The comment/editorial page of a newspaper, defines the maturity of the editors and journalism ethical standards of any daily newspaper. This is why the reporter or editor entrusted with writing editorials for one daily newspaper, should be of sound mind and mature enough-have a high sense of judgement to avoid contradicting the earlier positions of the paper and also be objective enough, in order to write on the people’s common feelings.
Most newspapers readers are eager to learn the message that one newspaper has carried in its comment. They expect that the comment should be a guiding light that tackles on an issue which they can easily associate themselves with.
But when one paper carries anti-regime editorials, that are merely baseless attacks on the government, the dear readers are wise enough to know the agenda of the paper. This has the danger of putting the paper into disrepute and further; the paper disassociates itself with people because of its prejudiced judgements.
It is disheartening that our daily newspapers editorials these days, are nauseatingly becoming a disappointment. They writers of the editorials are failing to be objective and are not willing to tell the truth. They have thrown the ethics in journalism to the dogs and they have become like the very same online news sites that they accuse of being unprofessional. The problem is that when you are a liar, you also become good at forgetting. You forget what you said yesterday.
One wonders, where the good editors who used to write critical and objectively sound commentaries went to. One wonders why the current crop editors is not learning from the duo of late Edward Chitsulo and Edward Chibambo.
Many of us have nostalgia of the days of Chitsulo and Chibambo, the then managing editors of the Blantyre Newspapers Limited and Nation Publictions Limited, respectively. The kind of Chitsulo and Chibambo, did not let their political inclinations, emotions and feelings, find their way into the newspapers they worked for. This is because they were well aware of the fact that in the same way as political leaders represent the people, the editors also do represent the common feelings of the citizenry.
So, the art and skill of writing commentaries is for Jim and jack. It is an art for the selected few. It is not for the faint-hearted.
You wonder for example, today, The Daily Times editorial has made many contradictions with its recent editorials. Today the Daily Times is asking the president stop making visits for public stunts. This is in reference to the recent visits he has made to Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe, Nsanje, Escom and Admarc.
Now listen! In the previous editorials, The Daily Times asked the president to:
- Attend to the bloodsucking rumours by visiting the people in the areas haunted by the alleged presence of bloodsuckers.
- Not regard the rumours as myths and a result of a superstitious societies.
Later, The Daily Times came in another editorial and made the following claims:
- The president should stop the killings of the suspected bloodsuckers by taking a position- that the bloodsuckers do not exists and are not mythical.
- The president should act on the state of electricity blackouts in the country.
So baffling, the editorial today says that the president should stop making visits for public stunts. Yet the president visited Escom offices on every important matter. According to The Daily Times, visiting Escom was a wastage of public resources. In the future editorials, the same paper, will claim that the president always sits in his office.
The Daily Times contradictory positions/premises presented above, sounds like the rumblings of a mad man or someone who is coming straight from a cup of beer or someone on high weed.
We suggest therefore that as plans are underway to take Vincent Wandale for some mental examination, fearing he might be a mad guy, we never know The Daily Times newsroom is also keeping some mad guys who are protected by their slick suits and neckties to make us think they are normal.
But what about all these contractions in their editorials. Only a sick mind can fail to notice these contradicting positions. We suggest, for the sake of wasting our time, to arrange them for another session of mental examination, they should be taken together with Wandale for some check-up.
But if it turns out, they have sane minds, then all they will need to do is to freely pack themselves out of the newsroom, for they are too dull to remain there and write editorials for this prestigious media house.