Nigerian Scholars » How the Media Can Move Nigeria forward

How the Media Can Move Nigeria forward

Father: “Hello!”

Son: “Papa, Good morning! How are you? Hope all is well, this one you’re calling me at 5am in the morning?”
Father: “All is not well o. Wake up and boil water, then add salt to it and make sure you use it for your bath this morning before going for lectures. It will protect you from Ebola.”
Son: “But, Papa, who told you that one again?”
Father: “You don’t listen to news, so I don’t blame you. Just make sure you do as I’ve told you.”
Son: “Okay, sir!”

People have died because of wrong information. The rumored ‘salt and water’ prevention measure for the Ebola virus has claimed a number of lives in so short a period. It only took someone a few seconds to cook it up and share it on Facebook and the deed was done. More than 60% of Nigerians received phone calls when the news began to spread that ‘a salt and water bath’ could prevent the contraction of the Ebola virus disease. I received a call myself.

How Can the Media Move Nigeria forward

The media, news, social and the like has remarkable influence on the society. The kind of control the media has over the society and its members cannot be overrated.  Information is power indeed both power for building and power for destroying. Had the media disseminated authentic information about the transmission and prevention of the disease, those deaths would have been prevented. Not just that! Also, if the media were to be promote broadcasts and info that will tackle the fear of the disease rather imbue panic amongst members of the society for the next two days, the prospects of curtailing the virus will highly increase.

Of course, it will be unwise to ignore the bad facts but dwelling on them more than the good no matter how little may exist will do nothing else other than to create a spirit of pessimism and fear in the society which is in no wise healthy for the development of any nation. I strongly believe that in the large hands of the media lies remarkable power that can move Nigeria forward. The media can cause as much good as it can cause bad.

“Chai, there is God o” has become a popular satirical slang used in Nigeria having its origin from a speech that was made by our First Lady who expressed her heartbreak about issues as touching the kidnap of the Chibok girls by the Boko Haram terrorist group. I had to figuratively beat myself into correction after having used that slang twice in one day. It’s a statement that mocks our leader and the media had a major role to play in causing that detrimental satire.

If we can in the days approaching fill our Facebook walls, local news sites, YouTube channels, blogs, and other media with positive messages of optimism and hope about our country, it’ll only be a matter of time before things begin to change for the better. Let’s think positive and act positive. Nigeria can and will be better.

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