investigative style? And the caliber of its columnists? And yet its free.
Already, there are many others competing with the online versions of the newspapers and magazines in Nigeria.
Let’s see in half a decade from now. Some newspapers and mags will die naturally. Readers will go online, and choose what they read.They can also contribute in whatever form they like. Then the Nigerian Guild of Editors,the Nigerian Union of Journalists will be jobless as their profit-conscious media owners go belly-up.

Naija Media Also Corruptible

January 8, 2009

SaharaReporters recently dropped a bombshell by unveiling the dying minutes’ atrocities of the former FCT minister, that blubbering Modibbo, and the complicity of some top-notch editors and journalists – Reuben Abati of The Guardian, Bayo Onanuga of The News, Osa Director of The Insider, and Obi Comfort of The Source – in land issues.

Nigerian Journalists’ Upward Mobility
First off, I can’t just fancy Nigerian journalists are so filthy rich they can keep up with the Joneses – or the Waziris – in an expensive territory like Abuja. Maybe I should be happy
for them – that the generalization theory (book stuff) – that journalists carry around their poverty mentality –is getting obscure. So a bleeding journalist in Nigeria can fork out N150m for a parcel of land in Abuja. Halleluyah!

Very well. That might be pretty justifiable for Bayo Onanuga and Osa Director. You remember those two guerrilla journalists had more than they bargained for under the demon called Abacha.
But who and where was Reuben Abati then?
OK.Enough of digression.

Naija Journalists’ Shallow Integrity
The poser here is: How ethical is it for Abati and Onanuga to have been enmeshed ,to the remotest extent, with a rotten public servant like Modibbo?
Is the role conflict as watchdogs and expectant first- class landlords in Abuja so fierce that this group of government critics couldn’t but connive at a shady deal, this once, and swallow the Modibbo carrot? Too bad!
This is nothing more or less than a tacit compromise. Modibbo and all Nigerians know it.
It smacks of indiscipline, opportunism, and inconsistency.It exposes the jelly integrity of Abati and other so called adversary journalists whenconfronted with kickbacks and other corrupting gratifications.
Their beastly greed wouldn’t even allow them to take hints from the incorruptible mien of Gani and Kongi who practised what they preach when they spurned Yar’ Adua’s hush honours.

Every reader of The Nigerian Guardian editorials knows Abati is witty, loud and mischievously clairvoyant – or foresighted ,if you like. So Abati knew what Modibbo was on about when he
tearfully flogged them with those plots on his way out of office. He also knew Modibbo would do his damnedest to cover his track – by hushing the opportunistic press represented by these land-grabbing journalists, and taming the emasculated EFCC headed by that puppet. They all fell for the gambit, noiselessly.

Yet a recent survey shows the Nigerian masses entrust the success of the anti-corruption campaign to the Nigerian media only. But the trust now rusts as the media and their owners now seek favours indirectly from corrupt politicians.
What do you make of the James Ibori Studio in DAARSAT?
OK.Listen on.

Again,Sun Inconsistent

January 5, 2009

The January 3 edition of The Sun News published an essay – they
call it a report,another blunder – in which the essayist took a
puritan look at pornography, homosexuality, and other erotic
vices in Lagos.

The report was more of a preachment scripted by a well catechized catholic,but poorly attributed to Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of the Catholic Church in Lagos.

It feels like The Sun newshounds have no clear editorial policies. Any stuff goes.Or there are editorial policies nobody cares about when writing. So the Naija Sun house is divided.

Obscenity
Both online and offline, this tabloid splashes titillating pictures of oily thighs and breasts of scantily clothed, ambitious girls on their Sun Girl page.
Now you’re already debating what constitutes pornography, obscenity and related legal knots in journalism. Ditch it.
That’s no point now.
Those Sun girls , man ,are out for business.Their ambition is made of stuff sterner than Jessica Simpson’s and Kadnarsha’s. You know those Esquire cover girls that bare all at ease?
This Sun girl page not only sells the newspaper to those randy voyeurs as a fetish, it also skillfully promotes what that parochial essay writer was castigating.

Again , dive into The Sun archive. You sure come up with a particular column – Intimate. It’s written by Juliana Francis , a devil-may-care gutter pressman. She spills out her smutty heart in so daring a way you’d have to convince yourself you’re
reading The Sun and not Scarlet or Hint.
Whatever inspired them now to throw the first stone?

No Principles
I suppose The Sun needs some washed-up pen-pushers to school its editorial staff in ethical journalism. Its raw journalists haven’t realized their muses are subject to their own – or their paymaster’s – ideals and views which they must strive to project coherently; they just scribble any trash and pass it up for publication.
No ideals. No absolutes.No nothing .Uh?
Are they libertarian? Nah.
Libertarians still stand for something – a well defined nothing ,at least.

If transcribing every jabber or prosing every incoherent fib of one’s imagination – as The SUN does – is journalism, then a cute kindergarten brat is a journalist – The Sun type.
Got what ‘am saying?