Journalism is not dependent on skill and experience alone

Today marks World Press Freedom Day under the theme: Information as a Public Good. As a journalist, since 2007, my freedom to inform the public has never been met with brute force, just some internal and external forces that journalists face. I am one of the lucky few who practice without any major hindrances.

I have been queried over my work a number of times but I sailed through because I could prove that the information was accurate and for the public good despite calls for my head. Only a good media organisation can give you that assurance of freedom and mean it when you are right. What if you are wrong? Then it could be that you didn’t give the information enough thought to put it out there. Whose fault is that?

The work of a journalist is not dependent on your skill and experience alone, but your mindset too. As the techies would say, garbage in garbage out. What you feed your brain is what you produce. Make it a practice to learn extensively and go outside the box to be able to understand human behaviour for interpretation of actions and thoughts.

With your skill, experience and rich mindset, you would know what information is for the public good and you can justify it. You would do what is right for the people and not what is right for you. The people would be the celebrities and not yourself.

We will get there when we finally agree that being a journalist is not an honour or privilege, but a duty which comes with responsibilities.

Happy World Press Freedom Day my people!

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, communications and media consultant, editor, writer, human rights advocate, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast, history fanatic and a lover of arts and culture. He has worked with multinational media companies across the continent and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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