The title of this article might suggest that I’m about to lambast journalism in Nigeria, but don’t conclude yet, this article is just about sensitivity, it’s relevance to journalism and it’s negligence in journalistic practice in Nigeria.
Now, am a journalist in training, but I can remember vividly my lecturer teaching us about ethics and its consequences in journalism during my 2nd year in the university, some of the things I could remember is let accuracy be your watch word, know the limits in people’s privacy, don’t accept money for publishing an article( the brown envelope syndrome),protect your sources, Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes, e sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief and many others.
My point exactly is this principle “Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects”.
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The Orekoya kids were kidnapped by a nanny, the requested for a ransom and we all know how the story went, but why will notable newspapers, television stations, blogs, go ahead to post the pictures of this young kids without giving a thought to cover the kids’ faces in order to protect their privacy? Only few stations adhere to this principle. Are they really putting the future of the kids into consideration? I don’t think so.
There might be many other cases that journalists report and put their ethics behind but does the need to project and report the truth always have to outweigh the potential for causing further harm to children who have already been victimized?
Let’s think about it and practice what is right and not what you feel is trending.
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