Role of the Media in Development
Indices that measure GDP in many African countries are being misrepresented or misinterpreted. Now more than ever before, the role of the media in development is being questioned.
I have lived and worked in Africa for more than two decades and it seems to me that journalists have become partisan in their day-to-day work and activities. The new lexicon in African journalism is “brown envelope”. This is a situation where a journalist compromises the principles and practices that regulate their profession in exchange for money.
The area most affected by bribery is the reporting of population statistics. Journalists deployed to cover population censuses have given inaccurate population figures in exchange for the so-called “brown envelope”.
It is a fact that accurate and updated population statistics are important in a successful national economic framework and planning.
For sustainable development to take place in Africa the media must be independent of the government. Journalists must adhere to the global best practices guiding their profession and fulfil their duty as the voice of the voiceless and eye of the blind in society. But it is up to the media corporations to dissuade corruption by investing in their workforce and providing more attractive welfare and insurance packages.
Submitted by Olanrewaju Daodu, Task Force member and the founder and principal consultant for Rural Youth Voice of Nigeria. Check out his other guest blog Africa Series:Young Empowerment & Sustainable Development.
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