Nigerian Entertainment News and How We Report It Wrongly
Late last year, I read a piece by CHINEDU HARDY NWADIKE and it was titled Nigerian Bloggers : gods that live in sin (Click here if you missed it). The article was both scathing and educative and In retrospect of what’s happening today, I doubt if anybody took heed of what he said, myself inclusive.
Tell bloggers to write on Nigerian politics and most will wait, allow one blog to write on it and they copy it with no impunity and sheer disregard for copyright infringement. And they go on social media lambasting our current corrupt crop of politicians. The irony is thief is abusing thief, this writer not excluded. The flaw in reporting today’s reporting of Nigerian entertainment news is far worse than the flaws we criticize in blog posts about Nollywood, the un-professionalism that’s portrayed in a ghost looking for incoming car before crossing the road amongst others.
Nigerian entertainment news, this is on almost every website/blogs in Nigeria tagline. Even new blogs that opened today, take pride in listing themselves as Nigeria Number 1 Entertainment News Website/Blog… Then you wonder, which news? The one they uncover themselves or the one they take delight in copying and pasting (kudos to Lawrence G Tesler for introduction of the ctrl C & ctrl V button).
Before we blame the bloggers, those we are reporting got their selves to blame also. They go on social media to rant about bloggers posting what they ‘feel’ should not have being posted and they know that rant itself, qualifies as news to bloggers. Anything goes so far they remain in the limelight. Ask bloggers how many mails they get daily of what shouldn’t count as news from celebrity publicist. These mails are sent with the opinion that bloggers will post and and trust we bloggers, we post it, after all it’s all about increasing traffic. Even top bloggers are not exempted, they post the news and include in it that they are not sure if it’s a publicity stunt or reality. Then you ask, why not confirm from independent sources before publishing? Are they justifying publishing by saying they don’t really know if it’s just for PR?
I once had a celebrity contact on my BBM. For every news about her that this blog posts, she thanks me for posting it. I had to tell her ‘It’s my work’. You don’t thank me for doing my work. It didn’t stop there, she started pointing me to news about herself on other blogs for me to cull and post. For every pointer from her, I refused to post it and she kept on nagging till she got the message for her not to dictate what we post about herself on our site. She tried paying me to post, I refused to collect payment. Will I sell my conscience for a token and allow her to dictate to me what to post and what not to post?
If there is ‘bad’ news about her, will the money collected allow me to report without bias? How many bloggers out there will not collect it? I can mention a lot who engage in this dubious practice. And it was this same bloggers who were criticizing T.B Joshua for allegedly offering bribe. Now, who is fooling whom?
The public opinion is changing. The era when you could step out and call yourself a blogger and get good public reception is fast fading. The era when few were bloggers and there were more readers, era where bloggers were not more than the available news, era ‘when copy and paste’ wasn’t the order of the day.
It lies in us to as bloggers to report Nigerian entertainment news with great responsibility annd exhibit greater sense of professionalism or a policeman on the street might just have more dignity than a blogger in the nearest future.
By Ola Olajide , from Ikeja, Lagos State.