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Monday, 14 August 2017

BIAFRA: PUNCH NEWSPAPER AND THE PRACTICE OF ARMCHAIR JOURNALISM




















By Ejike Ofoegbu || For Biafra Writers

August 14, 2017

Punch Newspaper have been repeatedly found guilty of carrying out an armchair journalism and the inability to go out and interview sources. Because of deadlines and the increasing amount of information they are always bombarded with, Punch frequently rely on the internet and the phone to compile their articles.

Recently, the Punch Newspaper, promoted a huge lie in their reporting that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu's successful rally in Owerri, Imo State, was disrupted and opposed by some nonexistent youth, a claim which even did not take place which left us but to wonder where and when all these lies emanated from.

It is quite unfortunate that the newspaper has drifted so low to spreading lies and propaganda of which would not benefit anyone.

Another easy starting point for Punch is to take what has been reported previously as their background information. This is crippling the industry as it prompts journalists to ‘thumb suck’ stories, especially if they are relying on information sourced from social networking sites.

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In a nutshell, Punch newspaper prefer ‘armchair journalism’ because it is not easy to go out and cover a story in the field, where one needs strong cross-platform journalistic skills in order to interview, report back, write, edit, blog about and record your own work. Some newsrooms save on the costs of travelling to cover stories, where journalists write a story depending on the opinions of others who were are the scene or based on hearsay from people who may not be present at the scene of the event.

“I think the problem is that most journalists now want to tell us information that they have gathered from someone else. How can you comment about a soccer game when you only saw highlights of it, to people who saw the full 90 minutes of the game? Armchair journalism is killing the industry and those participating in it are destroying their credibility.

“I think that armchair journalism which Punch newspaper is practicing can cripple one’s career as it promotes laziness and the inability to think on your feet. Cross-platform journalism is not as tough as most people make it out to be, in the field you need to arm yourself with background information so that you know what is happening and you will be in the position to ask the right questions. I think most punch newspaper find it hard to be their own critics and in most cases, they are subjective and forget their target audience," a social commentator says.

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Finally Punch newspaper should know this, going to a story and covering the event, taking pictures and interacting with the people at the story really helps the reporter to put in the element of ‘real’ towards the story and it becomes more believable and boosts your credibility to write a story unlike it being unrealistic and based only on press releases.


Edited By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Publisher: Chijindu Benjamin Ukah

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