ZETECH College students in the School of Media, Arts and Design on Thursday 19th April, 2012, attended a talk session which sought to demystify pillars of responsible journalism with a bias on new media. Delivering his presentation as a keynote speaker to a host of aspiring journalists at the College’s Hamilton Campus, NTV’s Managing Editor and two-time CNN African Journalist of the Year Award winner, Linus Kaikai emphasized on the importance of journalists taking into consideration Public Interest whenever on assignment.
Mr. Kaikai however underscored the importance of students getting into journalism for the right reasons as it would greatly determine their success.
"Different from other careers, journalism is a call from within someone who aspires to become prolific," said the Managing Editor.
In an interactive session, using audio-visual aids to effectively address the concept of Public Interest, Mr. Kaikai played back a snippet of a 2005 BBC Interview where journalist Jeremy Paxman was interviewing George Galloway of Respect Party after winning a by-election debunking Oona King of the New Labour Party to become count (MP) of Bethnal Green and Bow.
Mr. Kaikai then explained that Mr. Paxman used his characteristic aggressive and combative style of interviewing, which most people consider unconventional, to ask and expose what was of importance to the populace [Public Interest]: Mr. Galloway’s opinion of Oona King and the race issue. He did this by asking severally, ‘Are you proud of having got rid of one of the very few black women in Parliament?’
“Mr. Paxman was able to clearly bring out the race issue, instead of congratulating Mr. Galloway and finding out what he would do for his constituents as would have been expected, since the latter was on record of having uttered racist remarks against Oona King, who was one of the few black women Parliamentarians at that time,” he explained.
In an earlier forum, Mr. Galloway had allegedly accused Ms. King of having the blood of 100,000 on her conscience "including a lot of women who had blacker faces than her", for voting in favour of the war against Iraq.
“Journalism is all about public interest and knowing what questions to ask - questions that the public would ask but they don’t have an opportunity to talk to that important person,” he elucidated.
In conclusion Mr. Kaikai stated with great conviction that New Media was in no way going to replace Traditional Media. He argued that inasmuch as New Media was becoming popular people still preferred to buy Newspapers and that New Media was just an advancement of Traditional Media.