AIT's Unprofessionalism


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AITís  Unprofessionalism And Pursuance Of Narrow Political Interest




Saliu Iyanda



November 9, 2006


The way and manner African Independent Television (AIT) carries on nowadays, smacks of unprofessionalism and the pursuance of very narrow national interest, some few months back a documentary was aired on IBB, he was portrayed in very bad light as a criminal and killer, I am not saying AIT should not do itís job but in doing it, it must not only respect the fundamental human rights of the people, it must also present the other side of the story to balance whatever they bring on air. As a mass media it must not be seen to be promoting any particular agenda, instead, it must always give out what is the truth, objective, balanced, fair and factual, not myth or fabrications of some peopleís imagination. It is very appalling that on the day IBB was to pick the presidential nomination form, AIT started the smear campaign again; the question is, if IBB is a horrendous person why not allow the people decide? But AIT has misused the power it has to serve very selfish interests    

AIT has lost it as a media organization completely; this is because some few years ago, AIT was in a financial mess as a result of loans which it took from a consortium of banks that was thoroughly mismanaged by the management of the confused media outfit. And, after running from pillar to post the governor of Rivers State came to their rescue and substantially bought into AIT, in fact now he can be described as the owner of AIT. And, since he took over the ownership, professionalism that was scarce in AIT has further nose-dived. What has brought out the issue more than anything else is the warped manner in which AIT reported the face-off between the president and the vice president. While it reported and used all the materials the presidential media team sent to them, it deliberately refused to use those sent by the vice president media team. What a responsible and reasonable media organization would have done is to present the two sides of the coin and allow the viewing public to make deductions, instead of tilting their editorial judgement in a particular direction. But instead of doing this it deliberately took sides, which is a very reckless and irresponsible thing to have done.

 Not only this the doctored programme on AIT titled matters arising is a master piece in half Ėtruth, blatant lies, egregious errors, deliberate falsifications and outright misrepresentation of facts. It is a well known fact that he who pays the piper dictates the tune, and it is a fact that Odili is not politically friendly with Atiku, when Atiku mobilized and fought the scourge of the illegal tenure elongation scheme by the president, Odili was one of the politicians in the country that supported the illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional political contraption in all its ramifications, all the National Assembly members from Rivers State voted in favour of the third term agenda, so the stance Odili and the AIT against the vice president is very well understood moreso that, he is a political soul mate of the president. And, it must be understood that he is doing this because he want to be the president of the country, but if the third term agenda had succeeded would he have had the opportunity to contest for the highest position in the land? It is also very imperative to underscore the fact that, there is nothing credible about the management of AIT, IN AIT anything goes, Raymond Dokpesi was the chairman board of directors of National Interest when the newspaper was ran aground, salaries were not paid, the newspaper house is indebted to several contractors and banks, also he mismanaged his shipping line as result of extravagance and spent-thrift proclivity, so, it is very clear that AIT itself with this horrendous management style is existing on borrowed time as the same fate will befall it sooner than later.

In the documentary on IBB the voice over was done by a special assistant to minister of information, in the documentary on Atiku, Dan Etete was sought to do the damaging job, when the Atiku media campaign replied AIT refused to used, it has not until an advertorial was placed in some national dailies about how Dan Etete had some few years back accused the president of fraud and actually took him to court that AIT retraced its steps.

There is nothing professional at all about AIT; the staff are not well trained, the programmes are not well coordinated, it is a media house that was hurriedly put together, it started big and its shrinking by the day and attention is not paid to staff welfare and professional excellence, as those in management positions most often than not want to go to bed with all the female staff, up till now staff are being owed about nine months salary. AIT cannot be compared with CHANNELS for instance, CHANNELS represents in totality what a media house should be or look like. But AIT should know that whatever it does today or fail to do history and posterity are there to judge, what does AIT wants to be remembered for, is it an organization that worked against the people and the constitution or  an organization that sold its birthright for a mess of porridge or even a people-friendly organization?

Let it be known to AIT that the evil that people do lives with them, if it refuses to change for the better, history will not record any good thing for the organization and sooner than later it would become part and parcel of the relics of history. Nobody is saying they must always say what is positive about the vice president; all I am saying is that they must try to present the facts as they are without any colouration whatsoever, AIT MUST LEARN TO DO THE RIGHT THING, which is to PRESENT THE FACTS AS THEY ARE. It is a duty it owes the whole country, instead of its present puerile, illogical, mendacious and discredited reportage.



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