By Kexter E.A Donald Jnr.

In the ever-evolving terrain of Nigeria’s media, truth and falsehood engage in a delicate dance, underscoring the indispensable nature of journalistic integrity. With studies revealing the pervasive presence of misinformation, the imperative for steadfast integrity becomes starkly evident. This emphasizes its paramount importance amidst the prevalent misinformation within the profession, igniting a call to action for the guardians of truth.

Yet, in recent years, this noble profession has faced a formidable adversary: the proliferation of deceptive practices that erode public trust and tarnish the very essence of journalistic integrity.

At the heart of this issue lies a disturbing reality: the nexus between criminal journalists and corrupt politicians. Driven by greed and the allure of wealth, a subset of journalists succumbs to the seductive whispers of power, forsaking their ethical compass for a taste of the fast lane. In this unholy alliance, truth becomes a casualty, sacrificed at the altar of personal gain.

But the ramifications of these deceptive practices extend far beyond the confines of newsrooms. They strike at the heart of democracy, corroding the foundations of informed decision-making and undermining the public’s right to know. When journalists peddle falsehoods, distort facts, or manipulate narratives to suit their agendas, they betray not only their profession but also the very citizens they are sworn to serve.

So, how do we chart a course through this treacherous terrain and reclaim the soul of Nigerian journalism from the clutches of deceit? It begins with a collective commitment to upholding the principles of truth, accuracy, and integrity. Journalists must reaffirm their dedication to serving the public interest above all else, resisting the temptations of corruption and remaining steadfast in their pursuit of truth.

However, addressing these challenges requires more than individual resolve; it demands systemic change. Robust regulatory frameworks, transparent media ownership structures, and a vigilant civil society are essential to hold both journalists and politicians accountable for their actions. Moreover, promoting media literacy and critical thinking skills empowers citizens to discern fact from fiction, reducing susceptibility to sensationalism and misinformation.

Above all, it calls for unwavering courage and resilience in the face of adversity. For those journalists who dare to speak truth to power, who refuse to be swayed by the allure of darkness, are the true custodians of democracy. They are the guardians of our collective conscience, the torchbearers of accountability, and the architects of a brighter future for Nigerian journalism.

As we confront the challenges of deceptive practices head-on, let us remember the words of Frederick Douglass: “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” Let us stand united in our resolve to uphold the integrity of journalism, to safeguard the pillars of democracy, and to ensure that truth prevails in the face of adversity. For in the battle between light and darkness, it is the unwavering commitment to truth that shall ultimately emerge victorious.

Journalists who specialize in changing public perception and twisting the truth to look like lies can be described in various ways, depending on one’s perspective and the specific actions they engage in. Here are some descriptions that best exposed them:

  1. Manipulative Journalists: They intentionally manipulate information to serve their own agenda or the agenda of those they are aligned with.
  2. Propagandists: Engage in propaganda by disseminating biased or misleading information to sway public opinion in a particular direction.
  3. Spin Doctors: Excel in the art of “spin,” presenting facts in a way that distorts their true meaning or significance to create a desired narrative.
  4. Deceptive Reporters: Deceive their audience by presenting falsehoods or half-truths as facts, often with the intention of misleading or confusing the public.
  5. Sensationalists: Prioritize sensationalism over accuracy, sensationalizing stories or exaggerating facts to generate attention and increase viewership or readership.
  6. Misinformers: Spread misinformation or disinformation, knowingly or unknowingly, contributing to the spread of false or misleading information within society.
  7. Agenda-Driven Journalists: Have a clear agenda or bias that influences their reporting, leading them to selectively present information that supports their preconceived narrative while disregarding contradictory evidence.
  8. Ethically Compromised Journalists: Compromise their ethical principles by prioritizing personal or political interests over truth and accuracy in their reporting.
  9. Manipulative Storytellers: Craft narratives that manipulate emotions and perceptions, using storytelling techniques to shape public opinion in a predetermined direction.
  10. Unscrupulous Journalists: Lack ethical integrity and engage in dishonest or unethical practices in their pursuit of sensational stories or personal gain.

In conclusion, it’s imperative to acknowledge that not all journalists resort to such unethical behaviour, as the integrity of the profession rests upon principles of truth, accuracy, and integrity. Regrettably, Nigeria grapples with an influx of journalists who compromise these principles, driven by greed and the allure of quick gains. The infiltration of corrupt politicians exacerbates this issue, leading to deceptive practices that undermine the credibility of journalism and diminish public trust in the media.

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By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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