Archive for the ‘print’ Category

Rise of Naija Frivolous Journalism

March 11, 2009

The easiest persuasive method to manipulate anything Nigerian – particularly the press – is the bandwagon effect. It’s like a whirlwind the way it sways the media and its superstars: columnists, presenters, producers, broadcasters, and even the deejays.
Reality show, for instance, was first sold Nigerians by Guiness’ brainwashers in 2003. Pronto! Every station is now flooded with series of stupid, obscene, poverty-induced realities of Nigeria and Africa.

Much earlier, there was – and now, has been – a frivolous brand of print journalism, especially in newspaper columns like Reuben Abati’s Friday Guardian, and backs-of-book of the likes of Dele Omotunde’s TELL and TheWeek mags.
I think I like Dele’s B-O-B. He admits it’s a borrowed idea adapted to the Nigerian situation. But he writes in so satirical and almost libelous a manner that he makes his points brazenly obvious in spite of the legal implications .He doesn’t lose his point while amusing us.
Abati was equally humorous and sarcastic in his heyday. But others? Affected tribes of copycats.

But don’t forget. Abati, too,has lapsed into frivolity now. Remember his piece : Queen Okoye: Raped by Police? It read like he was releasing his sadistic semen through the amorous dialogue. Would he have trivialized the story if his wife or mother had been so gang-raped?

Honestly, good humour has its place in journalism. But it’s got to be original, relevant, objective, and focused. No waste of time and space on trite jokes that trivialize important issues like rape, human rights abuse, corruption, and other socio-economical vices.

The entertainment role of the press, overplayed as it is now in Nigeria, merely portrays the media as frivolous and defocused, especially in this dispensation ridden with irresponsibilities – of Yardie and his cohorts. It’s here in the Nigerian media you see too many chiefs , but not enough Indians: legions of columnists who ought to be undergoing training in the use of the inverted pyramid now spinning out crap called columns by the hour. To gain readership, some of them go bald-headed for sparkless humour and unnecessary trumpery.

Nigerians are tired of suffering, and smiling just on reading some comic relief on Fridays and Sundays. Call it any dumb name you fancy – infotainment, edutainment or whatever. They need a serious press that reports, informs, and investigates; they need a press that won’t just be popular but also effectual, hard-hitting, and result-oriented; they need a press that knows it’s not yet uhuru in a state bestridden by Obasanjo and his PDP.

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.

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?

Naija Columnists Manque

December 30, 2008

I read through some ‘TimesofNigeria.com’ today. The writer was
reviewing a number of political columns , the writers and their
blunders – ideological and academic.
The guy was so unsparing in his spankings that I actually felt
he went overboard in the critical review.
I guess I like that, anyhow.

The highest point of his belly-ache with the Nigerian media is
the ego-trip and mediocrity of the likes of Dele Momodu of
Ovation diving headfirst into political pontification.
Dele, an ambitious Yoruba Language graduate from Obafemi
Awolowo University, Ife, accidentally found fame and fortune,
in yellow journalism and publicity.
But how much of a political punditry can we expect from a
circumstantial journalist, a wining and dining one like him?

From time immemorial, I’ve never reckoned with Dele Momodu,
in particular, as a professional journalist. Or his gold- plated
broadsheet as a serious journal. So I can’t figure out whatever
political theories or divide he belongs let alone writes for as
intelligibly as expected of a political journalist.

Francis,the reviewer, should have realized that Nigeria’s political journalists are
products of an unfocused , inconsistent nation. You should
expect such political blunders and ideological daydreaming
from the columnists manque you just reviewed.

And these blunders,if you ask me,will grow worse,and the unprofessionalism will eat deeper into the nigerian media till his kingdom come except Nigeria and her
aging think-tanks are able to stand for something – something
definite – something every Nigerian can sympathise with,
and clutch at tenaciously.
It might not necessarily be the hip thing. It could be stupid,
but let it be methodic.

Naija Sun Blunders

December 23, 2008

I’m going through The Sun Newspaper of Dec. 20,2008.
On the front page is a bad news story.And every idiot in Nigeria
knows that for The Sun, good news is no news.So the writer,Henry
Umahi,or his sub-editor,entitled the story ‘Deadly fury.Robbers kill
8….He then played up the story,making it more unearthly than an
armed robbery incident.

Ugly enough,the over- the- top story expired ten days before.It was
fresher then,and would have been perfect for a news story, not a
dry feature gilded with unnecessary adjectives.

I still wonder where The Sun belongs.A newspaper or a magazine.
You can see its contents are largely features and opinions,narrow
ones.
A newspaper is supposed to give timely accounts of events as
Objectively as possible. The accounts shouldn’t be flamboyant,
wordy,or prosy.Just straight and simple. But here’s the Nigerian
Sun reporting an event that expired weeks back like a scoop.
Would this have been their sub’s oversight or unprofessionalism?
Or was Dec .10,2008, one of those dry days when editors publish
stale news and freshen up decaying one as features?

You almost can tell, with your eyes closed, the body of the story
from its sensational headline.It must inevitably contain:’AK47’;
‘storm the place’;’pump hot leads’; ‘sophisticated weapons’;
’people are feared dead’;and a lexicon of other hackneyed expressions.

One more reason the sub and the writer ought to be jailed for not
murdering the story is its incoherence.
The fourth paragraph states: “Ugwu’s abdomen was pumped with
bullets”.More like the barrel was pointed at Ugwu’s belly,and the
trigger was pulled. And the guy isn’t a goner yet? Only Nigerians
believe shit like this.

And the last paragraph:’He revealed that he was expecting a
report from the DPO….’ Nothing would have been secret about
expecting a police report. Again, for about two weeks he was still
expecting the bloody report. Who was lazy?The Nigerian police
or Henry that wouldn’t follow up on that story.

Let’s overlook the grammatical blunders and Henry’s poor spellings
that stare at us: ‘shooting free’(parag 2); ’ …the only bank… were
persuaded’

May we know what Doyen Mike Awoyinfa thinks about this?