Snobbery wont work

HARARE - History has a long list of corporate socialites so overwhelmed by snobbery that they consider the only attention they deserve as blandishments that stroke their ego.

With that mentality of self-importance, some socialites are convinced they can proscribe the media.

History also recites a slew of instances when fiery critics of the elite in the media have been cowed by legal threats from officials to force the media abrogate its duty of informing the public on issues they are entitled to know about and then judge what is right or wrong.

The same snobs wish what they say or do constitute unchallenged gospel truth, when on closer examination it is mere showboating meant to attract attention.

Many a times the media has to battle its conscience and voluntarily exercise restrain quite aware that its duty is not to inflict damage even in the face of compelling evidence.

It is frequently faced with few choices when the public censures it for letting big fish off the hook and ensnaring tiny ones. Time and time again, the media strives to balance the narrow circular interests of the so-called socialites against broader issues that concern the public.

More often than not, the media naturally puts attention-seekers in the cross hairs, unravelling  mysteries that belie this disingenuous showboating.

The media operates with the rapacious instinct when dealing with issues that it deems are of public concern or are in the public interest and has assigned itself the crucial role to make those who would otherwise consider themselves “untouchable” accountable for their actions.

Newspapers of repute operate strictly on the philosophy that their basic duty is not to deny but to inform the reader about events nomatter how unpalatable certain sections of the population might find the reportage.

An unusual trend has emerged among corporate socialites to threaten and intimidate newspapers with lawsuits and all manner of legal action as a way of encouraging journalists to look the other way.
Some go to the extent of convincing themselves that every journalist can be palm-greased to ignore issues.

Yet, those that resort to such untoward persuasion should know they can do that at their own peril.

Newsmakers are cannon fodder for journalists just as celebrities are for the paparazzi.

Once someone decides on his own to be a newsmaker, he or she should accept the fact that they have chosen to walk the straight path to avoid the probing eyes of the public and the media.

Unless they pay heed to good advice and plunge head first to hog the limelight, the media will always be attracted to them like magnets — or simply like flies to a pile of dung. - Staff Writer

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