Of misleading and hallucinatory headlines 

by | Nov 4, 2021 | Politics | 0 comments


Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa

Whoever said ‘journalism has gone to the dogs’ must have interacted with Alpha Media Holdings, a media stable which owns NewsDay Zimbabwe and its sister papers.

Their rancorous and cantankerous nature makes them not a media house and certainly not newspapers to read.

They are not even tabloids for calling them that is to insult a perfectly normal, saleable and respectable genre of news reporting.

From running with completely fake stories that are plucked from thin air and ascribing them to impeccable sources to perpetually be on an agenda to demonise Zimbabwe, one is left wondering if the paper is not run by a Fifth Column.

It is their headlines though that are most misleading to the mostly poor and untrained minds of many a reader.

Take for example their headline in their Tuesday edition which said; “Empty Chairs at COP26 as Mnangagwa addresses.” The headline is a misleading and naughty one given the highly polarized nation that Zimbabwe is.

In a binary nation like ours where most people cannot differentiate between a national leader and political party leader.

Where there is a crowd who think that President Mnangagwa is in the United Kingdom to as a ZANU PF representative, it would have been more responsible of NewsDay to rather focus on the story than to run with a truly irrelevant issue as; empty chairs as if they were unaware that all leaders who addressed the 9am to 1pm slot did so to ‘empty chairs’.

It is a complete abuse of journalistic privilege and something that is greatly irresponsible.

We know media houses try to have as eye-catching headlines as possible but they should be reminded to be responsible.

To write a story suggesting that the President of your own country was shunned is sheer mischief.

Especially when host nation Prime Minister Boris Johnson making an address to empty chairs too.

If Mnangagwa was shunned, what about Boris Johnson then? Did world leaders come to Great Britain to shun the host nation leader?

In this world of the internet and virtual events, it is lack of wisdom to define the word audience through the heads you can count.

People were following proceedings from all over the world, the fact that NewsDay were following the events to the extent of attempting to count attendees, shows that the event could be accessed remotely.

Unfortunately in their sinister take, they forgot to touch on the substance of President Mnangagwa`s speech in Glasgow.

President Mnangagwa touched on Zimbabwe’s foreign and economic policies; ‘A friend to all and an enemy to none and Zimbabwe is open for business’ which could all have been topics, had the focus of the paper have been on nation building?

How they ignore the effect of sanctions and their impact on alleviating climate change to focus on chairs leaves little wonder as to their real intentions!

Their headline suggests that people walked out as Mnangagwa was going to address and yet they clearly state in their second paragraph, “….Mnangagwa made his address before empty seats, as did all the leaders who delivered their addresses during the 9am to 1pm slot.”

That paragraph alone should have made any responsible Editor discard the whole story article.

How then is it worth a headline if it happened to seven or so other leaders including the host nation’s PM?

One would surely think even giving such a story front-page status is not only a typical gutter journalism but gathers on the same rank as lunatic fringe-ism.

Journalism is in intensive care at Alpha Media Holdings.