The world of journalism is changing, very fast. And there is the tendency for traditional newspapers to suffer blows in this respect.
Nevertheless, the blame should not be on the so-called ‘official’ or traditional media.
However, the blame is shared.
There is a lack of diligence in the media world today. And this is due to the proliferation of online portals and news sites.
Unregulated, online media is wreaking havoc in the world of journalism.
Financed by political parties, supporters of politicians, organisations that have an interest in the political affairs of the country, they are damaging the reputation of the established newspapers.
But it is a good thing in a fast-changing world.
Here we are talking of Mauritius and the backlash a newspaper got with its headline on Mrs Joanna Berenger.
Joanna Berenger, the daughter of all-time popular political figure Paul Berenger the leader of the MMM won big in her constituency.
But L’Express, a daily printed and online paper in Mauritius, chose a dumb headline to showcase the magnificent victory of Joanna.
As a matter of fact, the paper got a load of criticism for the headline with a picture of Joanna, who is pregnant.
The expression was purely local and we could say it was with ‘no pun’ intended.
The paper wrote “Joanna Berenger en tete de liste <ek zak dan tant>” The <ek zak dan tant> is a creole expression saying she is pregnant.
As a matter of fact, Mrs Joanna herself did not seem to be frustrated with the headline.
Instead, as a true militant, she called upon her troops to join forces and clean up the constituency in the aftermath of her big victory.
Talking of regulations, the question is whether there should be a law for online news?
The answer is NO. Despite the fact the online news portals are oftentimes run by party apparachiks and fanatics of some political organisation, it is for the people to decide what to read online.
As for L’Express, it is not the first time it is embroiled in a massive ‘boo boo’ but this is one rare time the paper apologized to the readers.
But its apology was half-cooked while it defended its reason for the headline.
Journalists in the traditional media tend to stick to their guns and would rather never say sorry for a mistake.
But the writings are on the wall.
The mistakes L’Express made towards the Muslim community in Mauritius with the teaser cartoons are legendary.
The Muslims felt they were being bashed and their feeling not taken into consideration with some cartoons.
L’Express did say something that they wanted to sound like an apology but they repeated the same dull tactic to offend the Muslims even further.
They should not be blamed entirely for those ‘boo boos’. It is in their DNA to offend nowadays.
The blame should also go on the lack of regulations for the media in general or a lack of enforcement of the existing regulations.
Nevertheless, at WFTV we stand by the freedom of expression. We do not condemn our media friends.
But as we said above, the writing is on the wall and there is a tendency to bash the media when it make mistakes.
This will not stop and someone will stand up and fight back.