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Femi Fani Kayode vs Daily Trust – Let’s rumble



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You cannot begin to imagine my excitement.

Not understanding the very deep issues involved in this tangle, the shallow-minded chapters of the almost moribund NUJ in Akwa Ibom and Oyo States quickly announced a boycott of activities surrounding Chief Fani Kayode.

You see, the main problem we face in this country is the inability of stakeholders and ‘talking heads’ to better understand the deeper issues before hurrying to make proclamations.

The NUJ, not totally understanding that with the explosion of the internet and its attendant influence on social media, has failed to appreciate that citizen reporting has become much more influential, thereby eroding their influence.

The cohesion and control they had in the 80s, for example, where the NPAN and Guild of Editors wielded so much power is long gone. With circulation dropping to miserly 15,000 daily copies which is from the very biggest, you begin to see that traditional media is nothing but almost a joke. A joke that only unhinged leaders who live in the past continue to romance.

Today, the smallest teenager in his bedroom with his gadget will reach millions on his phone and this is where economic and political power resides. Not in the drenched pages of newspapers like the Daily Trust who are still practicing archaic journalism.

Why do you think the banks are pushing the retail market or the telcos pushing the N100 data. The telecommunications giants will tell you where the bulk of their funds are coming from.

So, when Chief FFK called that reporter stupid and he was asked to apologize, I wondered why? There was no need because, in fact, that question was ill conceived, unprofessional and strategically designed to embarrass and humiliate.

He should have ignored, taken his argument to the real media where power now resides. The real media where we have true democratization of thought processes where everybody has the power to adjudicate and say their own and not on platforms that still have the mercurial Editor who in himself is detached from trends deciding the direction and position of a platform in moribund.

The issues in this matter go beyond the ‘stupid’ the Chief called the Reporter and the ill-mannered report Daily Trust retorted with. It goes to question the very existence of the media in its pre-historic state, its ethics and its ethos.

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Due to the financial crippling of the industry as a result of a massive drop in circulation occasioned by the emergence of online platforms, capacity and remunerations have dwindled to its lowest in history.

So, we see an industry owing backlog of salaries pushing out a frustrated herd to the ‘market’ and what do you get, the ‘market’ exploiting this by getting reporters in their pockets. Professionalism is thrown out of the window and it is now a case of ‘we know ourselves’.

Stories are doctored, bent and coloured leading to a massive drop in quality. Independence and objectivity are thrown out of the window and in reaction the market begins to look elsewhere for objectivity and circulation collapses and we now have institutions that can no longer meet their financial obligations to its people and then you see the brown envelopes emerging.

Instead of NUJ to look very critically at these issues, especially how it played out during the FFK/Daily Trust imbroglio, they decided to cure pimples instead of fighting leprosy by throwing up a very foolish ban that gave the Chief even more mention than before. For the last two weeks, FFK has been the most popular Nigerian as a result of this.

The man had talked about ‘Brown Envelopes’, screaming.’ I know who sent you, go back to tell them…….” These were very pointed statements from an insider. What I expected was a pull back to look at the issues and not react like market women to the surface stupid he called the hapless reporter.

The DT write up now has gone ahead to further vindicate Chief kayode as far as a I am concerned. I will not bulk the trend of the majority and quiver and say things because the rest of us are jumping the bandwagon and calling his mother a prostitute. The man felt offended by the question, reacted aggressively and apologized from pressure I suppose.

Now, Daily Trust caused to be publish a defamatory article, going really petty and showcasing in a highly unprofessional manner the depths the profession has gone without addressing the key issues this imbroglio has thrown up – ethics, unprofessionalism and conduct but instead jump into the cesspool of a catfight. Is this the responsible thing to do?

My wish is for this matter to get to court so that the above-mentioned issues would be thoroughly addressed. This is not about calling the Reporter stupid, its about a cursory and incisive look at a very important Industry, the 4th realm of the estate that is presently on its knees.

This issue will save the media, mark my words. Lets rumble.

Author: Joseph Edgar…

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