Disseminating information

Disseminating information

There is always the source, the root to the problem at hand which is the most important aspect that determines the solution; for therein the root of the problem lies the solution to the problem.
The basic component to the process of understanding any phenomenon within the environs is the understanding of the root to all that is perceived either by the naked eye or the other senses.
Not understanding the root or the source leads to misunderstanding, misconception, misinterpretation, and all of these lead to improper dissemination of the information transmitted about the phenomenon at hand.

I will give a simple example about a plumbing task that once took me a whole week to reach the solution. A friend of mine complained about the water bill, that it was way higher than the usual consumption rate as stipulated by the water dispensing authority.

As is the usual case, the water and sewerage authority was blamed, and the original misconception was that they had installed a faulty prepaid water supply control device, with the notion that it was not appropriately calibrated, and it was from this premise that one could conclude that the device was therefore dispensing more water than it was meant to.
A careful forensic search however revealed to me that the culprit was not the prepaid water control device, the problem lay with the old plumbing system that had not been properly maintained over the years, and this had led to leaks in the connections, and these leaks led to the owner of the house paying more than they thought was due for the water consumed in the household.
After fixing of the leaks in the plumbing system, the problem is gone.

This aspect is not peculiar only to plumbing, but it is found in almost all systems; poor maintenance, reluctance to upgrade, and resistance to innovation lead to the poor performance of the system, regress, and final total failure of the entire system with the passage of the years, due to natural processes that include the inevitable and natural process of aging.
The tendency is to think that certain things are peculiar only to particular systems, but the truth of the fact is that the world and its systems make up for one integrated and interconnected system at whose core lies the root; information, which ensures that the basic process of communication occurs.

There are changes in the process of communication itself, and it is up to those tasked with its transmission and dissemination to keep up with the changes in the trends in the sphere of information and communication, for if they do not; we are bound to end up with a world that does not understand itself: for if information is misunderstood, communication does not occur in a manner adequate or appropriate enough to serve its purpose of ensuring that there is synchrony in between components that help lead the world towards desired progress.

The job of disseminating information requires individuals that are as impartial as the plumber is to the smell of turd (sewerage), or to a problem with the kitchen water supply.
The tendency with modern-day dissemination of news is to adopt the sensationalist stance of the unlearned, and this leads to the distortion of the facts required to bring about a veritable piece of information and news.

There are instances where the plumber has to deal with problems associated with clean water, and there are instances where the same plumber has to deal with raw sewage.
Though both of these types of water are different, they are part and parcel of the same craft; the art of plumbing. This goes for the news personnel.
There are days when they have to deal with matters of public interest, and there are times when they have to deal with news that seek a careful approach in their dissemination to avoid potential and negative backlash if such pieces of information are not dealt with in an appropriate manner (sort of like a plumber dealing with an aspect of sewerage maintenance inappropriately and ending up doused in delicious turd!).

The fact of the matter is that facts do not need justification once stated, for if such an occurrence rises, it should not be for the purpose of defence of the fact but rather, it should be for further elucidation and clarification of stated aspects or facts. If the transmitter of the news has to apologise each time they have relayed information about someone or something, then this is evidence of poor approach to the process of dispersing information to the audience.

This is the kind of news personnel that approaches news as the careless plumber who deals with sewerage problems inappropriately and ends up doused in delicious turd.
Yes! The piece of news may be sensational, but because the process of its dissemination was wrongly done, the same story written blows back into the speaker’s face (sort of like the fool that foolishly spits into the wind and then has their face covered in the same spit blown back by the wind) and lands them in court for defamation or some other charge related to the tale recited.
The basic approach that I always adopt is: “No presumption or presupposition before thorough analysis of the evidence presented . . . ” for it is human to be prone to the whims in the public sphere; the cacophony created by the many voices presenting their learned and uninformed opinions on the issue could easily sway the mind of the individual writer or speaker that does not bother to get to the bottom of the facts, before they take the decision to talk about what it is they hear running through the rumour mill and the grapevine.

Sometimes, stories that are core and salient to the development of the land are missed because the writer of the information is focused on the mundane just on the basis of its being popular.
Popularity does not exactly entail profitable (it may actually, in the long term, mean depreciation of integrity and reputation) for, far often than less, the popular may just be a dead end street that leads nowhere.

Upon close analysis, many tales actually account for far less than they were presented to be worth from the onset, and what may at first seem lacking in terms of profitability may in the long run prove to be highly rewarding in all respects. The evidence is of paramount importance, and since it determines the final outcome of the piece of news or information, it should be approached carefully to give the weight needed to balance the story.

Impartiality means that the party involved has no vested interest in the piece of information being relayed, and that they can therefore be trusted to deliver information that is loyal only to the facts and not the interests of a given party or individual. Allegiance to a given body in the dissemination of the news or information that mentions their names may lead to the distortion of the facts needed by the audience to draw their conclusions and to make their arguments on the facts presented.

One hears of biased opinions which have the interests of one party, and not those of other equally important sectors of society. This is because the broadcasters thereof have a vested interest in the affairs that led to the piece of information being relayed.  In-depth research before transmission is therefore a core part of the process of information dissemination.
The writer that is instead of being impartial, chooses to assume a presumptuous stance, shall often be the writer that ends up delivering misinformation instead of the needed news.
News is like the citrus fruit, and for one to know the type of citrus fruit they have in their hand, circumstance necessitates the actual peeling off of the yellow rind and the tasting of the individual crescents of the fruit in hand to determine whether it is an orange, a lemon, or grapefruit.

The outward appearance of an entity does not often match the actual contents thereof; and this necessitates actual in-depth analysis to determine the true variety and type of a piece of news and information to get to the gist of its truth.
In a world where misinformation poses as “trend”, the chances for error are indeed high, and it is up to the investigator to get to the grit of the matter before any aspects of such a matter are placed in the open tray for everyone to access and interpret.
Prescribed choice of audience is a matter of judgement, for the process of transmission also to a large extent entails the careful selection of the target audience at which the piece of information is aimed.
It may be mentioned in the constitution that the public has the basic right to information, but it is not all information that is suitable for all members of society.
This is due to the fact of the difference in age, occupation, and standing; all of which are elements stemming from the realities of relevance in terms of the sensitivity of the information transmitted, and its potential effect on the general welfare of the state and the globe.

Names have been defamed, characters have be ill-reputed, and societies have been left scarred by stories that ended up in the wrong hands, because their destinations have not been predetermined by the parties concerned with the proper process of their transmission, and their delivery to the relevant audience.
The sensationalist may argue that all news should be heard by all, I personally disagree on the simple basis of the logic behind our vehicular mode of transport; not all vehicles use diesel engines, and not all cars use petrol: the kind of fuel an engine uses is determined right from the manufacturer’s workshop where the engine is built, or, to be more precise, even before it is assembly.
Additional information, where required, needs to be supplied by the transmitter. Resorting to the now common use of acronyms and technical terms blurs the true content and message of the piece of information being relayed.

One comes across complex terms that are under normal circumstances hard for the ordinary folk to understand, and the question is: Who are they meant for, if not for the consumption of the ordinary people? The answer to this could be one: complex terms are only meant to drive the issue of sensationalism! For if not, then why do they form the larger part of the written media one comes across?

Our sense of development is limited by the subconscious procrustean tendency to define only the mundane in full, and to limit the necessary by providing only snippets of information about the salient aspects of the needed elements in the processes related to economic development.

Let us learn to define the essential elements related to the processes of development in full, lest we remain behind as a continent of “educated” people that can speak in the nasal twangs of the West, but cannot speak to each other when it comes to the discussion of issues that will bring about our economic emancipation.
I write for development, and those figures whose lives I have previously covered in articles afore this one were meant to make the reader aware that there is a world of people out there that once was like us that changed for the better.

It changed the status for the better because the citizens of the states understood the essence of reading, but even better; the citizens from developed regions were fortunate enough to have had people in the media who had a vested interest in seeing their respective states prosper: and they gave of information that the other citizens could disseminate and understand in full.
It is of no use to anyone if the speakers speak for the sake of sounding smart, with the intention of impressing the listener and the watcher, and never working towards the attainment of the greater good, that is, the delivery of information in a manner that makes such information easily accessible to anyone that comes across it.

With any purpose and aim other than this one, we might as well be residents in the Tower of Babel; those who will split because they do not understand each other.

Tsepiso S Mothibi

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