Monday, 29 August 2016

The media has always given people a platform to not just educate, inform and educate but also to share opinions.

The advent of social media has given everyone the full advantage of sharing their thoughts publicly.
In the past with traditional media like print, television and radio, the press and media personalities were always put in check by either the Nigerian Press Council and the National Broadcasting Commission. During the days of military dictators anyone seen be be writing or speaking recklessly was automatically sanctioned or arrested for speaking against the government of the day.

Fast-forward to present day

Opinions, criticism, subs and Twitter fights - these are the highlights of Social media platforms today. There really are no watchdogs on these platforms and many do as they please until someone reports a post to the social network or deletes their account.
Freeze play Freeze

Nigerian on-air-personality Freeze has been described as ‘ controversial’ in recent times. Before social media, the presenter whose real name is Ifedayo Olarinde was never described this way. He was the ‘cool’, husband, father with a tranquil voice and demeanor that made you admire him.
Twitter and Instagram have shown us sides of Freeze we’re never privy to.
On Saturday, August 27, reports emerged that the Cool FM presenter had allegedly been sacked from the station over his feud with comedian Basketmouth. Following these reports, Freeze took to Instagram to state that he had issues with the station that had nothing to do with Basketmouth or social media.
"Yes, there are issues stemming from a meeting over presenters fees yesterday, details of which I choose not to discuss, because of the respect I have for Mr Moussalli and his family, but trust me, it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Basket mouth or social media......." he wrote.
The reason why many were quick to jump into conclusion into what Freeze’s issues were with Cool FM is because of his unreserved comments on social media. Whenever any issue pops up be it a marital problem between a celebrity, comments from a politician, religious issues, pop culture and any other trending topic, the celebrity is always quick to wade in on this with his unfiltered thoughts.

Where should people in media draw the line?

Mayowa Ahmed, before and after play Mayowa Ahmed, before and after

Most recently, Linda Ikeji careless published a story without proper research. On July 28, 2016, the blogger reported that the #SaveMayowa campaign to raise funds for Ahmed Mayowa Shukurat who had stage IV ovarian cancer was a scam by her family members to take money from innocent Nigerians.
 It turned out the fundraiser was not a scam. Ikeji published an apology on her blog saying “My mistake, I think, was owning the story, I probably should have quoted them. And maybe investigated more. My apologies to the family! The post has since been taken down.”
Nevermind the apology, imagine the distress this news story caused Ahmed, her family and the invasion of her privacy by the press.
One thing many media personalities fail to understand is the power of their words be it on traditional media platforms or social media platforms. Social media especially has given many the chance to interact with information shared with people in the media directly. And in most cases the target audience consume the information shared without questioning it.
Media personalities ought to think more deeply about the opinions and stories they share. The media most especially journalists are responsible for communicating the facts not distorting information with their impressions.

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