Are we really outraged about the evil in Nigeria or the world or we are just pretenders? Do we really care or we just pretend to care? Our sense of outrage over evil has been biased and controlled by the all-powerful media. Whatever direction they want us to take we do gladly. Whatever argument they feel is the best to be discussed they make it the subject of our discussions. It has been like this for a very long time. The Nigerian media has exercised the power to shape our opinions and even decide who we should hate or love. They have the power to make an evil man appear good and a good man appear evil. They have the power to portray the poor and oppressed as the oppressors and their oppressors the oppressed. Let’s begin.
We must recognise that all Nigerian media outfits exist to push the ideology, viewpoints and positions of their owners. We must understand that their is something called Propaganda. This message is for young and innocent minds who swallow every single thing the media tells them. The media lie for their owners. They lie to protect the interest of their owners. They lie to protect the interest of those who sponsor them. Never you be found saying that news from a particular media source is always true. Never you believe that all that comes out of any particular media house is true. Don’t be fooled or let your brain be used as a playground. Never believe that any media house is always right or have the best interest of the country or people at heart.
What the entire media houses have at heart is the interest of their owners. Let’s be realistic here. Would you set up a store or company, and allow ideas different from the ones for setting up the store or company in the first place, to be given utmost priority? Would you open a business where you insult and expose your evil deeds for the entire world to see? The newspapers and media houses in Nigeria are largely owned by people who are like you and I. That’s not fair. They are owned by people worse than you and I. They are highly fallible and their reasons for setting up these ventures is to make money and control what and how we think. Put yourself in their shoes, if you are to set up anything, would it project an idea different from the one you subscribe to?
They could go undercover to get us stories that will compel us to always believe them. When they know that our trust have been gained, they begin the mixing process. They put false stories up and because they have shown us, over time, their propensity for true stories, we buy the false stories. We buy everything they say and subscribe to them without questioning and thinking because we have become their lab animals. Their slaves. Our minds have been conquered and their is no work left to be done. Know This: Every Media House Lies To Protect The Interest Of Their Owners. This is how they convince us to vote for men without substance. This is how they make us vote their corrupt friends into power. This is how they control what we think and do. This is how they control our rage. What we are angry about. What we make priority. What we believe and accept as true. This is how they keep us under their feet and under trash forever. This is the meaning of Propaganda.
Our Wicked Politicians Own Media Outfits
Some newspapers in Nigeria are owned by the same politicians that wrecked this country. They feed us news and tell us who is a thief, who deserves praise and adoration. Like the rapper Immortal Technique said, they can only conquer you when they have murdered your mind. They conquer your minds when you believe that everything they report is true. Some are imaginations. Some are true but incomplete. Some are true and complete. Most are done to make money and shape how we think. Most need to control what and how we think to be in charge of looting our money.
Imagine what the Nigerian media channel owned by a corrupt politician will report. A politician who ruined the lives of the citizens. A man who supports every form of evil and dangerous to himself and society. Why will you allow such person shape how you think? Why will you believe everything their media outlet tells you? This is how propaganda works. These corrupt men and politicians know how our brains work.
This means that you should never expect to hear the truth about Mr Uzo from a media outfit owned by Mr Uzo. This means that you should never expect to hear the truth about Mr Ahmed from a media house owned by Ahmed. This means a media outfit built by Mr Ben wouldn’t report any negative story, no matter how true, about Mr Ben. And when they do, as a result of it going viral, it is to exonerate their owners smartly from the ‘lies’ being told about them. The truth of a media house is the truth of its owner. It is the kind of truth the owner wants to hear. And you know the type of truths our politicians want to hear. You know their idea of truth only exists when they are elevated.
Don’t Just Read Headlines, Read Quotes
Don’t just read headlines read quotes. Don’t be fooled and deceived by the headlines because they are mostly written for commercial purposes. To attract controversy because controversy sells. Don’t argue a case based on the headlines you read too because that’d be doing exactly what the media wants. They want to get you worked up. When you read a headline go further to read the contents of the article. When you read the contents be careful not to be led or controlled. Try to locate the exact quote. Don’t read the media’s description of a statement and build an argument from it. Don’t simply read the headlines and start fighting with another poorly informed person. The Nigerian media love those wars you fight with your neighbours, family and friends.
This is what I mean. Let’s say a newspaper headline reads: “Obasanjo To Buhari: You Sponsor Boko Haram” and you turn to the pages to locate the article, here is what will happen. The newspaper will first give you a summary of what Obasanjo(AKA OBJ) said in their own words. They would continue the headline lie for you. You will see something like:” The former President, OBJ, who was speaking to newsmen has accused his successor of sponsoring Boko Haram…” They are still controlling you and trying to piss you off. What you should look for is the exact words OBJ used. The exact quote and not the media’s interpretation. Look for where he was quoted not where his statement was interpreted. Look for the opening and closing of inverted commas expressing his direct statement. You’d be surprised to read Obasanjo’s statement and see that he only said: “Buhari is not doing enough to defeat Boko Haram”.
You don’t read a story from a blog and get worked up. Most bloggers just want to make quick money and if lies and controversy will get them that money, they will go for it. Truth is not a motivational factor in their line of work. Before you consider any story the first thing you should look for is the credibility of its source. Is it worthy? Is it a news site? Does it look too shocking to be true? When you search the internet for news you must be very careful with what you accept. Some sites are cloned to look like the big media houses and churn out lies. They don’t care who gets hurt for that lie. They are only interested in controversy and are usually money driven.
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This happens on social media too. You see a fake page created with the name of our actors, musicians and politicians. You see fake tweets linked to our politicians and you get worked up. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has repeatedly said he has no social media handles but you keep seeing tweets credited to him. The official website for Vanguard newspapers is vanguardngr.com, thenationonlineng.net is for the Nations newspapers, The Sun is the sunnewsonline.com but you keep falling for fake Vanguard, Nations and Sun online Newspapers. When you see any news article from a non credible source, check with other credible sources if it was reported or not. The non credible source could be right even though the credible ones failed to report but don’t buy the story or throw it away. Just keep it at a corner.
When you see the media use words like “sources said” don’t believe a word of what they are saying. Don’t disagree with them either. Just know what they said. Words like “a source close to the President”, “Sources said…” could be a way a journalist intends to write imaginary stories and get away with it. No one will arrest him for carrying fake news because the “source” covers him. Most times they want to control your mind. They want you to start thinking in that line. The source could be true but its use has been abused by our journalists. It is usually aimed at the gullible. To keep them arguing and shouting at each other while the media house makes money. If a source turns out to be true, don’t lower your guard still. Still do the same thing for all “sources”
Take President Buhari’s appointment of ministers for example. How many of the listed ministries and minsters did these sources used at the time get correctly? Didn’t sources say Femi Falana was going to be the Minister of Justice? Didn’t our sources say Fashola was destined to be the Minister of F.C.T? Didn’t media sources who conducted polls in the USA tell us Hillary Clinton was favored to win the election? When our President, Buhari, was in London, how many times did “sources close to the presidency” tell us he will return? While sources could be right, wrong or just mere calculated predictions, it is not something you should hold to be true. It is just something you should know.
Is Your Outrage Real or Controlled Too?
Some months back in Nigeria, the story of the notorious kidnapper, Evans, caught in Lagos State, trended. It trended for weeks and the media created an outrage against kidnapping. It is not that we have not always condemned kidnapping but in this case, our level of empathy was raised and our hatred for evil was reignited. It helped our sanity. We discussed topics on the wickedness of man and the way to discourage such inhuman actions. As usual, we cussed our lungs out until the media took the story to ridiculous heights with figments of the imagination. But it helped to raise our awareness on the moral decadence increasing in the country.
Few months after the story of the notorious criminal Evans, in the same Lagos State, a cult gang named Badoo tortured the residents of Ikorodu area of the state. For days, they took the lives of the people for ritual purposes. In response, the people formed a vigilante group, who paid the killers in their own coin. After some weeks, the Nigerian Police busted a Shrine they claimed belonged to the gang. The media men followed but in this case, unlike the way the evil Evans was reported, there was less reportage of the news or the men caught. This news never trended. No one even knows the name of the man the police claimed killed four persons. It only existed for three days in the media. It was not the subject of discussion in the citizens conversations. It was not given the attention it deserved and you get the impression that the media chooses the evil it wants to make money from.
Where is Clifford Orji? What about the Ozubulu Killings that happened about a month ago in Anambra State? Are we still outraged or our outrage is also controlled by the media? Do we really hate evil or is it that we hate whatever the media tells us to hate? If we hate evil why then do our outrage stop once the media stories are paused? I think we are largely being controlled by the media. That’s the only explanation to this form of outrage. We walk past evil daily on the street. We know the room number of the Yahoo Boy who scams people of their hard earned money. We know the office of the man who do drugs. We know all these and have taken it as a norm. But when a person is caught and shown in the media we put on a new face. Once the media leaves the story, we are restored to normalcy.
How The Media Controls Our Response To Issues
Let’s use more examples. On the 12-14 of December. 2015, there was a massacre of 348 members Shia sect in Nigeria by our ‘Able’ military. They were observing a procession and it happened that they blocked the passage of vehicles carrying the Chief of Army Staffs. The army accused them of trying to assassinate the man and shot them on account of self defense. When this story broke, the media did so well to paint how the persons murdered threatened the powerful Nigerian Army. Their level of troublemaking was over bloated and the Nigerian readers, whose sense of judgement and empathy was media-controlled, saw sense in what the military did. They accused the persons of being responsible for their own deaths.
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They justified the killings because the media made no or little attempt in showing how heinous such a response to crowd violence was. They did little to show that it is wrong for the military to open fire on protesters. They portrayed the killed as troublemakers and the soldiers who killed them as peacekeepers. And the people bought it. The media houses showed that it will not further the interest of their owners to call the madness what it really is. They tacitly pushed the blame on the dead and their viewers, whose minds are no longer theirs, bought it. At a point, it was even seen as stupid to argue in favour of the people massacred. You were seen as insane and without respect for the soldiers who ought to protect you. Kudos to the great media. The media has done this over and over. We willingly sold ourselves to slavery.
On 17th January, 2017, members of the Nigerian military ‘mistakenly‘ bombed a camp dedicated to serving the Internally Displaced Persons of the Boko Haram war. At least 115 people died but no attempt was made to make this a subject of national discourse. We simply moved on like how we will react when we hear that a hundred mosquitoes died. We moved on because the media moved on. We moved on because the controllers of our rage pressed the right buttons. The media didn’t see it as troubling hence we didn’t see it as troubling. The media didn’t see it as something worthy of discussing for weeks or even months and we didn’t see it as something worthy of being discussed for weeks or months. Our supposed awakening is the awakening of the media. We are simply rats in the lab.
We Can Break Free
I am not a fan of Donald Trump, his policies or the make America great movement but the last general election in the United State of America taught us a lot. It taught us that a people can overcome media propaganda and decides who to lead them. It showed that a people can decide to break free from the captivity of the media. Trump was a man full of many shortcomings(I’m not here to discuss them) but despite the constant negative media coverage against him(and the many demeaning things he had said and says) prior to the election, he still won. It showed that a people can break off the chains of media slavery and act based on what they think is right for them.
First, know that every media house is owned and run by humans and imperfect people like you. Expecting infallibility from any media house is the dream of a slavish mind. They all do what their owners deem fit. Whether good or bad they simply do as requested to save their jobs. Secondly, know that most owners of media houses in Nigeria have interests and have been involved in the running of the affairs of this country. Don’t expect truth on Mr A from a media outlet owned by Mr A. If Mr A, a politician, holds a grudge against Mr B, another politician or figure, reason before you buy whatever thing Mr A has to say about Mr B. Make an enquiry, using the internet, the people around you, etc., on the owner of your favorite newspaper, radio channel, TV, etc.
Always remember there is a word called PROPAGANDA and media outlets spend sleepless nights and millions trying to control how you think, what you think, whom you should hate, whom you should love, who is corrupt, who is not corrupt, who is good, who is bad, etc. Always be in control. You are a human not a robot or a zombie.