By Femi Davies
The advent of new media also known as Online gave birth to what can be termed kangaroo journalists who suddenly become mega writers with ability to own a domain site, a laptop and fast fingers.
It is such a shame that the basic training expected before anyone can practice is not on the mind of these commercial writers.
To them, being a journalist is the needed weapon to obtain money from celebrities, opinion leaders, politicians and all attention seeking people.
The ethos of the journalistic profession, of removing judgement from news reporting and giving equal opportunities to all sides, was the first casualty of the kangaroo journalist, he cares neither for objectivity, the fundamental right to reply nor is he interested in the reputation and livelihood of those he is supposedly maligning just for the fun of it.
The role of the press, from time immemorial, is to inform, educate and entertain. These however, do not exclude the press from the economic realities and the cost implication of running a business, hence the resort to advert support for survival.
This delicate relationship between the media and advertisers, in any shape or form, has been on since the dawn of the profession, and over time, a delicate balance was achieved in which advert relationship has little or nothing to do with the direction of editorial policy.
All these rules, developed over time, mean absolute nothing to the kangaroo journalist. his main aim is to use his platform for blackmail, and because until now, he has nothing to lose, he assumed he could get away with it.
It is therefore not surprising, that a blogger of no repute, who has had face offs with the Niger State Government over issues of editorial blackmail, could not differentiate between an advert on a news site and a PR package. While one is a clear cut Above The Line transaction, the other is essentially a public relations function.
So, when such a blogger goes to town, impugning on the integrity of seasoned journalists and insinuating an act of wrongdoing on their part, simply because their news sites were given adverts, which was appropriately placed and visible, the same advert the said blogger lobbied for but did not get, then you know such a person needed to have his head examined.
For the records, Metronews would continue to uphold the tenants of the journalism profession, because unlike our friend, the blackmail blogger, we have a reputation to protect.
To the likes of Tego Oghenedoro or should we add Fejiro Oliver and their likes, if they refuse to get trained and adopt the rules of the game, their blackmail antics will only fetch them visits and clashes with the security agencies.
. Femi Davies is the Publisher of MetroNews Online.