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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How The Internet is changing the face of journalism

The internet can be described as the fastest way to disseminate information now. With the advent of internet, a lot of things have changed. Gone were the days, when one has to wait for a longer time to get information or send information. I can sit in my house, or anywhere, get a story and lease it to my media house. For example, with social Medias like twitter, Facebook, and blogging, I can do a story and let other people know. In other words, internet has made the compression of time and space very possible.
Another factor is also that new organizations don't own the news anymore. There is a transformation for the journalist from being the gatekeeper of information to sharing it in a public space. Therefore citizen journalism is something that the internet has brought. For example, here in Ghana, TV3 has given the public a chance to make their own news. So I can make or write the news in my locale and send it to them via the internet.
The only thing I can say is that when it comes to objectivity, then the internet raises a lot of questions. Objectivity has always been an idea important for the news. It is designed to deliver journalism that people can trust. But in the new media age transparency is what delivers trust. News today still has to be accurate and fair, but it is as important for the readers, listeners and viewers to see how the news is produced, where the information comes from, and how it works. The emergence of news is as important, as the delivering of the news itself.
Journalism now has been given a new branding. The Internet makes organizing groups trivially simple. A mass e-mail, a facebook group, or an online petition can be created in seconds and at essentially no cost. Collaboration on any significant scale used to require the power of institutions and organizations. Now they require only a good idea and the right tools.
With the Internet, retailers don’t need newspapers to connect with their customers; they can set up their own Web sites and mailing lists. I can start a blog and post leaked documents to my hearts’ content.
Deciding what combination of news was the most important for the public to know. Traditionally, that’s been a job for newspaper editors, the ones who decide what makes Page One and what gets cut for space. But space isn’t a limited resource anymore; there’s no shortage of electrons. Instead of trusting the local paper’s brain trust to judge what’s important, any Internet user can get their news through the filter of their choice—a favorite blogger, the machine-generated Google News, or the Most E-Mailed list on some news site. Or they can find news about the near-infinite number of subjects.
Blogging sites also represent a step forward in Journalism. As mentioned earlier on, one can find any information on a blog or post information on blogs depending on varied topics. Gone were the days one need to look through a lot of books or journals on a host of topics. Blogging helps now with a lot of findings because people post their opinions for other people who will be interested to follow.

I Promise NOT to Promise (Part 1)

The election season is here in Ghana once again. One cannot begrudge the hopefulness of everyone standing for election to public office. Even the bloke who is very much aware that members of his own family wouldn't vote for him if even he was the sole candidate is brimming with hope that he will be given the nod.
I have always wondered - once I attained such capacity - why politicians would do everything and anything to get elected; in fact why it becomes a do or die affair to serve the people. Woe anyone who stands in in their way towards attainment of such "noble aspirations".
Noble Aspiration? Indeed. I believe public service is a noble aspiration which we must cultivate. However, selfishness appears to be the drive of most of the people who seek public office today. Why not? We see the tremendous change that comes upon those who occupy such positions; from the lavish homes to the high-end vehicles they would hitherto not have bothered to read the prices off of magazines. Who no dey love better chop?
Promises are a regular part of campaigning. Politicians would promise reincarnating your mother if that you would get you to vote for them. The mischief is that most politicians who make these promises have no intention of keeping them or do not properly think through their promises before pronouncing them.
The presidential candidates of almost all the political parties in Ghana have recently made some promises, some major, some minor. Some of the major promises made by the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akuffo Addo, include 1 village in the North 1 dam, 1 district 1 factory, creation of a new region carved out from the Western Region. The president and candidate of the NDC wouldn't be outdone; he came out with the promise to increase the number of regions to 15, build more community day schools, 1 student 1 tablet, etc.
Of course the crowd goes wild upon hearing such promises. But people who have observed the political history of promises in Ghana would tell you that the bigger the promise, the more likely that the candidate making the promise has no intention of keeping it. The primary reason for this is that they make such promises as a counter to other promises made by their opponents and so do not properly think through the implications of their promises within the context of prevailing capacity and resources.
My Critique of some promises I find Unnecessary
Mind you, I think very little is impossible. Now with that out of the way what are some of the promises which I think are unnecessary or achievable within any four year tenure of a president.

1. One District, One factory:
I personally believe this is possible but unnecessary. First and foremost, the promisor has not defined what type of factories he is thinking about only that "every district has a dominant industry". But factories by themselves are nothing if they are not assured of regular market and raw material. Again, if we intend being relevant to modern trends, government has no business setting up factories. I would rather that government create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. At least our history as a country has taught us that much. It is unnecessary because of the simple law of diminishing returns.

To be continues.....