NoStrings, the publisher of podcasts and articles providing a voice for LGBTI Nigerians, has spoken out against the typically shoddy and homophobic coverage of LGBTI news by Nigerian journalists. This is the statement from NoStrings:
On behalf of LGBTI Nigerians, NoStrings condemns the unprofessional and unethical journalistic methods used by the Nigerian mainstream media in its reporting on LGBTI issues in the country.
Lives are being destroyed every day by bad journalistic articles, often written with little or no research and filled with wrong terminology and demeaning words aimed at further tarnishing the image of LGBTI persons.
It seems that Nigerian media are not particularly concerned with professionalism but with the business of crushing lives just to pull traffic to their platforms and generate revenues.
If this trend continues, there are dark days ahead for all of us. We urge all those who are involved to desist, go back to the drawing board, and research the proper role of the media.
The media should deliver accurate, factual and well-investigated reports, vested in truth and objectivity. We are deeply pained that today’s media lacks all these, and its practices are the opposite.
The media should represent multiple viewpoints
The media owes its audience a well-researched and accurate report, which will allow the audience to draw in their own conclusions. But at present, for example, consider the reportage by The News Nigeria on six allegedly gay men who were arrested in Benin. The paper with its headline, portrayed the suspects as guilty. This they did with the headline “Nigerian police arrest six ‘abominable’ homosexuals.”
The media should respect privacy and cause no harm
This is in line with Section 37 of the Nigerian constitution, which states “The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.”
Publishing the names, pictures, videos and audio materials of individuals in articles, especially in an exploitative manner, is also a breach of this section of the law. An example of this is the recent article published about the 2015 winner of the Miss Anambra competition, Chidinma Okeke, who was scandalously alleged to have engaged in acts of lesbianism.
The media should give voice to the voiceless
It is a shame that the Nigerian media fail to take into account the reality that LGBTI persons are in the minority. That’s even though Nigerian society wants to remain in denial that LGBTI persons exist and that their rights need to be respected.
Many Nigerians lack any understanding of what it means to be LGBT. It is therefore the role of the media to educate Nigerians by accurately reporting on LGBTI issues. The media must be objective and only present facts that are true.
- Nigerian police arrest six ‘abominable’ homosexuals (May 2016, The News)
- Shameful! Video of Miss Anambra 2015 having s*x with another woman leaks (October 2016, Buzz Nigeria)