Saturday, 2 May 2015

AIT is a Disgrace to the Media Profession By Terfa Naswem

I remember during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, AFRICA INDEPENDENT TELEVISION (AIT) was the only outstanding television station that gave Obasanjo tough time with its objective and people-interest reportage and fought against corruption by exposing corrupt practices.
AIT fought strongly against Obasanjo's third term bid by discouraging it as being anti-democratic.  AIT stood firm for the truth and never allowed its integrity to be compromised by partisan politics and I was so impressed with AIT for the impact it made.

Under Jonathan Government, AIT suddenly became a shadow of itself by selling its integrity to Jonathan and PDP for financial and political gains. The station involved in partisan politics and became an ardent campaign medium for Jonathan and PDP and promoted hate campaigns against Buhari.

If AIT had transmitted hate campaigns against Jonathan and PDP as well, it would have been considered that the station gave both sides equal chances and was fair to both sides. No one would have blamed AIT for partisan politics.  But when a station only gives one party the enormous airtime to promote hate campaigns and fails to give others then it becomes unfair. And this was actually what AIT did.

Chinua Achebe (of blessed memory) once said that "One of the truest tests of integrity is it blunt refusal to be compromised". But AIT’s integrity has been compromised since it didn’t refuse the offer.  AIT has lost its reputation locally and internationally and it will take it a very long time to rebuild it because of how most Nigerians and the international community perceive it.

High Chief Dr. Raymond Dokpesi is considered a media guru of Nigeria and a philanthropist, but I am still surprised why he allowed partisan politics to affect his integrity as a person and that of his own station.

Today, I consider Channels Television as being the best television station in Nigeria because it has distinguished itself from partisan and bias television stations like AIT.

I just hope other private stations will learn from AIT's mistake and uphold the fundamental ethics of journalism which include: truthfulness, objectivity, accuracy, balance, fairness, impartiality and public accountability.

1 comment:

  1. This writer is a bloody idiot. AIT simply ran a sponsored documrntary which was brought to it for a fee having ascertained that the contents were undisputabke facts. Did buharis medi campaign team approach AIT with a counter documentary to set the records straight? No. But we are all aware that they chose other media to run their own smear campaign against GEJ, and no one has been killed or banned since then. Trying to excuse the obnoxious acts of the general from daura who has been lying through his teeth so far is unacceptable. Eternal vigilance they say is the price of freedom . We are watching.