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Bias and its hazards


Noel A. Ihebuzor

Most people will swear on their mother’s left breast, the breast closest to her heart, that they are objective, even when the evidence that they are not stares them starkly in the face. Some journalists are bolder and are even willing to swear on their mother’s two breasts that they are objective. And it is not that such journalists hate or disrespect their mums by swearing falsely and invoking the name of such a significant person in their lives who deserves undying respect and veneration – it is just they have become so blind to their biases that they have ended up losing every sense of balance and self awareness – the usual endpoint for persons who allow themselves to journey and mingle with bias and who then becomes its prisoners – their minds shackled, their visions dimmed and judgments vitiated. Persons who were supposed to be the voices and the eyes of the people are now locked up in dungeons with very opaque windows and where deformed self-made panes, the only windows to the world out there, deflect and refract light and create the worst forms of illusions of vision. How did these fellows get into these dungeons? They got pulled into them by the lure of money and incentives, by unreflecting loyalty to faction, section or class and by the seduction of hatred and envy which end up dulling the senses – visual acuity, discriminatory powers and judgment – of persons  whose hearts and hearths they have entered and found quick and easy welcome. Henceforth cocooned in islands of subjectivity and irrationality, so sadly and blissfully unaware of their present afflictions, these persons who should be the fourth estate of the realm become purveyors of inaccuracies and writers of commentaries and editorials which have neither breadth nor depth but are characterized by flatness, incompleteness and cant. And the belief of these persons in their objectivity persists, fuelled by comments and adulations from a captive readership.  These delusions of objectivity are so powerful that these prisoners of bias would willing take on any mortal bold enough to point out to them what are clear inadequacies, profound shallowness and shameful aberrations in their writings and in their campaigns of misinformation and disinformation of the masses they are supposed to inform, educate and defend. To get a sense of what I am talking about, just read the new Sam Nda Isaiah, the Punch Newspaper and Leadership Newspaper and then weep for the sorry state of journalism in our dear country.

Noel Ihebuzor


Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

5 thoughts on “Bias and its hazards

  1. as i read this article, omojuwa came to mind..his comments/ editorials are so filled with bias and one sidedness that he somehow fails to see but is adept as seeing other people’s bigotry.. ppl like omojuwa are why nigeria faces an uphill task in going foward


    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. I am now increasingly inclined to believe that there is an economic reason behind such glaring manifestations of bias – I call this the personal utility of bias.


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