Reporting like other human endeavours has it’s hazards. No one can predict when it will happen. But, most of the time we can manage it or avoid it completely.
The incident at the construction site at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, today was one we could have managed properly if we had set out to stick with the rules of engagement as enshrined in the golden rule of reporting business which is primarily to have our facts before filing our stories.
The rule says that when in doubt leave out. Which is that if in the pursuit of a story and the facts are not or that there is no authority to authenticate or confirm it, you should simply don’t bother dishing it out to avoid a backlash like we witnessed today where it was reported that several persons had died from the “collapse” of the massive structure being constructed for the 21st National Sports being hosted by Delta state. But was there any such fatality at the site? Of course no. So, why did the reporter undertake that journey to tell the world that there were some casualties at the scene of the minor incident?
It still beats my imagination.
A little patience, one of the business virtues of a reporter would have done it for integrity and believability of the reporter and his organisation.
Although, there is no rule that forbid sensationalism, it should always be done with decorum and in regard to the feeling of society.
Thank God reason prevailed after a detailed explanation of the incident by the contractor Engr. Olarenwaju Adeleke and top officials of the state’s information machinery led by the Commission of information, Hon Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu.