Source: thewillnigeria.com

Readers beware; there are a few online sites who claim to be practicing journalism but mere platforms for quacks and marketers of falsehood. In what is now becoming 419 journalism, a perverted version of 'gotcha' journalism, and many so-called journalists just sit in armchairs and write trash. They feed the unsuspecting public with crap, hogwash, fake news and malicious propaganda. 247Ureports is fast gaining a reputation as a marketer of lies, fake news and marketers of Propaganda.

The recent report published by 247Ureports about the ill-health of Bola Tinubu and the fabricated details about not being able to recognize family members is total falsehood and has no place in good journalism. Even in a decent society no decent person or news website would run such a report without presenting any shred of evidence. Reading through the report that we now know is riddled with wicked imaginations with a mix of hallucination- we know it will one day stand as one of the worst piece of reporting if it could be called that. It has done great damage to good journalism.

In what is the lowest any kind of journalism can sink, 247Ureports has published a story that is malicious, fake, and completely false. With no shred of evidence, the website published a story about Tinubu's ill-health. Such is the danger we face in an era where everyone can claim to be a journalist simply because anyone can set up a website and publish anything. With a Facebook account or even on Twitter, anyone can write anything and make it reach millions. But when its total falsehood like in this instance, its journey is cut short because the truth is soon brought to light.

While 247Ureports was messing up journalism and perpetrating falsehood, another online website made an effort to do good journalism. Citizen Confidential.com did not just parrot the fake report on 247 report, It carried out its on investigation. Here is the report it published:

'Most of the news websites that carried the recent fictitious story about Former Governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu's, supposed sudden illness did not do any kind of follow up check on the story before publishing.. None of the stories carried eyewitness accounts or confirmation from any of the former governor's associates or relations. When Citizen Confidential called sources within the Tinubu camp, we were told the story was untrue.

“In fact, we were shocked that the false news on Twitter and Facebook was of Asiwaju's 'sickness',” a source said. “This is a man I still spoke to this morning and he was fine. He's in London at the moment and will be back soon.”

Another source said, “It is a shame what citizens journalists are doing to the noble profession of journalism. There should be room for fact-checking and research. It costs little to investigate stories like this. It is wrong and unfair. Asiwaju is hale and hearty.”

To buttress their points, our sources directed us to the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the Media Adviser to Bola Tinubu, Mr. Sunday Dare. On Facebook, Mr. Dare posted, “I find the idle chatter on some online sites about the alleged ill health of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu amusing. That some idle minds have continued to perpetuate this absolute falsehood to the point of the ridiculous is disgusting. They deserve our prayers for wishing what is not on someone else. For the records , Tinubu is in great shape and his associates who see him and speak with him know this. I have been with him in the past three weeks and only returned to Nigeria on some assignments. He is in London helping APC spread the word about its mission of change. He returns to the country soon and those that wish him dead will be put to shame.”

When Citizen Confidential called the editors of some of the websites to confirm if they indeed confirmed the story before publishing, we were given the run around. A call to the contact number provided by 247ureports.com was disconnected when we asked if they performed any investigation of the matter. The man on the other line complained of poor network and rang off.

A tweet by Mr. Dare read: “Gov. Tinubu is in great health. The news online is fictitious. Outright falsehood. A lie from the pit of hell. The story injures journalism.”None of the websites involved have countered Mr. Dare nor offered proof of their story.

So with this good piece of journalism, why should one ever believe the report by 247Ureports? With this site and a few other sites, we are witnessing an increasing debasement of journalism and a new genre of pseudo -journalists are ill-bred, ill-trained and unfit for this profession. They operate like hackers, mercenaries and political bangers who are used to spread lies and mislead the public.

Clearly, whoever is behind this false story Tinubu's ill-health has lost out because Tinubu is in great health. His family is doing great and his political enemies are in trouble.

I think we have had enough of these false alarms about Tinubu. Each time he travels out for a few weeks, we get these round of fake reports that he is sick. Each time it has been proven to be false. I think Tinubu should consider taken to court the online website that ran this latest report to teach them a lesson.

Written by Alfred Omolewa.

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