Showbiz journalism is one nub of the entertainment industry and persons who play the roles of journalists/writers/reporters and bloggers form an integral fold for the development and advancement of the field.
To be fair, some showbiz journalists are doing great with the job of informing, reporting and educating the masses in the most professional and ethical way whiles others are messing up, dabbling in character assassinations, poor reportage and misrepresentation of the news, thereby creating a miasma for the sector within the industry.
Some so-called showbiz journalists will be upset with this article, but who gives a hoot about their feelings anyway, especially when they are creating such a ghastly image for all of us.
Below are some of the actions ,we, as showbiz journalists get involved in that sheds such bad light on the profession and for the those dilettantes who know nothing about the craft of showbiz journalism but are parading around as journalists/writers/bloggers/reporters – it is time we put some water in the system and flush them out.
The ‘Breaking News’ Syndrome
It feels good to be credited with the act of announcing, reporting or writing ‘breaking news’ but what is the point in being the first to publish or broadcast the news when it is fraught with errors and anomalies? It only makes you look silly when you rush to report the news first and then turn around to render apologies for reporting the wrong information. In their haste to be first to report, they fail to do the necessary checks and the appropriate due-diligence, which makes their stories look preposterous.
It is becoming ridiculous that some showbiz journalists are putting out stories that have no truth, no basis and lack merit. It is simply inexplicable to have writers waste their time and energy to fabricate stories about events and personalities, all in the name of directing traffic to their websites, blogs and newspapers. That is very opaque.
It is laughable, yet mortifying to think that some writers do have this silly supposition that; by attacking personalities, it gives them the notoriety tag and makes them popular. As a journalist, if all you do is vilify and malign personalities in every opportunity given you, then instead of gaining respect, you get scorned. By all means, one can criticize but do so constructively – not to cast vituperations at the person (s).
Straight from ‘Online’ to ‘Newspaper’
In the last couple of years, internet accessibility has made it possible for many people to set up blogs and entertainment websites, which is not a bad thing at all. What is awkward is that, the newspapers pick any and every story from websites and splatter them in the papers without doing any follow-ups on the reports. Once they see it online, they assume the stories are factual and they go ahead to publish them. Annoyingly, when such stories turn out to be false, they (newspapers) find the easy route of exonerating themselves by blaming the websites. Such newspapers must invest in some manpower by employing reporters who they can train to write and report good stories.
News Online Are The Same
There is so much proliferation of entertainment websites and blogs, once a story is placed on one portal, over two hundred other websites/ blogs will pick the story and quite shockingly, they all will have the same story, word-for-word. If the news is inundated with damaging blunders, it travels far and fast to Alaska and Oman and when the originator realizes his/her folly in putting out such phony news and decides to retract – it becomes torrid because the bad news had already reached Fiji. Some dullards operating websites and blogs will never be originators of any news; they sleep, wake up, surf the internet and just pick stories to fill their portals. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in culling news from other platforms, but let others also cull from you, dim-wit!
Laziness is eating deep in some showbiz journalists. They refuse to be innovative and ingenious in generating their own evidence-backed stories. Picking stories and crediting the sources settle it for them. They don’t do due-diligence, they do not do any follow-ups and they even refuse to put their own spin to the write-ups. Copy and paste is the name of the game.
‘Stealing’ Stories & Not Giving Credit
It is most irksome to figure out that some newspapers, websites and blogs pick stories from other platforms, splash them on their sites with all the finesse but refuse to give credit to the source of the stories. How hard is it to simply acknowledge the fellow who sat down, put words and ideas together to come up with the brilliant write-up worthy of copying? ‘Steal’ with a little conscience!
Wrong form of Blogging
Some bloggers have the erroneous impression that blogging does not make them showbiz journalists/writers/reporters yet they report on events and personalities. The fact that you are blogging does not give you the warrant to put out false news and slander personalities without any cause. Yes, you can do your features and write your opinions on events and showbiz persons but it must be based on facts.
It is imperative that, once we accept to be branded as showbiz journalists, we must eschew all forms of unprofessionalism and unethical actions that give the profession such a repugnant tag. We must all attach some proficiency in how we do our job, and the industry will advance in the right direction. If you are still upset by this article, well, that’s unfortunate – you just got flushed out!