Aug 6, 2008, 6:23 AM
We are once again compelled to reiterate our long time assertion that journalists in this country, including us at The Point, are not enemies of the state, but partners in development.
It has always been very strange to us that most people regard the journalist as the enemy of the powers that be.
As journalists, we do not see ourselves in that role.
Journalists never create news, they simply report what they see and hear in society.
This role of the journalists predates the advent of democracy, as we know it.
It is the form and medium that has only metamorphosed in keeping with the social, political, economic and technological advances in society.
Even the town crier of ancient times, who relayed messages at night was, in that capacity, a journalist.
The royal emissary of old was also a journalist in that he conveyed information so that society is well-informed to make informed choices.
What journalists report, whether the pleasant or the sordid aspects of life as lived in the society, is of value to both government and the governed.
Journalists help good governance by relating to the people government policies and programmes.
What we have seen in this country and other parts of the world is that, when a journalist write a favourable report, from the perspective of the powers that be, he or she is applauded as a good journalist.
However, when the reports are critical, the journalist is vilified, and branded as public enemy number one.
News consumers have to learn to take the good with the bad!
In the course of explaining some of these policies and programmes that they report about, journalists invariably point out flaws.
Those in power often react adversely to such analyses, commentaries, denouncing them as subversive, a threat to national security or as an opposition mouthpiece.
This should not be the case, because journalists are neither friends nor enemies of anybody and, definitely, not that of the powers that be!
Indeed, who would wants to be considered an enemy of the powers that be?
What is true, however, is that the journalist is a partner in development because by reporting the bad news, they are drawing the government’s and society’s attention to drawbacks that needed improvement.
To conclude, while we are committed to keeping both government and the governed abreast of developments in and around the world, we want to do so in an atmosphere free of fear and uncertainty.