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Journalists caught in the politicians’ crossfire.....

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Smiles, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Smiles

    Smiles JF-Expert Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
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    Jiang Alipo, 4th October 2010

    POLITICS and journalism are two professions that can never be separated. The difficulty of figuring out which of the two can’t live without the other is close to that of solving the egg and chicken causality dilemma.

    Not that there is any doubt that journalism is a much younger profession compared to politics; journalism only begun in the 17th century, while as long as there have been more than two people, there has been politics.

    But since journalism came into the picture four centuries ago, the two have not been separated; sometimes it is for good of both of them, sometimes one takes advantage of the other, and sometimes it is the public which benefit for the marriage.

    The truth is while politicians make big headlines, making a great day for any journalist; politicians cannot live without being on the headlines, they need the exposure. Up to that point there is no problem, politicians like being in the news, and journalist like news about politicians.

    The problem comes when one abuses the other, and most of the times it is journalism being abused by politics. You would think that this season, the election season, it would be the other way around; journalist making the best of politicians wanting to be seen and heard, but that is not the case.

    Politics is continuing to prove that being around longer it knows all tricks in the book. Politicians using journalism against each other is the most common scenario.

    No one would be surprised when journalist are used to weaken an opponent in politics –though it may not be ethical—they always do that, sometimes for public interest, fueled by the politician’s personal interest, sometimes it is all for personal interest, nothing for the mwananchi in it.

    But the thing is journalists are now fighting each other, all for the benefit of the politicians. They are now acting like siblings –more likely teenagers-- fighting for attention of a busy parent.

    It is more annoying and disgusting when it is done by a veteran journalist, who is expected to have mastered the art of collecting and presenting news, but slips in the temptation to please the busy parent, ending up presenting his imagination as facts.

    Politics being a dirty game, I don’t know if journalists have mastered the skills of playing it without getting dirty, especially now that it is in the high season, so much dirty is thrown from every corner.

    After all this, what will happen to the journalists? Friends again? Do journalists know how to apply the politicians’ principle; in politics there is no permanent enemy or friend, just permanent interest.

    Will the politicians remember the journalists who were on their team? I doubt it; we are usually disposable, rarely re-usable.

    It is one thing when journalists are caught in the politicians’ crossfire; the only bullets that hit them are those from the politicians, but when they are in the crossfire, and on top of that fighting among themselves, that is somewhere I real don’t want to find myself in, and I wouldn’t want someone to drag me there for his personal interest.

    Source: Dailynews Online