The lack of objectivity in contemporary journalism

Objectivity is the fundamental principle of the practice of journalism, which means detaching oneself from information while maintaining a high level of fairness and balance in giving an accurate account of events.

Unfortunately, politicians have succeeded in influencing and controlling media productions, not allowing them to exercise the freedom and independence required to disseminate accurate and unbiased information, in the best interest of the general public. Therefore, the unethical practices mentioned above have changed what most people consider to be the cornerstone and backbone of the practice of journalism.

Professionally, journalists are trained to work within the ethics of the noble profession, but it seems that journalists have thrown down the book of fair and ethical reporting, moving to serve the interests of bloody politicians by becoming the bearers of voices of political bigwigs, which discredits the profession.

Consequently, journalists continue to lose their integrity and public trust and as a result politicians have also started treating them as errand boys rather than professionals, forgetting their primary responsibility and immense contribution to socio development. -economic and political of our societies.

It used to be that people believed in any information they read in newspapers, watched on television or listened to on their radio sets for the trust they placed in journalists, given their level of commitment and professionalism in bringing first-hand, reliable and accurate information in the spotlight. . But today it’s a different case where publishers are paid to change stories for certain political motives. Indeed, the narrative has changed and journalists no longer see objectivity as a fundamental principle to stick to, but focus more on advertiser-driven news or making money from information. politically motivated.

The question of being one hundred percent objective in journalistic reporting has been a public debate because of the differences that characterize us as individuals. But it is obvious and very likely that these unethical practices influence the way journalists deal with diverse and controversial issues.

Additionally, the non-restrictive nature and ease of access to the Internet and social networking sites or social media has paved the way for the spread of fake news, hate speech and misinterpreted information that incites disunity and unrest in society. And online news platforms were so quick to pick up these stories without confirming their reliability.

Recently we have seen the huge impact of media reporting on our politicians and public office holders, where journalists expose some of the atrocities committed by insincere politicians, especially those involved in embezzlement of public funds, armed bandits , kidnappers and all kinds of crime and mischief.

Therefore, we must not forget that journalists are professionally trained to be investigators because facts are believed to be sacred while opinion is free. Therefore, self-centeredness, ethical selfishness, bias and prejudice are unethical and unentertaining when it comes to the practice of journalism.

Above all, publishers who are the ultimate gatekeepers of information must be fair in their dealings. the fact that we are human, therefore one hundred percent objective, will be difficult to achieve, but editors should do everything humanly possible to detach themselves from the stories. They should try not to allow personal biases such as ethnicity, religion, region, or political affiliation to influence or alter their stories.

Zara Imam Ahmad,
Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri,
Borno State, Nigeria.

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