The Role of Journalism in Presenting Objective Perspectives


                                                                                                             17 July 2023

Title: The Role of Journalism in Presenting Objective Perspectives

In any society, the media plays a crucial role in shedding light on socio-political events and providing reliable viewpoints. However, it is important to remember that journalistic objectivity is paramount, even in the face of challenging circumstances. While media outlets around the world, such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the BBC, interpret news for their audiences, it is essential to maintain a balanced approach that adheres to journalistic principles.

In regions where public awareness and educational resources may be limited, media organizations have an added responsibility to help citizens comprehend complex issues and events. Interpretative journalism has gained prominence, wherein news outlets strive to present events in a way that clarifies their significance. However, this should not deviate from the core principle of objectivity.

There are instances where certain issues and problems are unequivocally clear. For instance, inclusive politics should provide equal opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate in nation-building. When a government is accused of practicing exclusive politics or favoritism, journalists have a duty to investigate and present the facts without fear or bias.

Similarly, governments are expected to uphold principles such as transparency, accountability, democracy, and respect for citizens' Voices. If allegations arise, such as electoral malpractice or human rights abuses, the media has a vital role in holding the government accountable and bringing these issues to public attention. This is not a disregard for objectivity but rather an exercise of journalistic responsibility.

It is crucial to ensure that media outlets remain committed to the public good. When a government's actions are perceived as detrimental to the interests of the people, responsible journalism necessitates the highlighting of such concerns. However, it is important to differentiate between constructive criticism and biased reporting, as journalists should remain principled, objective, and reliable sources of information.

In conclusion, journalism plays a significant role in providing clarity and understanding of events in the socio-political realm. While media organizations interpret news and offer perspectives, it is essential to maintain objectivity and adhere to journalistic principles. The responsibility lies with journalists to present reliable information, encourage public debate, and foster an informed citizenry.

No honest, credible media will support a bloody, despotic, corrupt and abusive government like the SLPP. Let us face reality and call a spade a spade. When you have a blatantly lawless, tribalistic, unconstitutional, undemocratic and criminal government like the SLPP, where does the government merit the "Both sides of the story "or objectivity benefits Or journalism?

Journalism and Mass Communication schools teach that it is not just up to the media to supply news. Journalists are the light of the world. They enlighten and show the way. They are there not only to report the news but to provide clarity, understanding and reliable viewpoints and spins to events in the socioeconomic and political spheres.

It should not be forgotten that the reading public in Africa is not as enlightened and sophisticated in thinking and conceptualizing issues as that in advanced democracies. Most Africans who access the news do not have enough time (especially in these days of the internet and social media with the glut in information), academic grounding and knowledge to form reliable points of view on complicated events around them. They need the media to help them put events in their right perspectives.

Interpretative journalism has become the vogue

The world's leading news media The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, CNN, MSNBC, VOA, FOX, CBS , ABC , AL JAZERA, London Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, the Guardian ( You name them ) all interpret the news today for consumers. And where there is established evil, they call it by name. They do not rationalize it. In so doing, they are not being one-sided. They just call it as they see it . In fact, they are being objective by calling evil for what it is.

Certain issues and problems are very clear and undisputable. For instance, Politics is supposed to be inclusive, providing actors and actresses from across the political divide equal opportunities to participate in nation- building.

When you have a Government like the SLPP that denies citizens from other tribes and regions this opportunity and employs only Mendes and South easterners, which is absolutely wrong, journalists should have the duty to condemn the government for practicing exclusive politics and bigotry without fearing that they would be accused of not being objective.

If the facts are clear and can be backed by statistical data, there are no two ways about it. It is wrong. The issue of "objectivity "as government spokesmen and operatives would want it to be framed does not apply to the question that will always be asked: What justification does the government have for employing only Mendes in a country with over 20 ethnic groups? Is there any? Will there ever be any? So where is the "Both sides of the issue "conundrum here? Has tribalism become relative?

Similarly, governments are supposed to promote transparency, accountability, probity, democracy, honest governance, and respect for the votes of citizens across the polity. If a government therefore patently rigs an election and denies people their right to vote for the leaders they want, what justification is there for such s criminal and anti-democratic behavior? There is none and the media has the duty to bring the government to account for such unconstitutional and anti-people behaviour.

When you listen to President Maa

da Bio ranting against the U. S, Britain, the European Union (EU), and the international community for concluding that the recent general elections in Sierra Leone lack transparency and validity because of the manner the votes from the polling stations were tallied, you see a president that is a bully, that does not want to do the right thing and that wants to force the international community to help him legalize illegitimacy.

What plausible excuses can President Bio ever advance for rigging the elections? There are none and the media outlets taking the SLPP government to task for its criminality and unconstitutionality cannot be justifiably condemned for not being objective.

Only brown envelope journalists receiving bribes under the table from corrupt government officials or sycophants and gravy- gobblers within the government would seek to excuse or ignore or downplay President Bio and his despotic SLPP Government's electoral crimes committed against the people of Sierra Leone. Any serious, committed and principled journalist worth his salt would come out swinging.

President Bio has also committed grave and egregious human rights abuses in power. His security forces and rabid supporters and thugs have gone around intimidating, beating, killing and maiming innocent civilians and opponents and these atrocities have been highlighted and condemned by Amnesty International and the U. S State Department.

President Bio has no excuse for these violent and bloody crimes against the people he swore an oath to protect. So, if journalists take the government to task for these atrocities, can they be justifiably accused of not being objective? Where does objectivity come in?

The media are there to promote the public good. If the government is useless and not serving the people's interest, it is a mark of patriotism, not bad journalism, to propagate the evils of the government from the rooftops.

Media offer a platform for public debate on national and international issues and media help frame and shape public opinions; media help the public make up their minds on salient issues. The media are not there to connive and collude with undemocratic, despotic, fascist, terrorist and totalitarian governments. Therefore, the Bio Government is getting what it deserves from trustworthy, credible and patriotic media. Supporters and sycophants of the SLPP should not blame media for being biased and one-sided.

In conclusion, it is essential to recognize the unique context in which the reading public in Africa consumes news and information. With limited time, academic grounding, and access to reliable perspectives, Africans rely on the media to help them understand complex events and put them into proper context. Interpretative journalism has become the norm among leading news outlets worldwide, where they objectively call out established evils without rationalizing or being one-sided.

When certain issues are undeniably clear and supported by factual data, there is no room for equivocation. For instance, inclusive politics should provide equal opportunities for participation from individuals across the political spectrum. Therefore, if a government practices exclusive politics and discrimination by favoring a particular tribe or region, journalists have a duty to condemn such actions, even if it means deviating from the notion of "objectivity."

Similarly, governments are expected to promote transparency, accountability, democracy, and respect for citizens' votes. When a government blatantly rigs an election and denies people their democratic rights, the media has a responsibility to hold that government accountable for its unconstitutional and anti-people behaviors.

In the case of President Bio and his government in Sierra Leone, their actions and behaviors have raised serious concerns. President Bio's refusal to acknowledge electoral irregularities and his attempts to deflect blame onto international entities reveal a lack of willingness to rectify the situation and uphold democratic values. Likewise, the grave human rights abuses committed under his watch cannot be justified or ignored. Journalists who shed light on these atrocities and challenge the government's actions should not be criticized for lacking objectivity; they are fulfilling their duty to promote the public good.

The media play a crucial role in fostering public debate, shaping opinions, and advocating for the interests of the people. When a government fails to serve the best interests of its citizens, it is not biased or one-sided journalism but rather an act of patriotism to expose its shortcomings and promote accountability. Trustworthy, credible, and patriotic media outlets are providing the platform for these discussions and holding the government accountable for its actions.

In conclusion, the media's responsibility is to serve the public and provide a voice for the voiceless. It is not their duty to collude with undemocratic or despotic governments but to shed light on their wrongdoings and advocate for positive change. Instead of blaming the media for bias, supporters, and sycophants of the SLPP should reflect on the actions and policies of the government they defend.


CEO of Crystal Radio 

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