By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
I want to appeal to local media operatives to desist from presenting reckless and dishonest news reports to the public and strive for professionalism as individuals.
Throughout the world damage is done when people are allowed to broadcast and publish whatever they feel without the experience and without being guided by a professionalised media organisation.
Local media houses must ensure that professionalism is achieved through education of local media professionals, journalists in particular.
Criticism of politicians and generally all leaders in our community is fine. I have a problem with recklessness and dishonesty, in that the publishing or airing of false news can interfere in the democratic process.
And that is why it is important that people who are media operatives are trained in the use of this powerful tool. Because you can bring down Governments and you can raise up imposters simply by propagating falsehoods.
Journalism must stand on the professional principles of education, social responsibility and corporate solidarity, if it is to achieve and maintain professionalism.
While journalists should be trained, have the expertise and experience, you no longer have to go to a media college – college of journalism – but over a period of time you could gather the experience and the expertise, so that your accumulated years of service would translate into high levels of professionalism.
The local press/media association has a major role to play, since journalism itself is a profession “susceptible to imposters” who take advantage of the press freedom arrangement to create mischief.
Media has a social responsibility of presenting only the truth and should therefore carry balanced reports with opinions and facts presented by all parties concerned, in any issue being reported.
There are people out there… who will read what you write and think it’s the truth. So you have an obligation to tell those people… you have a responsibility to be truthful. It’s hard to find out what is truth… but you must always ask yourself what is truth. … you have that social responsibility not to carry one side of the story or the other side, but a balanced account of how this matter evolved… You will be able to give your readers, your viewers, your listeners, a clearer picture of what issues are at stake.
Persons throughout The Bahamas and even those outside of outside of our country depend on media houses for information and a professional approach is vital in handling public information.