THE intrusion of social media into our society has certainly caused an upheaval in how we do things. Everyone wants to be somebody, journalists become advocators and children become adults.
In journalism to remain objective is to present the facts whether or not one like or agree with those facts.
Objective reporting is meant to portray issues and events in a neutral and unbiased manner regardless of the writer’s opinion or personal beliefs.
Sad to say, with citizen journalism on the rise, the essence of objectivity is now missing and we have more disgruntled, misinformed citizens ever than before.
We have become a bunch of followers to one-sided stories with more assumptions and questions then facts and answers.
On top of that, those who were supposed to present the story in an unbiased manner are also carried away with the current trend and are the ones presenting their opinions the loudest.
How are we to present our story to the public with the intention to educate, inform and entertain when we do not report with objectivity? The use of social media tools especially Facebook has paved the way for macho behaviour, some hiding behind pen names and making unbecoming comments, threats and calls with journalists also joining in this platform to sing their song the loudest. Media is known as the fourth estate.
But what good is the fourth estate if it is bias, assumptive and irresponsible? Seditious comments made by citizen journalists on social media have tainted the image of the media industry as a whole.
Whilst the mainstream media at all times strive to uphold its code of ethics and conduct the unbecoming behaviour of journalists also wanting to be activists has made it difficult for the media to maintain its neutrality.
In these difficult times, it is important we go back to the basics of journalism and strive to deliver credible, evidence-based and engaging reporting as opposed by citizen journalism.
As journalists our role is to watch from the sidelines, witness the drama unfolding, but at a safe distance and report the information, tidbits and insights to the public. We need to be independent and not driven by any agenda.
Our job is to seek the truth and be a champion of core values of journalism. Lest we forget.