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The Role of Media in Africa Politics

By Saliu Emmanuel
Posted Nov 8, 2009 in Politics
The role of the media in the today demoracy or political participation in Africa cannot be overemphasised.
Local prints and radio media should try as much as possible to send thier correspondents to the scene of the incidents in order to verify and get the firsthand information from the scene spot before publishing. The danger of the media to rely solely on the hand-out information is very misleading, uncordinated and destructive to national and international consuption.
The media should take into cognisance that GRAPE VINE exist in the channel of information disemination. How message passes from one person to the other.
There is no gainsay that the accurate event that happen at a particular spot, withnessed by the third party may be altered when communicated to the forth party, fifth, and so on.The message is either added or subtracted from, not minding the adverse effect it will have on the feedback from the public.
The above illustration simply demostrated how information or message are shared or passed by Grape vine in a geometrical form. According to the illustration, supposing A did not verify the root cause of the event and just passed it to BC, he would have succeeded in misleading the other Grape vine.
Passing such unverified events befor making it public is capable of causing tension, or even war.
What happened in 1990 Rwandan Geonacide, with reference to the role of the media that fueled the crisis is a good example.
It was alleged that local print and radio media fueled the killings. It was believed that Rwanda print media have started hate speech against Tutsi that was later continued by radio stations. The anti-Tutsi commentators alleged speech BECAME SO SYSTEMATIC AS TO SEEM THE NORM Kangura, the state owned news-paper alleged to had a central role by started an anti-Tutsi and anti-RPF campain in October 1990. It was also alleged the international media either ignored or seriously misconstructrued events on the ground
My advise to our media in this modern demoracy or political participation, is to show high sense of professionalism by veriying matters at the scene of event very well before passing it to the public for consuption.
I rest my case.

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