We may need to have a media accountability bill soon

We may need to have a media accountability bill soon

Some members of parliament began pushing the proposal that says investigative journalists and telecasters should be held accountable for the words of their mouths, they should be responsible for all the results of their reporting, just the same way MPs are strictly scrutinized and words they speak are held into account to be possibly used against them in the future. If a journalist gives a disturbing report about a given market then should it lead to rioting or people damaging property in the marketplace then the shop owners have a right to claim compensation from the journalists and the media companies that caused the upheaval. If a poof can be revealed that links them to the rioting and violence in the city square, then proper action must be taken against them. The mayors, councillors and members of parliament from Way-man County had a heated debate, they couldn’t decide exactly what to be done about the current uneasiness. Every man and woman, whether great or small, rich or poor must be held accountable for the words they speak. It will not be like in the olden days when a group of researchers would throw something into a crowd then walk out of the commotion leaving everyone to decide for themselves.” We have got to look at the bigger picture, says the mayor, if you really love this town, then you’d not want to be the cause of its ruin.”

Some activists reacted by conducting a public protest against the proposals brought forward by the council. “The media struggle has come too far, we surely do not want to take it back to the olden days (the Stone Age period). When activists were tongue tied and kept in small dark rooms for speaking the truth, “are you taking us back to the days of media oppression Mr Mayor?” the people shout at him.

 “Of course not,” he replies, “you are saying that you speak the truth to the people, which of course is your truth. Everybody here claims to be speaking the truth., everyday your reporters storm into my office with their nasty microphones, when I ask them to be more careful with what they are doing, they slam my office desk saying, it’s my RIGHT my FREEDOM. To you, the word freedom can mean a lot of things, do you mean freedom from responsibility? Freedom from blame? Freedom from accountability, freedom from worrying, concerns, care…..

 All right, I understand it’s your right, your freedom, everybody here has rights, you somehow happen to put your own interests and desires ahead of everyone else. This town is bigger than any of you and all of us, should any calamity come upon it, all of us will be affected, if you claim to love and care for this town, then I bet you’d give us your support and help us build it, not to demolish it, my office is the most intruded room in this town.” said the mayor with empathy in his voice. 

The mayor has often been heavily criticised before because of his mysterious spending, secretive budget allocations and unclear awarding of contracts.

It continues to stir up anger in the protesters, they demand better reforms.

“you know what happens when a Councillor gives his first speech?” says the mayor, “every citizen takes out their pen and notebook, writes down all the promises he makes, then they put people in charge to follow up his activities, to make sure he fulfills every promise he makes, for us people in positions of leadership, life is quiet tough for us, compare that with a well-established and respected journalist. No such thing ever takes place, in the last half a century, the media industry has grown larger and more influential, with this immense influence comes immense power, for us public officials and figures are constantly at the mercy of their reporting, they should exercise great responsibility, anything they present does have a long term effect on their viewers and the society at large.

 Accountability is supposed to be a two way exchange, if they want me to be responsible they should not act otherwise. We are just trying to keep their power in check, were you not aware that the media industry has more power and influence than any other Informational institution in the world? More than health institutions more than financial institutions more than the co-operative societies, more than sports institutions, etc.

What is actually the role of the media? Is it to demonise politicians and other people in public offices? To give the impressions that they are fork-tongued serpents who say one thing then do another?”

Before he could finish, objects were flying towards him, flowers sticks, shoes eggs, the people hit him on the face, he fled from the podium and sought refuge in the town hall, the people couldn’t  take in anymore, they had heard enough from this mayor so they wanted an alternate solution, a quick change to his system of governance.

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