CrossRiverWatch Capacity Building: Online Journalists Urged To Be Fair, Accurate, Balanced

In Breaking News, Education, National News, Reports

By Our Reporter

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Online journalists in Cross River State have been admonished to imbibe the culture of news verification, accuracy, fairness and balance in their reportage.

This admonition was given by a senior journalist and Vanguard Newspaper reporter, Mr. Ike Uche while speaking at the third edition of CrossRiverWatch capacity building training held at her Corporate Headquarters of the media house at No. 2 Marian Road, Calabar Municipality, by Rabanna roundabout.

Mr. Ike Uche who was speaking on the topic, “Types of News Writing: Advantages and Disadvantages”, enjoined the journalists to “as a basic necessity in journalism be removed from the story as much as possible and be accurate in not just the dating but the spelling of names and other minute details.

“On accuracy when writing a news story, we do have to consider the correct spelling of the persons’ name and quote him/her correctly. The arrangement of time should be in order of time, date, month and year. Doing otherwise can mislead the audience and the readers.

“In terms of being fair, there seems to be this little similarity between being fair and being objective. Fairness involves hearing from both parties, doing otherwise will amount to being bias. We have to do all within our powers to get the other part of the story, especially controversial and investigative reportage.

“When you are being objective you are not trying to take side. You try to remove yourself from the event and report and become neutral. You are then playing that watchdog role that a journalist is supposed to play”.

The Vanguard South-South pull out correspondent says that they are basically two types of news, from which other types develop from, which are the “Inverted Pyramid and the Interpretative style”.

Buttressing further he said, “The inverted pyramid style on the other hand places important facts at the beginning and walks down from there. Ideally, the first paragraph should contain enough information to give a reader good overview of the entire story. Which means in your first paragraph you should have been able to summarize. A good approach is to assume that the story might be cut off at any point.

“In interpretative news writing, you are writing the news behind the news. It is an articulate effort required of writers to give meaning to news event, so as for the report to get attractive to the audience. This is done by giving contextual explanations to facts and is done so that the average news reader will know the implication of the event being reported to his or her life”.

The training sessions continue every Saturday at the same venue and members of the public who are interested in practising online journalism in the state are encouraged to attend.

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