" ITREALMS: Telecoms Clinic: Bat journalism, Sam Omatseye and new media - ITREALMS

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Telecoms Clinic: Bat journalism, Sam Omatseye and new media - ITREALMS

Telecoms Clinic@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

In this piece, REMMY NWEKE examines the African folklore of 'bat the bird' as it filters into journalism lexicon in Nigeria, since Sam Omatseye’s Obi-tuary debut in the age of new media.
Telecoms Clinic with Remmy Nweke

 "We can hear and feel the cacophony. The chants and caterwauling are everywhere, especially on the phones. The Twitter bees, the Instagram grimes, the Facebook freaks," Sam Omatseye, August 1, 2022.


Above was an extract from Sam Omatseye’s unaugustly piece that was published in The Nation newspapers on August 1, 2022; which has landed him with some bees from Twitter, grimes from Instagram users and freaks by some Facebookers, moreso the youths who want to be ‘Obident and Yusuful’ moving forward.

This is not leave out those on WhatsApp or Telegram with a summary by loquacious pen-holder, Chuks Iloegbunem whose capture of the incendiary piece as “bat journalism” among other new phrases associated with this ugly trend in Nigerian journalism in 21 century, where information and communication technologies (ICT) hold sway based on avalanche of new media platforms or tools available for the citizens to personally deploy without much ado as long as they have data.

The African bat:

In African and Nigeria particularly bat has not been a nice bird of all times; could be an eagle, a hawk, and other birds fashioned as the first bat and the first flying squirrel from two mouse-like creatures which could be taken as a nickname too. According to African folklore, these small creatures wished to participate in a ball game in which the “animals” challenged the birds.

The story went on to state that during a battle between the beasts and birds, the bat repeatedly changes allegiance so as to be on the side that appears to be winning. When a truce is declared, the bat is rejected by both sides because of this deceitful behavior of inconsistency. One hopes that will not be the tale of uncle Sam eventually and his associates.

Auguste Clown and Sam Omatseye

Watching the watchdog:

While some media professionals posited that Sam should be sued for defamation and his hate instigation piece, some alluded that he has collected enough slaps and knocks, literally, coupled with losing of thousands of followers within 24 hours. Adding that he was forced to restrict his twitter handle comment section, an evidence that the field game became overwhelming that he had to cry out that some ‘Unknown Obidents’ were now after his life. We pity him, but that is the prophecy he foresaw when he hears and feels the cacophony ... “The chants and caterwauling are everywhere, especially on the phones. The Twitter bees, the Instagram grimes, the Facebook freaks.”

Sam Omatseye’s obituary goes viral:

At first, the online was dazed when a necrology announcement on Sam’s behalf surfaced, of which any one unaware of the originating inflammatory piece, may think that truly Sam Omatseye has joined his ancestors and purportedly signed-off by one Sunday Omatseye for the family. And not long after, another poster was viral entitled “The Face of a Serial Junk Journalist,” with Sam Omatseye’s phone, email and demanding bombardment of his phone lines by calls or short messaging service (SMS) and emails, which they hope will dissuade Nigerian press from being accomplice in the hands of politicians in victimisation of innocent Nigerians particularly those that had volunteered to help the nation, ought to stop.

For the proponent of such a privacy invasion, insisted that its time to give a lesson to hate merchants until his likes learn that politics of bitterness have no place again in Nigeria politics. Whilst rejecting in total the ‘Obi-tuary’ by Sam Omatseye with a pointer to Deuteronomy 28:7.

Some proponents when reminded that Peter Obi, the man at the centre of controversy had advised his followers to allow him to reply every critic, this author was reminded that PO can’t reply every silly criticism that goes overboard like that Sam Omatseye’s Obi-tuary, despite that the likes of Chuks Iloegbunam, Charly Boy, Val Obienyem and Enyinnanya Abaribe have replied critics, and need to preserve the privacy of Mr. Omatseye. They retorted that Mr. Omatseye murdered his privacy with that combustion in the name of trying to demarket Peter Obi, maintaining that Sam has “brought into his space ants-infested wood so lizards must necessarily invade his space.”

Auguste Clown comes to town:

For some, the Obi-tuary by Sam Omatseye could be likened to the ‘Auguste Clown’ with choice of variety to pull from in costume design and choices, which in this case is the language of the pen applicable by the author or penholder. A such, he has the choice to literally wear a jacket, coat or vest of his choosing or could go without. He could also choose over-sized or too small as well as nice fitting. After all, the pants or trousers for the Auguste Clown could be short, long, or even over-sized.

ITREALMS recalls that in 1869, an American acrobat called Tom Belling was working in Circus Renz in Berlin and was banned from the ring for three weeks for being incompetent over drunk, according to producers of jollygoodfun.com. He was larking about outside the ring entrance wearing a ringmaster’s costume inside out and a ginger wig back to front when he was spotted by Herr Renz who shoved him through the curtains into the ring where he landed in a heap.

His look of surprise and efforts to scramble out brought hoots of laughter and shouts of “Auguste-Auguste” from the crowd, which was Berliner slang for “clumsy clot” or an ‘idiot’. The name stuck and ever since this term has been used to describe a clumsy clown who wears ill-fitting clothes and falls about, getting into trouble.

A clumsy person, as defined by Cambridge Dictionary, moves or handles things in a careless, awkward way, often so that things are knocked over or broken, yet it further described “A clumsy person often has accidents because they do not behave in a careful, controlled way.

This path of Auguste Clown, must not be akin to Nigerian journalism, especially as the 2023 ship attempts to anchor and in this digital era.


And those who cannot cope should step aside like Favour Bassey Otu, a journalist with Silverbird Television, who resigned her job to support Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in the 2023 general election. She made the announcement on her Twitter page penultimate Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 8:48am, insisting that her decision was because she is not allowed to be partisan due to the nature of her work as a broadcast journalist.

For her, “They said a journalist must be non-partisan (unbiased and fair). So, I resigned my position with Silverbird TV to throw my full support on Peter Obi.” Who is next?

Of course, acclaimed professional pen-pushers must realize that yes, they may have the pen, but it has since gone digital and with digital space, encapsulated in citizen journalism domain, whose phone keypad avails the holder to collect, disseminates, analyzes news and information as long as they have data and connected to the internet.

Additionally, those propagating hatred among the people using their pen, must not forget that when the society rains with violence, it does not recognise the house of the proponents.

Thence, new media is the changing landscape in media practice worldwide and Nigeria cannot afford not to learn from other climes, especially those who claimed to have been trained as professionals so as to use their supposed pen at this time for entrenchment of good governance as to have a better society that makes sense in a digital age.

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