A video was trending over the internet lately of a yet to be identified Journalist being harassed by men of the Nigeria Army. Observation from that video showed the ‘Journalist’ making a video with a mobile device, of an empty street, revealing how compliant citizens of his location have given the stay at home order. It was at this point that the video was interrupted, with the men of the Nigerian army rushing toward his direction, harassing him afterwards. The rest was untold.
Now, I studied mass communication and as a matter of necessity have been exposed to the freedom information acts. Journalist at this time, in my opinion should keep the nation informed of the developments and how to take caution amidst the covid-19 pandemic just as the case of war. On daily bases, new cases are being reported; I mean you and I sit at home the next minute we are on twitter, facebook, checking whatsapp status, instagram etc. sourcing for the latest gist. We certainly are waiting to hear seasoned journalist, trained journalist or depend on crowdsourcing which still has to be confirmed by reliable news sources before it pegged as authentic information.
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Journalist needs to be safe too. To contend covid-19, going out to source for information is not a great idea at the moment because they are putting their lives at risk. While going to Covid-19 Isolation centers taking photos and interviews, the chances of contacting the virus is very high. As much as I know, Mass communication studies also teach ethics; ethics of security and the likes.
However, do you really think that having the men of the Nigerian Army militate against a civil issue like covid-19 and journalism ie. mass communication in essence is a great idea? Judging from that video, the victim’s phone which he used to film the video was obviously snatched from him just after he received the first hit from the military guys.
If journalist or news men should sit at home like everyone else, do we depend on crowdsourcing information? Is it something we could manage atleast while the pandemic lasts. How about people who are so bent of raising taking that opportunity to unleash uncensored information for people to consume.
What do you think?