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When is journalism honourable?

By Kola Animashaun

“The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. (For) to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves – and the better the teacher, the better the student body.” –Warren Buffett

The News of the World’s, NoW, then royal editor, Clive Goodman and private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, were jailed for hacking into the mobile phones of royal aides.

Since then, a series of police inquiries and legal cases have explored just how widespread the practice was, with implications for the police, celebrities, politicians and even victims of crime and their families.

On July 6, the Prime Minister pledged a full inquiry into hacking and the Metropolitan Police Chief vowed that officers who took payments from NoW publisher, News International, would be disciplined.
The concern reached fever pitch that it was raised on the floor of the Commons and on the   streets.

Why have some of the press stooped so low as to invade peoples’ privacy? When is investigative journalism intrusive and disrespectful? Why now when the British Press is   widely deemed as free and fair?  The small number of rouge journalists that subscribe to this brand of journalism needs to be weeded out and disciplined.

One of the cardinal rules of journalism is that facts are sacred and comments free.
The press needs to take a long hard look at itself, and remember that those who live in glass house should throw no stones.

East or West, home is best
I can understand why some of my friends who complain about the  workability  of  Nigeria still  go out of  this  country and   still  return. They cannot go out for ever. That is how I feel today. So, the  man  who  says  east  or  west  home  is  best  has  a point.

I  hanker for news of Nigeria  from my  friends who  phone  me and  I also scour  the newspapers and   television. I want to know what news there are. To me, there is no news that is trash or weighty. I lap them up all the same.

News of el-Rufai the other  day and the news  of the  appointment  of  federal  cabinet  members made very interesting reading.

We still import food annually to the order of N630 billionin a country that is endowed with food. Name them: grains, livestock etc.

I understand the press was banned from what normally should be its fare. I also understand the Ogun State House of Assembly, for whatever reason, wants to cry more than the bereaved. What else is to hear that should not be transmitted to the public?

I heard that some ministers have been sworn in and they have started their duties. But, I am surprised that except for a sprinkling of a few, Goodluck Jonathan continued with his motley crew.  I do not have any problem with them except that someone has to tell me that they were outstanding.

I do not have problems with those of the ministers who have bonded with the President.  Will they, for once, change tactics and do what Nigerians pay to mind?

Take, for instance, the questions of kerosene shortage. For ages, we have had pious profession and very little or no improvement. I read all the things I have said in defence of abundance supply of kerosene – it  will help us to conserve our trees, thereby  helping our conservation.  Of course, using kerosene instead of firewood would make for clean environment and so on.

Of course, the trees are still being felled and the eco-system continually despoiled. Protests are being sent to the Minister of Petroleum but, will it make a difference?

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