A seasoned journalist of international repute need not be educated on the first obligation of journalism, which is to the truth. He should know that truth is sacrosanct, and the absence of it impacts negative on his vocation, the society and his own integrity. But evidence abound of supposed experienced journalist jettisoning the truth for pecuniary gains; this is why there is need to refresh such journalists’ memory with the “journalistic truth”, which according to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in the book ‘The Elements of Journalism, “is a process that begins with the professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts.”
While the journalism profession has been critiqued as having been debased as a result of the ‘brown envelope syndrome, those who had believed that the influx of foreign journalists into the country would usher in a new dawn have come to a conclusion that they were disillusioned.
The so-called foreign journalists are no better than mercenaries who have only their ways to Nigeria only to take what could benefit them, even at the expense of the country. One of those who has been conducting himself in such an opprobrious manner is a certain journalist with Bloomberg, named William Clowes. Clowes is one Nigeria-based foreign journalist who is fast piling up media contents that are setting him apart for ignominy, and he does appear like someone ready to make a detour. He has turned himself to a willing tool in the hands of unscrupulous powerful men ready to dole out the dough as long as he does their bidding.
Clowes who reportedly schemed his way to be stationed in Nigeria for covetous reasons has been living up to his ulterior motive. He must have really discovered the Nigerian oil and gas industry must be truly be golden for him to be wasting away in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he was for a number of years, churning out slanted media contents either for the powers that be or the opposition depending on which side offered fatter bribes.
Nigeria definitely offers better opportunism for Clowes. He is said to be living large in Abuja, the seat of power, where he has been cornering mouth-watering deals with IOCs and other vested interests. In fact, those privy to how he operates narrated how he has almost become a lobbyist.
What is most unfortunate about Crowes’ stock in trade is that he has turned Bloomberg, a veritable platform, to a ready space to be used for his dirty tricks. Crowes has further confirmed that his pen flows with blood in the name of money making. He has shown that his is a journalism of personal pecuniary benefits. The worst thing that can happen to a journalist is to have his soul bought. It is unfortunate that William Clowes has lost his conscience for whom he was once known to money bags whose bid he does without batting an eyelid, even if his writing would set a whole nation on fire.
-Oyekunle writes from Lagos