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.

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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.

NUJ Licks Dora’s Arse

December 26, 2008

NUJ Licks Dora’s Arse
The Guardian of Dec. 23,2008 cited the general
secretary – if there’s any sensible title like that – of
the Nigerian Union of Journalists worshipping Dora
Akuyili, the new information zombie,a square peg,
Mr Yar’ Adua just crammed into the round hole of
information and communication ministry.
Holy shit! See what payola has done to the psyche
0f the Nigerian media.

This is a country heaving with gazillions of veteran
journalists and communication experts who have
risked their lives and lost their limbs while informing
this gaddem Nigeria.They’re more experienced and
brainier ,as information and communication goes,than
the drug-baron huntress imposed on the country.
And yet, the NUJ’s Usman Leman was the first goon,
with his retinue of sycophants,to sing the praises of the
complete gatecrasher of a minister.

Why wouldn’t the NUJ reason like the Nigerian Medical
Association that preferred Oshotimehin, a medic, in
health ministry,to Akuyili, a drug mixer and dispenser
with millions of international awards?
Would the ICAN have grinned and borne it if Leman or
that NAN’s topdog, Remi Oyo,had been installed as
finance minister?

It beats me that uptill now,no writer or columnist or
political broadcaster, has put up the mis-appointment
of Akuyili for discussion.Not even the AIT lion,Gbenga
Aruleba.
It’s a shame.
They‘d rather file down to Akuyili’s house like dummies
to worship her,the veteran minister.

The whole world knows Nigeria inherited a sickly
president [ from the PDP ] that needs more rest and
much less work. He might either be snoring in bed or
recovering from one of his kidney crises when his
partisan advisers insisted Akuyili must still be relevant
after about a decade in government .They know the
NUJ is poverty-ridden, and its members will joyfully
swallow any shit if she dangles a brown envelope, or
tames the likes of Leman with a menial job like PA
or PS.

That’s it. The scramble begins.
The NUJ has bartered its professional integrity.

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?

Naija Media Clueless

December 16, 2008

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.