Truth, A Sine Qua Non Of Journalism

Fri, 1 Aug 2014 Source: Blege, Alex

“…Stroke O My Pen”: Truth, A Sine Qua Non Of Journalism

It is like the cork. It can never be subdued, oppressed or suppressed. It can be twisted to suit a particular situation at a particular time. But, with time the twisted versions will peel off like a healed wound.

It cannot be substituted nor eliminated. It is what gives the journalist the confidence to keep on doing his work without fear or favour.

Journalists the world over, at one point in time or the other have the challenge of sweeping a story under the carpet or cause the whole world to come to a standstill as a result of a skeleton in a cupboard.

This concept is one of the principles that make the journalist to come to the crossroads of professionalism and conscience. Yet, the journalist’s first obligation is to tell the truth.

The concept has been argued in a lot of circles as non- existent, since we are not perfect human beings who live in a perfect world. Fine, our environment and orientation influences our stand on issues.

Should journalists find it appropriate to tell the truth even if it hurts the position they stand for, or should it be that what seemed to be true and acceptable at one point in time could become unacceptable at another point in time?

I dare say that truth is synonymous to objectivity and neutrality. But, these are just concepts- abstract for that matter. Journalists are not some computer programmed beings who are supposed to follow straight jacket rules.

They have emotions and influences at every point in time. In fact in my estimation, no journalist is objective because no human being is objective. In spite of this assertion, journalists must use very objective methods in the process of gathering, publishing and disseminating information with all responsibility.

On the score of neutrality it is a dicey matter. Neutrality means that you do not take sides - how does that happen in a scenario where people are victims of the ills of society and injustice? Or others take undue advantage of the ignorance of their fellow human beings in an attempt to enrich and make lives better for themselves.

In all these, giving the news reader and listener the true reflection of issues and their attendant consequences whether negative or positive is the best any journalist can lay his or her life for.

No matter what happens, truth is the only ingredient that makes that journalist’s work worthwhile. It is what makes the news what it is – the basis for the decision that the citizen makes.

ALEX BLEGE: kw.ameblege@hotmail.com/www.gudzetsekomla.blogspot.com

Columnist: Blege, Alex