The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has charged the media on quality and objective news reportage, urging practitioners to restore “the content and context that are fast disappearing from the media world”.
The Governor stated this on Wednesday when he received officials of the First in Africa TV Alumni Association, led by Dr. Yemi Farounbi, who were on a courtesy visit to intimate him on plans for the 60th anniversary celebration of the establishment of first TV station in Africa.
Fayemi said quality and objective news reportage is fast disappearing as the social media now feeds the public with unregulated, unverified and information majorly made up of unfounded allegations, adding that politicians are at the receiving end of unfounded allegations on the social media which seems to have gained recognition as a news medium.
He said: “Fast news is good but fast is not necessarily quality, fast is not depth and news must reflect the five ‘Ws’ and H. – who, what, when, where, why and how. You no longer get that now. Somebody just writes on the social media and even when he knows that it is not true. There is no editor to vet it, to say that you can’t release that; have you contacted the person being accused? Has he given the other side of the story?
“That’s not what you get from the WNBS, WNTV and its products, BCOS, OSRC and BSES in their early days. They too are degenerating but we have a duty to bring them back to that quality and status they used to have in the past.”
Governor Fayemi also lauded the vision of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who built the first television station in Africa.
He added that the fact that the Eastern and Northern regions took a cue from the establishment of WNTV and went ahead to establish theirs respectively shows that true federalism encourages competitiveness, which is good for development.
Earlier, Farounbi, former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, had commended the Awolowo for establishing the then Western Nigerian Television, which was the first television station in Africa.
He described Awolowo as a man who opened the door of progressive politics in Nigeria by establishing many first innovations in health, education and other sectors of the economy.
Farounbi, who said that Fayemi is already living up to expectation in governance, expressed satisfaction that the governor is following Awolowo’s footsteps as one of his “political offshoots”.
The former envoy explained that the visit to Fayemi was to inform him of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of WNTV, which will hold later in the year.
He said the celebration would reawaken the self -worth of Nigerians and their sense of creativity.
He said: “We should learn how to celebrate ourselves and write our own history. Awolowo established the first TV station in Ibadan at a time when South Africa and many European countries did not have one. But today, many people think television is all about DSTV and probably think South Africa was the first to have a TV station in Africa, because of the way they have developed it. Now is the time to celebrate our heritage, celebrate Awolowo a man of vision and put history in proper perspectives.”