Arise Anchors Backlash - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Sunday, September 19, 2021

Arise Anchors Backlash

By Uche Diala

Some senior journalists are angry with me that I used the words 'herdsjournalists' and 'herdsmedia' in my now viral piece, 'THE PROPOSED KANO NAVAL BASE AND THE MISADVENTURE OF IGNORANT 'HERDSJOURNALISTS' AT ARISE TELEVISION.

A particular senior editor with a popular Nigerian Newspaper went as far as saying that I insulted the entire journalism profession with that piece which specifically focused on the conduct of three Arise television Anchors, on a particular subject matter and an edition of a program.

I am not surprised at that however because once I called out my darling AIT and I got ferocious push backs from even some of my friends at the network. Maybe that was one of the reasons I am no longer invited to appear on that network but that is fine.

All I can say is, #NaDem. I did not invent the words 'herdsjournalism' and 'herdsmedia'. The media earned the tags for themselves.

This particular editor of a popular tabloid dwelt on what he called my insults on the trio at Arise Television but failed to see the facts I presented which exposed the folly and naked mischief of those particular journalists. In fact he said he read everything I wrote but did not see any point I was making except just to insult the journalists and the profession. That I should have rather stated why I thought the Naval Base should be sited in Kano. Does this not show the level of his own hypocrisy, insincerity and maybe ignorance and poor comprehension?

In that now viral piece, I did not dwell on the propriety or otherwise of siting a naval base in Kano and I expressly said so; that that was neither my intention nor my brief. I only sought to call out those journalists for their lies and for misleading the public so blatantly and I maintain, I have no apologies for that whatsoever. Up till now, none of those senior journalists or other critics of the piece has pointed out a single inaccurate fact I presented in that article in counter of the information presented by the Arise Anchors.

The said editor is not worried about the lies, misinformation and unprofessional conduct of the trio in misleading the public, rather he is angry with me and even sought to make it about the entire journalism profession. How?

He tried to intimate or rather blackmail one of the publishers of a News site for publishing the article. As a journalist and an editor, he forgot that I am not a 'journalist' and that I am entitled to my responsible, honest and factual opinion and I am responsible for my views. Not the publisher or news outfit that published my article pro bono.

What about media houses who bring guests to disparage the government, leaders and actually abuse any one they feel like, including spreading dangerous lies, half truths and propaganda capable of setting the nation ablaze on their NBC licensed platforms? Just like the Arise Anchors tried to baselessly and irresponsibly give wind to a phantom "fulanization agenda" on national television.

My use of the 'fancy suit, cosmetic, fake accent-with-no-brain journalism' narrative was deliberate and apt for the matter under scrutiny. It was not meant to disparage anyone. It is this idea of not naming and shaming people deserving of it that has given room for certain ills to fester in the nation unchecked. We can not continue to sugar coat the truths and realities.

In all, I am very happy that they have been rattled by that my expose. That was the idea and intention (apart from calling  out the particular journalistst) - for the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), professional and ethical minded journalists to rise and take back their profession from media bandits and accidental journalists trying to over run and rubbish their noble profession.

If I did not come down so hard, would they have noticed or bothered? They would have continued business as usual. This is a wake up call. Any serious and professional journalist ought to be grateful to me for exposing some bad eggs messing up their noble profession. 

Furthermore, they need to realize the rising power, influence and impact of the citizen journalist. Some citizen journalists today have stronger and more credible platforms than many established or formal media houses and that is a sad commentary.

I am gladdened by the comments and reactions of some older and professional journalists on the same article. That gives me a glimmer of hope that our media and journalism profession can yet reinvent themselves and halt the decent to self destruction. I sincerely commend such journalists.
Finally, no amount of threats, intimidation and blackmail will deter us from speaking the truth and calling things as they are; for decency and for the good of the nation.

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