Journalism Tombstone


There was no need to erect a tombstone when the mischievous internet killed newspapers in your hometown.  They are now free in some American and Canadian cities or sell for a dollar.
It was also a matter of relocation.  Newspapers and magazines went online.   You had an annual subscription so, you used to put on your slippers and gown and go outside to pick them up from the lawn or mail box.
The time has come to put up a tombstone for journalism and the internet - our usual scapegoat - is not to blame.  It is suicidal.  Print media is killing itself.
Credibility.  Journalism students used to be taught about credible sources.  Not anymore, because when the internet is supposed to be ablaze about something, newspapers use tweets with no faces, to support stories.
Online commenters who hide their faces are the most vocal and are usually the ones that light up the fire, which is then picked up by media as breaking news.
Faces.  Journalism had a face.  Somebody with a face alleged something.  The media called that person to get the details.  Remember both sides of the story?  Then, they called the accused.
Not anymore.  The media now quotes anonymous sources.  No problem, but let’s prepare the journalism tombstone.  Which stone, granite or marble?
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness, a South African novel.

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