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Published On: Thu, Aug 22nd, 2019

Emir Sanusi to journalists: Avoid sensational reporting for commercial gains

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From Mustapha Adamu, Kano

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has called on the print media to report positively by avoiding sensationalism with the sole aim of selling their papers as against promoting socio-economic wellbeing of the country.
The emir made the call in his remarks when he received the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), who were at the palace on a courtesy call, yesterday.
The emir cautioned the journalists against sensational headlines as according to him, it often buries the real message that a speaker wants to pass, which is largely on development of the country, adding that, the trend had forced a lot of resourceful persons to keep mute for fear of being misquoted.
According to Sanusi II, Nigeria is facing a lot of social and economic problems for which the governments needs to be advised on ways to tackle the challenges, noting that instead the reporters file their reports on a positive note, they mostly resort to choosing negative aspect of the news.
He lamented that a guest would be invited to an event and speak for 15 to 30 minutes, but reporters would choose only one statement that they perceive as negative and controversial to write the story on, noting that the trend had caused a lot of controversy in the country.
He said; “Your job as newsmen is a very important one. But there are a lot of corrections to be made. This is because you are tasked with ensuring correct news is reported while you are also tasked with the sales of your paper.
“Our problem with the newspapers is that, one would speak for 15, 20 to 30 minutes but when you want to report, you pick on a single sentence or statement that will attract sales for the paper and publish. While publishing it, it is not considered whether such a statement is the context of the talk or not.
“There are times when the government would be given important advices on issues concerning the well-being of the citizens but such advises are not carried by the papers. Instead, it is statements that have to do with criticisms and controversy that are reported. Instead they pick on something that will be referred to as criticism in order to make sales. In the end the useful advise will be buried and the public will not understand the actual things that were said and will be pushed into unnecessary controversies,” the emir said
He continued; “More so, in the event of making such reports, it is not considered whether it is fair to the person being reported. They set a section of the public unnecessarily against the person being reported. This forces the person that made the speech to go into making explanations to clear the air. Formally this used to happen with unpopular newspapers but now it is everywhere. This needs to be corrected,” he lamented
He however stated that talks made on peaceful coexistence, economy, poverty and social life of the people are made specifically to bring about corrections, noting that when this is only ignored in reports, and other trivial or controversial things are chosen to be reported for commercial gains, then all the important things are lost.
“There are a lot of people that have a lot of good and useful things to contribute but are forced to remain silent by this style of reporting.
“Reporting news needs to be done the way it is because you as journalists are also citizens, whatever will be good for the country will also be good for you and whatever will be bad for the country will also be bad for you,” the Emir said.
He therefore reminded journalists that they are also Nigerians and are faced with the same social and economic problems in the country, advising them to be concerned on how to tackle the challenges bedevilling the country.
He, however, praised their commitment to news reporters in bring about even development in the country, calling on them to sustain the tempo and correct their errors for peace to reign in the country.
Earlier in a remark, the Chairman of the Correspondent Chapel, Ibrahim Garba Shu’aibu said they were at the palace to seek the emir’s blessing and receive some elderly advices on the journalism profession.
He also assured the monarch of the Chapel’s resolve to continue engaging in accurate and factual reports of events in the state, aim at promoting peace and socioeconomic development in the polity.

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