Responsible journalism is not hiding the truth, nor is it being in denial that a problem exists

 

By Dr Tich Tanyanyiwa

 

Many world leaders today complain that there is so much fake news on the go. Just look at the cartoon of US President Donald Trump here.

His frustration with world media is clear for everyone to see. And he is not alone. All of us have been victims of fake news, at one time or the other. In our last article we investigated the power of information as a tool for moving people for good or bad.

I want to further explore this subject with the intent of challenging those that are in the media space to be responsible with their work, and assignments.

Unless of course your assignment is to destabilise communities or nations then we understand. I am however speaking to those that feel a call to help people and move communities to where life is better for those involved.

I believe responsible journalism is not hiding the truth, nor is it being in denial that a problem exists.

Far from it. As an author of more than 10 published books I am aware that facts and statistics are a vital part of validating and thesis that one may bring up. So the facts must be brought out so we know the magnitude of the challenge we are dealing with.

I am however advocating that as we write we must balance facts with hope. Facts reveal the problem, hope paints a picture of what should be.

When we kill the hope of a people we have killed them in reality. The writer of proverbs says “when hope is deferred it makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life”

To resuscitate an economy for example, we need the bare facts such as the unemployment rates, the number of people living below the poverty datum line and the causes of the poverty. Unfortunately this is where a lot of journalists end. They cannot go beyond this because they are out to mud sling in order to sell more papers.

In my coaching seminars I tell people that “sight is the ability to see things as they are, vision is the ability to see things as they should be and leadership is the ability to move people to the desired reality not imprison them in their current reality”. Simple statement yet profound in the weight it carries.

This reveals to me that most of our journalists are operating in the realm of sight and not vision. I suppose that is why they are “reporters” all they do is report what has happened. The big question however is why be an echo of what has happened and not be a leader of what should happen?

Why not have conversations that seek to fix the abnormal?

Why not lead the conversation as a thought leader and move our nations to a place where we are building something meaningful instead of destroying the little we have?

Responsible journalism is facilitating for people to live better lives and not spreading fear and hopelessness like Hitlers Minister of information. To seek to normalise the abnormal is an act of gross abuse of power and oppression of a people.

When America went through the Great Depression many hearts were weakened and men discouraged. It took great leadership to move the nation into a place of hope then vision the strategy and ten finally rebuilding. Napoleon Hill whom I mention in the last article author of Think and Grow Rich was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s team.

He acted as an advisor to the president. Having been in the publishing space he understood the power of the pen and began his writings of many articles that have redefined the history of mankind in a positive way.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt immediately initiated a program he called “The New Deal”.

This was a series of programs designed to revive the American economy. The ideology was carried by papers, magazines and many publications and this permeated the very ethos of the American people. America was able to bounce back because of this and the book Think and grow Rich also complimented this recovery process.

We are looking for leaders that will…
Bring hope back to our nations
Paint a new picture of a desired reality

Rally the human capital that is available and create masterminds that will restore our nations
Create a strategic plan that can be followed in rebuilding our economies.
Provide knowledge, information and platforms of exchange with an agenda to build. Seek to build and be willing to share the credit with others. Be unselfish but be willing to lay aside personal agendas for national restoration

I could go on and on but let me close by saying. It’s time to build. Firefighters can put out fires and protect a city, but it takes Engineer’s to build the city. As a journalist decide what you are and let’s build our nations.

Greatness is hidden in every seed sown.

Dr Tich Tanyanyiwa is a businessman and philanthropist, and publisher of Success Paradigms 101 (www.sp101.co.za). He is author of 20 books and director of 17 companies in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

 

 

See

 

With so much bad news, we need journalists who can re-shape the paradigms on life

 

 

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