Journalism, a potent tool for development
By Dopse Eberefiak
Journalism, whether in radio, which emphasizes sound or the television which combines sound with vision or even the newspaper which is the first rough draft of history or written record of contemporary civilization, is reasonably the same. The objective is not to destroy but to build.
Elder statesman, the world over had made all time remarks about the performances of the press as a potent organ for sanity restoration between the excess of the ruler and the frivolity of the ruled, and as a potent instrument for social engineering and development. The author of America declaration of independence, Thomas Jeffeson, once said “Were it late for me to decide whether to have a government without a newspaper or a newspaper without a government. I would not hesitate to prefer the latter”.
No doubt, the importance of proper information dissemination about events which guide the affairs of man cannot be over stressed. Therefore, in this generation of information and Communication Technology (ICT), no man would be excused for not having enough information to help understand his world.
Journalism is a career beyond compare, it is exciting. It is lucrative. It brings one into contact with interesting people. It enables one to travel and see the world. It is indeed in every aspect divorce from the dull monotonous route of the majority of jobs, to which many people are condemned throughout their lives.
Therefore, new comers to journalism require basic equipment to fit into such wonderful career. On this note, it becomes quite saddening that some media houses appear to be lacking the ability to appreciate the drama of life in regards to the new political era both at the Federal and State levels, which started May 29th. It has been observed that unethical practices seems to be the order of the day.
However, this is not the best way to go. It is on this note that media practitioners must be reminded of the need to be guided by the ethics of journalism, display maturity in the profession and refuse to play the role of a servitude. There is no doubt that there are some who still adhere to ethical standard both in practice and otherwise, but those who have gone the wrong path should understand that Journalism should rather be seen as a potent tool for development and not for destruction.
Nevertheless, every concerned individual including the government has a role to play in ensuring that the media is properly used as an indispensable factor in harnessing human resources for State development. And one of such roles is investing in the media which include organizing timely empowerment and capacity building workshops for journalists.
Like Aristotle would say, “excellence is an art won by training and habituation”. Hence, for excellence to be achieved at its peak, the issue of training and retraining cannot be over emphasized. More so, in every profession, training and retraining of members become pertinent as it remains the surest way to smoothen their rough edges and obtained superior performance.
This will add value to journalism practice with the issues bothering on professionalism, ethics, undoubtedly annihilated. This will equally remind media practitioners that aside from the anticipated conventional functions of disseminating information and impacting knowledge, it is their place to encourage the promotion of social development agenda, social mobilization, engendering the sustenance of democracy, fostering of literacy, economic growth, as well as individuals and corporate bodies to do more in the total wellbeing of the State.
On the whole, media practitioners in Akwa Ibom and elsewhere must equally embrace developmental journalism as a practice with a view to attaining higher quality of life where opportunities for the people are maximized thus engender socio-economic gains. For the basic duty of all media practitioners is to contribute meaningfully to nation building.
Dopse Eberefiak writes in from Uyo.