The media can and should in certain instances be activists to fight any form of injustice or drive democracy.
This is according to Uyapo Ndadi, of Ndadi Law Firm. The Human Rights advocate was responding to statements made by the new president of Botswana Movement for Democracy Sidney Pilane who recently pointed an accusing finger at local journalists for being unethical.
Advocate Pilane accused journalists of being paid by certain politicians, specifically those from the rival faction of Ndaba Gaolathe and his team. His take is that journalists gave the Gaolathe faction positive coverage over his own that comprises Nehemiah Modubule, among others.
“They are biased and they are on the payrolls of certain politicians. They are captives…and no one takes them seriously because they spread lies about me and my faction. Now is the time to answer them because I am now active,” a scathing Pilane had said.
He said he had been informed that journalists are broke hence some politicians pay them to attack his camp.
Ndadi began by posting his sentiments on his Facebook page that got people debating. “We are generally broke in Botswana, including journalists, but not all of us, including journalists, would sell their souls. Like in any field, including politics, there are thieves and thugs. Some have been thieves and corrupt for many years, and their deeds are also known across borders,” he said.
Ndadi said in an interview with BG News that the media should be allowed to exercise its activism role. “This is particularly important in countries where the civil society is relatively weak like Botswana,” he said. Ndadi clearly wants journalists to stand up and tighten their activism.
“There is nothing wrong with being passionate about a cause, provided that no propaganda is peddled. The beauty of being a journalist is that one gets exposure to information far better than people outside their industry. Hence their activism is bound to be more informed, which is great,” he stated.
In addition, Ndadi said that media is expected to expose any wrongdoing because in doing so, the public expects them to give direction if they are able to.
“That is not wrong, provided they remain objective in their pursuit of justice and enhancing democracy. Any act that is offensive to growing our democracy should be condemned by all, including the media,” he said.