I enjoy reading and movies as much as the next guy, and over the weekend, I bumped into, I suppose what today may be a classic;The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And I guess, like the tellings of a good romance, fate had led me to rewatch the movie I’d only crossed paths with in 2008. I was younger then, so really all I did was marvel at how some one can age backwards. Now this is not a personal dig at the person or inference that Samson is growing backwards because I do have an admiration for the man. This is about how the love story has been antagonised by time.
For those who haven’t watched movie— it’s love storyabout how time is the nemesis of love; about a character born a man and must age backwards with consequence, and not for himself alone. Such, in what I hope is a respectful but literal manner is the story of Samson Kasumba when fate (uhh I’m such a romantic) once again led me to read an opinion about him by a one Ssebaggala.
This is how we got here, I suggest.
Journalists are diligent stewards of opinion because they believe that this opinion will enable citizens to be their own stewards. Far from the older discussion of the journalist being ‘the’ steward of opinion, like the parents “know best.” In other words, depending on which theory, and I’ve read in a tweet that he isn’t a theorists but rather works within reality — depending on which theory on sociological perspectives on the role of media you chose to explain your construct, view or reality, mine is that people interact with media and therefore it’s practitioners to create meanings out of the messages they receive.
I’ve read Ssebaggala’s opinion as constructed from Samson’s tweets, and I could be wrong, that Ssebaggala meant to say that Samson tweetsintuitively. The damning bit of the thread was Samson’s response, asking if the writer is a professor or the ilk in journalism, but still threads down to say that he, himself isn’t a journalist by qualification, rather a Biblical theologian, and as long is you do not fault him on that. This may be telling of a media practisioner who may not fathom the responsibility of what he got himself into by joining the practice but still will not be ‘lectured’ because Samson knows. Something he has also written about here. Quite the baffling and dangerous game, akin to Simon says— the horror movie.
Baffling that a journalist can casually, dismissively, trivially, perhaps angrily reply to an opinion that has been formed from his own (and at such a point it doesn’t matter that opinion be positive or not). Dangerous that a journalist may not realise the impact of his opinion (if intuitive) on public debate, because after all, there are those who have place trust in media practitioners as “the” stewards of opinion.
This isn’t to say that Samson cannot have an opinion, if you don’t like it. It’s is to say that— as member of the 4th Estate, his status doesn’t change whether on screen or twitter. Like an off duty police officer, his professionalism shouldn’t change in spite of. Something I think the lawyers nail.
It is to say that— journalism isn’t what it was eons before; a type of pedagogy in which organisations of elites write for elites, and these elites who “know best” work to educate the untutored plebs. Coincidentally you can tell from Samson’s pinned tweet and more that this is his philosophy. But in today’s world, many a time, the aggregated concerns of the audience prove a better guide to what matters than the views of the practitioner.
Much like Captain Ahab, when opinionated and still respected men and women like Samson deliberately fail to acknowledge these little aggregated “many a time” the media fratanity risks wreckage, and opinion is thrashed at them from every direction by characters akin to Moby Dick.
For that matter, a practitioner cannot afford Ahab’s obstinance when his diligence (“professionalism”) is under scrutiny, because then, the journalist is nowhere close to a clear and articulate understanding of the of the power he holds in these oceans where every second of diligence in practice is essence. The contrary may work for exceptions of Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump, but that curious company to keep. You wouldn’t take it home.
But here’s what I’d rather you to took home. Ssebaggala is neither a professor of public speaking nor journalism, but to disregard him and others like him based solely on such a hypothesis that account paints you as curious case in the current media space and time. So, for all intents and purposes, fact or fiction, call him Ishmael.