Yellow Journalism (Word For The Week)
Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that does not report much real news with facts. Instead, it is the use of shocking headlines that catch people’s attention to sell more newspapers.
Yellow journalism often includes exaggerated facts and the spreading of rumors.
Those familiar with how the US press is now split between conservatism and liberalism can testify to how journalism there has gone from incident reportage to yellow journalism.
Both arms of the media bury news that contradicts their view or paints them in a bad light.
As for anything that exposes the flaws of their opponents, they not only beam the floodlights on it, they also throw in a large helping of yeast in form of assumptions, presumptions, and suppositions.
They blow every talking point out of proportion, make a mountain out of a molehill, and present rumors as facts.
This has exacerbated the divide between the left and the right. It has also made the public lose trust in the media.
As a matter of fact, public trust in the media is at an all-time low. People now turn to alternate news sources instead.
In Nigeria meanwhile, the influence of the media on electioneering was felt over the last two elections on a scale never witnessed before.
Media houses went from being independent reporters to being propaganda machines.
Nigerian political parties are not split on “left and right” ideologies. They are built more on shifting interests.
The media too have shown themselves to align with wherever their next paycheck will come from.
New media outfits meanwhile, are positioning themselves to be more unbiased and independent.
I hope they can work out a funding mechanism that would ensure they never have to be compromised by the politicians.
Media organizations in Europe and America have been complaining about the loss of ad revenue to online media. This has resulted in the shutting down of several news providers.
In Nigeria meanwhile, the political class remains the biggest patron of the media. This in turn has resulted in a modified form of yellow journalism that is basically pen, or camera for hire.
The APC spent an unprecedented sum of money in laundering the image of General Buhari in 2015. They called him a reformed democrat with military discipline.
Those who participated in the social media arm of that campaign were judiciously rewarded in cash. Some went on to occupy lucrative positions afterward, others were left to their fates.
Recent happenings, like the party members registration and the “65th” birthday of Bola Tinubu, hints that the party machinery has learned to skip the “agencies” and work directly with “influencers”.
This is guaranteed to take money out of the media houses and put in the pocket of individuals online.
Nigeria is about to witness yellow journalism on an unprecedented level.
With no NBC to sanction individuals, the 2023 Nigerian general election is about to be an all-comers affair. To put it in a better colloquial form, it is about to be a rofo-rofo fight.
If the leading opposition, the PDP, is able to match the ruling APC in online spending, then what we have witnessed with stan culture from 30BG, Wizkid FC, and Outsiders will be a joke.
The drama we’ve witnessed from the last three Big Brother Naija will be child’s play.
In all of these, don’t ever forget that some people are being paid. Don’t make permanent decisions, or enemies, because of someone else’s yellow journalism.
Before you reply to someone out of the anger and frustration that Nigeria has heaped on you, ask yourself, “Is this worth it?”
When we are done with the next election and the debris is cleared out, the ruling class will most likely remain the ruling class. Irrespective of which party wins the election.
We have had the same ruling class since 1969. Ask yourself, is this worth losing family and friends over?