20 June 2011 10 Comments

Forbes, BBC: A letter from a concerned loyalist

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Dear Sirs,

What happens to ethical journalism?

Forbes and BBC are two credible international media that I will always love. One, I strongly believe they are established by people of high professional and personal reputes. As a professional, a credible news to me is not confirmed until I have found out such news is covered by either of them. For this I daily visit their online platforms. A news story (credited to your platforms) spreading fast in the last one month is gradually eroding this confidence. I will therefore appreciate a feedback or urgent action to convince not only me, but other people living in developing countries around the world that these frontline platforms have not become strong platforms for promotion of sensationalism, biases and prejudices.Forbes and bad journalism

As an individual, I do believe one should not shout at a friend one can whisper to. So in the last one month I have tried to whisper without any responsible action taken. The news story bothers on a write-up on Nigeria frontline pastors. Let me first establish that I am not a pastor but a brand communication professional who is happy with his estate.

The story was first covered by a Forbes’s blogger. From the first few paragraphs of the story and my subsequent comments, interactions with him on the said story; it is obvious he has some personal prejudices against Nigerian ‘rich pastors who ride on their flock’ according to him. To be honest with him, who would not be?  Especially when we daily witness a fractional number living in an ‘island of wealth’ milked from the poorest souls they called congregation. This should not be a surprise as every calling has its own proportion of quacks. This state prevails because many buyers want a quick fix it or silver bullets.

Now let us assume the blogger’s notion is completely true; one still expects a professional journalist, blogger to know when to maintain professional mark between personal prejudice and real authoritative and investigative journalism. One expects a thorough investigation from someone who has such high profile platforms like that of BBC and Forbes. This Forbes blogger was unable to do this. This is why I made a comment on the said link that he should substantiate with evidence that the likes of Pastor Sam Adeyemi has a private jet according to his claim. In his reply, he stated he contacted corporate communication department staff of Daystar organization (which does not exist till date) who confirmed that Pastor Sam had a jet while Pastor Sam Adeyemi said he did not have.

 Yet he went to the press on such a frontline, credible source like Forbes to propagate unsubstantiated story. To set the record straight, what exists in Daystar today is something close media production/brand management team (a voluntary team that are not staff members). I therefore asked the blogger and by extension Forbes to supply the names of staff he spoke to. Instead the Forbes’ blogger asked what the basis of my criticism was. My reply to him was for him to do a Google search on the malicious story he wrote and see how he and Forbes platform had aided over two Million negative results for brands that have worked hard to reach where they are. I am particular about Pastor Sam Adeyemi because I have verifiable facts. One expects the blogger and Forbes by extension to either produce evidence or simply follow the right path of honour: apologize for this damage and avert further damage. If the long distance knowledge I have about Bishop Oyedepo and Pastor Adeboye is also correct, they are too frugal to have four jets per time as Forbes claimed. Since the claim on Pastor Sam Adeyemi is now seen to be false, one may take the rest with a pinch of salt.

For BBC blog, we cannot out rightly say the platform has committed grave professional offence as the platform claimed it got the news from a strong platform like Forbes. Here again, we see huge responsibility Forbes and its writers have in ensuring its news are adequately authenticated before publication. Our argument against BBC is that the platform is too dependable for ‘copy and paste’ journalism without verification and strong evidence. Let us assume BBC crew had seen write up like ‘British Prime Minister is sexually harassing every female staff in his cabinet’; God forbid. Will they have copied and paste, embellished it with juicy words like we have in their version of the story without a background check? These and many other issues had become a source of concern to me as a loyal stakeholder in Forbes and BBC enterprises. I will therefore love to hear from my darling platforms while such news story is allowed without check.BBC and bad journalism, Ethical journalism, BBC and other issues

But just thinking aloud, could it be right if we honestly examine these frontline men of God in Nigeria without bias or any prejudice? Some of these frontline men of God in Nigeria like their counterparts around the world in the class of Dr. Myles Munroe and others are internationally acclaimed authorities in a niche. For this, they are invited to speak to Presidents of nations, Board of Directors, at conferences, international organizations around the world. For instance Pastor Sam Adeyemi is reputed for his leadership and success principle niche. Bishop Oyedepo had an accredited doctoral degree in psychology and has built outstanding institutions. I stand to be corrected. Even though some of them do not charge commensurate consultancy fee, they do receive worthy honorarium from speaking all-round the year all over the world. I am aware Pastor Sam do turn down many speaking requests because of his tight schedules. Out of his honorarium, Pastor Sam does pay taxes as he constantly encourages his church members to be responsible citizens. That is in a lighter mood, anyway.

 I also know this will be same for the other two Pastors mentioned. Couple with this; let us also remember that because these men of God are regarded as resource persons, their materials-books, Audio and video CDs may be Million dollar channel of income? Let us leave this line of thought for another day and concentrate on the issue at hand.

I appeal to Forbes and BBC top management to say something in order to correct wrong impression a loyalist like me is beginning to have about these long standing organizations. I look forward to this. Let me assure I still hold your organizations in high esteem pending the time I will read or hear from you both.

#Disclosure: I am a thorough-bred Nigerian professional who is not an employee, consultant to neither Pastor Sam Adeyemi nor Daystar Organization but just a congregation member of Daystar Christian Centre Lagos Nigeria.

Yours sincerely,

Yinka Olaito

10 Responses to “Forbes, BBC: A letter from a concerned loyalist”

  1. Sam Mba 20 June 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    When company leadership predecessors work hard to build a respectable brand through undiluted professionalism and hard work, it is sad how the new breed of same companies work negatively hard to tear it down through reckless and unethical practice as we presently see in the case of BBC and Forbes magazine publication of such retarded piece by Mfonobong. Which seasoned professional will not validate his story before publication being aware of the existence of some highly inordinatate and half baked writers parading as professionals? Pastor Sam’s case is just one out of the many unfortunate publications all over the world.Forbes and BBC (and their likes) may presently be smiling to the banks with continued publication of such “blackmail” branded “journalism” but it may interest them to know you can only deceive the people for a while. Events only need time to reveal which source will continue to be seen as credible by readers. That article is retarded, lacking in authority and full of lies enough to make an intelligent reader sick. Can the writer of that article go further to authenticate his claim of a private jet belonging to Pastor Sam by producing receipts of the said transactions,signed maintenance contracts by an aircraft servicing company and a copy of Landing Right awarded to Pastor Sam by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigerian.Beside,are pastors destined for poverty?

  2. Yinka Akintunde 1 July 2011 at 10:01 am #

    It is funny how many Nigerians came on web with vituperations almost to the point of claiming that the wealthiness of the pastors afore mentioned was responsible for their poverty or failure in life.
    I know for sure that Bishop Oyedepo’s organisation does not have four jets as claimed, the jet owned by the organisation is not Oyedepo’s own except we want to say that the Pope owns the vetican.
    Oyedepo does not collect a penny personally from the Church he pastors as salary or allowance in any guise since 1987, even though the organisation is rich. I have heard close associates confirmed before that he even pays his electricity, telephone and other bills from his personal purse even though his house is within the institution’s compound. While building his personal house years back, he refused the notion of using some cements from Church’s store which at the same time had a building project going on at the then Iyana Ipaja’s headquater.
    Nigerians love bad news, many failures on the street love blaiming others, many under achievers on the net love pointing accusing fingers of jealousy that borders on hatred.
    If a man built an organisation from 4 people to multi million followers in over 60 countries, and about six thousands workers well paid in Nigeria alone within 30 years, he is a legend of sort.
    Just because peple don’t go on television like T.B Joshua to show their philantrophism does not mean they don’t do much. Oyedepo has been giving schorlaship in millions for long. In 2009, Winners chapel gave out almost a kilometre long ware house of husehold items to the needy with another 150 million naira to help many small scale ideas to take off. It increases every year.
    A ship of relief material to Liberai, a ship to Serria Leonne, 2 to Rwanda in their days of crisis are all varifiable for an unbias journalist who is interested in truth.
    Daystar rebuilt primary school 2 years ago for communities to the tune of about 2 Milloin dollars.
    Comparing the Church to mere Oil industry is an insult, and saying the poor are robbed in Church is funny,everyone gives in Church according to capacity.
    I give to Church and am not complaining.
    The whole article by Forbes and its associates is malicious, stereotypical and patronisingly unproffesional.

  3. 'Tayo Fawole 14 July 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    I have often wondered if the “developed nations of the world” and their media have the real interest of Nigeria and other developing nations at heart.
    These media have more than often shown that bad news from Nigeria is the juicy sauce they always crave for. In the absence of such news, one will therefore not be surprised if they event a scandal where there is none.
    Religious institutions are sacred and it is really unfair for these so-called internationally standard media to take a swipe at the custodians of such institutions without thorough investigation and establishment of fraud and misdeed, especially when one looks at the categories of spiritual leaders being so attacked.
    I attend the Redeemed Christian Church of God under the leadership of Pastor E.A. Adeboye. Being in the ushering department, the department that monitors proceeds and income in the church, I know categorically that the RCCG is so well structured that it is utterly impossible for anybody, regardless of the title or position, to take a kobo from the church without following normal procedure. I also know the finances of the RCCG is monitored by a board of trustees and a group of seasoned accountants & auditors. Pastor Adeboye is just a spiritual overseer and not a financial overseer in the church.
    I go to church, I give my offerings and pay tithe. It is of my own free volition because I am a covenant child and believes in what the Bible says about giving.If I am not complaining, then these media have no reason to, especially when they are reacting from a position of ignorance. misinformation and misconception. It is really so sad that journalism is being practiced from an amateurish perspective like this. It is really sad especially when it is coming from these “media giants”. This maybe the time to organize a refresher course for the journalists in the house. It is realy sad.

    • yinkaolaito 15 July 2011 at 7:46 am #

      @Tayo, I feel your concern. Interestingly the writer of the article is a Nigerian who missess feeling, personal opinion with facts

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