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Mimi Mefo; from an award winning Journalist to a blogger

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There has been a lot of talks online about Mimi Mefo’s nomination in the list of best blogger (English) of the year in the Bonteh Media Award. Many think she doesn’t deserve to be chosen for this specific category because she is not a blogger. Others think she deserves it because she has a website that dish out news similar to a blog. Others still argue that she is a journalist and her work as a journalist is to give facts and her opinion which is what she is doing. Yet others say she usually gives her opinion on certain things.

Mimi Mefo Info

Who am I to judge peoples opinion? I am just here to share my own opinion. I am a blogger and not a journalist even though as a business and entrepreneurship blogger. At times I use administrative documents (facts) to make some of my write-ups.

Who is a blogger and who is a journalist? I am going to use dictionary meanings to explain my opinion.

A blog or weblog: A shared on-line journal where people can post daily entries about their personal experiences and hobbies. Postings on a blog are usually in chronological order. Source: WordWeb

A blog (a truncation of the expression “weblog”)[1] is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Source

Journalism: The profession of reporting, photographing or editing news stories for one of the media. Source: WordWeb

Journalism refers to the production and distribution of reports on recent events. Source

Blogger: A person who keeps and updates a blog. Source: WordWeb

A website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites. Source

Journalist: 1. A writer for newspapers and magazines. Source: WordWeb

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. Source

From the above definitions, you will see that it is really difficult to draw out a difference between the two. If you analyze further, you will notice that journalism deals with facts, meanwhile, blogs are made up of the ‘experiences, observations, opinions’ of the writers.

Bloggers & blogging

Most blogs rely on other blogs for info. They use people on social media as their source. It should also be noted that there are many blogs out there that depend on journalists or traditional media to make public their information before they make theirs.

Bloggers have once in a while fed us with both accurate and wrong information. Some bloggers can even make ‘news’ out of rumours as well as others do so to push forward their opinion. There is also proof that most blogs copy from others because when such info goes out, we see it spread by other blogs either quoting the source blog or rewriting in different words and quoting the same source of where they got the info.

Journalists & journalism

Journalism, on the other hand, must be reliable, independent and based on facts. Apart from advocacy journalism and other liberal forms of journalism, the most important qualities of journalism are objectivity and lack of bias. You are not allowed to adopt a non-objective viewpoint. Mimi Mefo according to her news blog also practice advocacy journalism. She is focused on “Human Rights Advocacy and Politics”.  Maybe that’s why some people said she usually gives her opinion on certain things.

As a journalist, you are to be accurate, fair and carry out thorough reporting. This is what Mimi Mefo has been doing. Don’t forget her going to prison was because it was claimed her information was not based on facts. The government saw that she ‘failed’ in giving the right information – accuracy. Let me get out of here as fast as possible. Let the monitoring spirits understand that I am just using that information to explain something far away from what they may be trying to build as their opinion. Bear with me, they are my opinion and not facts.

You need to be transparent as a journalist in whatever you say. You are obliged as a journalist to clearly state which is not fact and which is your opinion. I am saying this because in one of the comments I read online, someone stated that Mimi Mefo usually gives her opinion on certain of her posts online. I just want to clear the doubts here – a journalist can state their opinion on certain things, but have to make it clear to the audience.

All these said, a journalist having a website where (s)he posts news and other happenings is not necessarily a blogger and a blogger who gives out news may not be a journalist. You should not also forget that real journalists also have opinions. That’s why we have columnists and editorial writers in news houses.

In my opinion, Mimi Mefo is not a blogger. She is an advocacy journalist and her website states it clearly: “Award-winning journalist, Editor-in-chief in charge of the English News Service at Equinoxe Television, Focus: Human Rights Advocacy and Politics”.

Mimi Mefo

By Derick Sullivan M. Lobga for Iyunade Blog

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