JC’S MALAZA WARNS AGAINST IRRESPONSIBLE REPORTING

JC’S MALAZA WARNS AGAINST IRRESPONSIBLE REPORTING

Jesus Calls Worship Centre Pastor Zakhele Malaza has expressed concern that there were certain individuals in the media who used the noble profession as a stepping stone to achieve personal ambitions. Speaking during a media
dialogue hosted by the Bible Society Eswatini last Friday at the Royal Swazi, Pastor Malaza said journalism
demanded specially groomed scribes who were passionate and responsible about their job, realising the important role journalism plays in society. He noted that writers tended to report from own perspective of events, so that different writers would always write differently about the same situation. He made an example of the gospels, pointing out for all to see that while these tell the same story about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, their approaches and even details tend to differ. Without suggesting that any of the narratives by John, Mark, Luke and Matthew
were inaccurate, Malaza said if anything, these Bible examples testify to the fact that ‘grooming’ cannot be over-emphasized. He said words were powerful, indeed a matter of life and death. He cited the case of the ten spies whom Joshua in Numbers 13:31-33 sent to spy on enemy land that was a target of capture by the Israelites – how these delivered an untruthful report. Scripture confirms that the unfaithful spies delivered lies to Moses and the
people, because they were afraid they would die in trying to take the land as God directed. Pastor Malaza
warned journalists against allowing their own interest to determine how they report to the people. He said
there were ungrateful reporters who behaved like cows, which after drinking from the river, then crossed
onto the other side and urinate into the water. He said it was because of such people that the media was in
such shambles today. He spoke at some length about bribery, pointing out that it tended to cloud the judgement
of reporters and compromised their neutrality, so that what the readers are given is doctored news that promotes the interests of certain individuals. Meanwhile, Dr Girma spoke with great wisdom how story-telling impacts the image of a nation, as well as gives it its identity. He recalled how he cherished and appreciated the norms and values of the Ethiopian people, the land of his birth, its stories and cultural heritage, until he left to study overseas where he was thrown at the deep end in a Dutch-speaking country that seemed to care little about people who did not understand the language. He said any profession, especially journalism, posed a challenged about one’s
identity. He said it was important for journalists to answer the question: ‘who am I?’ as one could not excel in
any profession without having clarity as to who they were. Dr Girma currently works as an International Advocacy Officer for International Bible Advocacy Centre, Visiting Lecturer of Intercultural Studies at London School of Theology and Research Associate at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He has a background in social political philosophy and public theology. His research focuses are social harmony, democracy and religion, the role
of religion in peace-building and philosophy of international development.

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