By Taofeek LAWAL
As the fourth estate of the realm backed by the constitution, the media is expected to inform, educate and enlighten the citizens through its reportage.
Journalism as one of the oldest professions in the world has continually shaped the society by bringing hitherto withheld information to the public glare. One can imagine how a world without the media could have been.
The people would have been bereft of information and update on the happenings around them. So the role of the media can never be over emphasized based on the critical role it has played, it is playing and will continue to play as long as the world exists.
Journalism from time immemorial has been categorized into two; the broadcast media (radio and television) and the print media (newspapers and magazines). But the advent of the social media in recent years has afforded people to access to information at their finger tips and in a twinkle of an eye.
In today’s world, everyone is now a journalist because the media space has allowed people through the use of their phones, tablets, i-pads and other advanced technological devices to send out information although this information most times are not verified.
The social media or the new media as it is referred to has kept the conventional or the traditional media on their toes as both the print and the broadcast media now operate online platforms for their online readers who ordinarily will not listen or watch the news or read the newspapers but make use of sophisticated gadgets at their disposals to access the latest news.
There is no gainsaying in the fact that the journalism world has evolved from what it used to be in the past. Through the internet which has turned the world into a global village, a journalist from the comfort of his room can reach millions of people around the world through his reports and news items and can get feedback instantly.
Unlike in the past, the feedback through the media is now spontaneous because it allows the media practitioners and the readers or the listeners to have interactive session as much as possible and to have broader knowledge of subjects or topics being discussed and proffer solutions.
Journalists today have embraced the modern reportage of news events through the mastery of information and communication gadgets which not only add value to their reports but lift them above their peers.
The social media or the new media is however not with its disadvantages too as it is the easiest medium to spread what is referred to as fake or false or unverified news and which can lead to the breakdown of law and order.
Therefore, a media practitioner who knows his onions and who understands the ethics of his profession should know that whatever he pushes to the public domain must be factual, objective and accurate and such reports must not incite the public against the government.
The new media has come to stay and it is incumbent on the media houses and the practitioners to embrace it or fizzle out.