Nigerian Russia based University lecturer, Mustapha Muhammed Jamiu, has noted that journalists are at war with two sets of people in their quest of eliminating information pollution. Assistant Professor of Informational Technology at the RUND University of Russia disclosed this while making his presentation during the launching of the Western Nigeria Publica, a newly established online newspaper in Nigeria.
According to him, professional journalists and media producers are at war with visible and invisible people. “Visible people are the dubious individuals and politicians using the tool for their gain (monitory, popularity among others) simply because they are not happy with the narrative of a certain news story that does not conform with them and will simply declare it as ‘fake’.
“Invisible people represent innocent individuals with no knowledge of why what is written and for what. These sets of people are the ones who read and share the headlines without following the link to read the whole story whether it conforms with each other, they will start forming an opinion on it; and the one who reads a rewritten headline or story from malicious sharers that uses a faulty headline for personal gain.”
Speaking further on the theme of the launching “Redefining News Production in the Age of Information Pollution, the Don notes that “For these sets of people is the reason professional journalists and media producers need to tailor their contents accordingly for effective and ethical delivery. In realizing this, I would recommend paying keen attention to the following; the usage of headlines, online news editors, and gatekeeping.
The need to realise the power of headlines as a strong tool of media production today, and that they can be susceptible to misinformation through clickbait features they may carry. Redefining media production simply means being aware of the obstacles of professional journalism in this era, and the readiness to battle them for delivering ethical journalism by all means.”
He stressed further that the mainstream news media [conventional media] need to train their online news editors on better ways of constructing headlines towards effective elimination of ambiguity, which the categories of people earlier explained explore for their personal interest. He added that gatekeeping is a key aspect of journalism in ensuring and maintaining ethics in production. According to him, this is fading due to the advancement in technologies and media proliferation that placed the media tool in the hands of everyone. Despite this, professionals should never compromise for anything.