Don’t fall for lazy journalism-Azure

Manasseh Awuni Azure
Manasseh Awuni Azure

There are two levels of journalism. Here is the first level:

Manasseh Awuni Azure
Manasseh Awuni Azure

If Mr A alleges that Mr B is a thief and Mr B also alleges that Mr A is a thief, get both sides of the story and present it in a balanced and accurate way. It is the duty of your audience to judge who the thief is after listening to the two. This is what you will often hear in a journalism class. It is the safest and most ethical way to practice and not attract legal action or threats of it.

But this level of journalism is lazy journalism. It can mislead the audience. It doesn’t help the audience and society to judge well as we often think. In fact, a journalist who always does this is not better than the tape recorder. The tape recorder is more accurate than the human mind in presenting exactly what each side said. But the audience will not always be able to judge well because the real thief’s version may be so compelling that public opinion will weigh against the innocent party.

This brings us to the second level of journalism: If Mr A accuses Mr B of theft and there’s counter accusation from Mr B, it is the duty of the journalist to find out who the thief is. If you establish from your investigation that Mr A, indeed, stole the money, then present the story in a way that the audience will know he is the thief. If you have enough evidence that Mr A is the thief, nothing stops you from stating categorically that Mr A is the thief, backed by the evidence you have.

In this way, you will help your audience to make the right judgement. Journalists are not programmed robots or advanced tape recorders. Ours is not to present the raw information for our audience to judge. The reader in Paga doesn’t have what it takes to verify if the Minister’s claim that he has no house in Elmina is true or false. If he or she is allowed to judge based on how vehement the minister’s denial is or the tears he sheds, then the media may end up deceiving the audience in the name of presenting both sides of the claims and allowing the public to judge.


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  • A Kofi Owusu and 54 others like this.
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  • Manasseh Azure Awuni Van, you are right. The journalist must make their judgement based on the evidence they gather and not where they stand politically.
    35 mins ? Like ? 2
  • Koku Bamidele Bidemi Sanusi ..very insightful…however a journalist has no competence to declare A or B thief …the law court has…hence journalist must remain tactful in declaring who the actual thief is…
    22 mins ? Like
  • Betty Konnor Intimidation, bribery, and lack of enthusiasm is what causes most journalists to opt for journalism A, and that if they are able go that far. Most of these journalists work for radio or television outlets associated with a particular political party, See More
    17 mins ? Like
  • Mustapha Jimah Thank you teacher
    12 mins ? Like
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