The Cracked Fourth Estate
ElevateNews takes a look at the media industry and what Punch position on President Muhammadu Buhari could lead to in the future.
Governance suffers when journalists are partisan. The fourth estate of the realm has always been the solace of the masses. The media promote the views of the masses and speak for the silent ones. The media ensure that governments are held accountable only when the practitioners do not compromise the ethics of the profession.
However, there is a big crack in the wall as journalists now fighting themselves in defence of a government instead of the country. The level of poverty among media professionals has grown so much that sycophancy is now seen as ideology.
One thing about the present government is in its smartness to use journalists against themselves. Two prominent newspapers, the Punch and Premium Times have sought redress with the method of this administration especially in the area of human rights abuse, but it is annoying that those who now stand against the position of these media outfits are themselves journalists.
While Punch had said that it would henceforth be addressing President Muhammadu Buhari as a General and his administration as a regime, the Premium Times called on the Director-General of the Department of State Service to resign his appointment over the drama that happened inside a Federal High Court, Abuja in which the DSS operatives invaded the place to arrest an applicant.
Recalled that a few weeks ago, the DSS operatives invaded the court to abduct the Publisher of the online medium, Sahara Reporter who is also the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.
Punch Newspaper was one of the media outfits that actually fought for this present democracy. It holds accountable every succeeding administration as the fourth estate of the realm but its current position on Buhari has been generating discordant views mostly among those whose trade is writing.
Many of the reporters who have lost their relevance in the newsroom are now plying their trade on social media platforms as tools in the hands of government to attack their colleagues and media houses.
There are still good ones but my problem is that those that have compromised the ethics are being used against the media.
Journalists are not supposed to attack one another even if they differ in ideology but successive governments have always found a way to crack the fourth estate of the realm in Nigeria. The real men in the media industry have been bought over by the politicians.
There is a big crack now in the fourth estate of the real, which will be difficult to mend if not repaired now. As long as many media houses are being established and controlled by politicians, only a few journalists will write objectively.
He who pays the piper dictates the tone. But for media houses like the Premium Times, Business Day whose editorials are also against Buhari, it will only take a short time that a battle line will be drawn.