Thursday, 21 July 2016

Mustapha Kamil : Lying and the suppression of the truth is not journalism.

Mustapha Kamil 

I would like to ask my former colleagues in the mainstream media this one question:-
Where are we to hide our shamed souls now? 

I say 'we' because I feel ashamed of myself too as for a long 28 years, like you, I failed to play my role as the public's watchdog. 

That was why I left. 

I take no pride in leaving the profession but I wasn't strong enough to go against the tide.
What has been laid bare by the US Justice Department for the world to see should not have been allowed to happen to this great nation. 

We journalists in the mainstream media knew this all along. 

We spoke about it in the newsroom corridors, during our coffee and smoking breaks.
But whenever our paychecks arrived, we enjoyed our perks but forgot that we owed the public nothing less than the truth. 

My time is over my friends. 

Don't for one minute think that am standing proud now for having left. 

Quite frankly, I have nothing much to show. 

Journalism is not about rubbing shoulders with the powerful, being driven around by a driver and with a few honorific titles to show. 

It is about how we help society master their world by helping them make the best decisions on matters that affects their lives. 

Lying and the suppression of the truth is not journalism. 

For you who are still in the profession, there is still time to turn back and put journalism in order. 

You owe that to the society you serve. 

*Mustapha Kamil*
Former Group Editor of NST