‘Truth is stranger than fiction’?
This proverbial saying is attributed to, and almost certainly coined by, Lord Byron, in the satirical poem Don Juan, 1823:
We live in a time of extreme political fury and hardening cultural divides. News and fake news is now like cold or warm water drawn from the same tap. Lies are seemingly more attractive, get more attention from today’s public.
We are in a time in which truth is indeed, stranger than fiction, what actually happens is more bizarre than anything that could have been imagined.
Those trusted with reporting and dissemination of news have become enemies of truth. Popular views are shared as truths, popular opinions now replacing facts.
In truth if there is one thing on which virtually everyone is agreed, it is that the news and information we receive is biased. Every second of every day, someone is compiling views and opinions and spreading them as truth or facts. It’s all about click bait, what news drives traffic what brings more clicks, what delivers more views, what results in more likes and loves on social media.
It is all about biased views and extreme opinions, in everything from the latest reviews on this or that appointment of the ambassador at large to political commentary on the corruption in Zimbabwe.
Just this last week we were treated to extreme ends of one story which spoke of Uebert Angel coming from fugitive to Ambassador all in a space of 6 days.
Reports ranged from ‘he snuck into the country through Chirundu border post’ to he is on the run from authorities in the U.K. to he is at the Herbert Chitepo school of ideology, to he will be ambassador to Greece, then it all changed to he will be a good will ambassador’ all these were reported as factual news with corroborated authentic sources.
These reports and controversies took up a great share of public discussion.
Much of the outrage that floods social media, occasionally leaking into opinion columns and broadcast interviews, is not simply a reaction to events themselves, but to the way in which they are reported and framed. The “views of these activists-cum-journalists ” are now in most cases the principal focal point for this outrage or anger.
We are told the newly appointed Ambassador is on the run from U.K. authorities, this allegation is not verified but it’s a claim being uttered by journalist a narrative now common on live updates.
One prominent journalist based in Harare reported or stated that Uebert Angel’s degrees were fake and asserted that his two lecturer friends that worked at some university in the U.K. had verified this.
But, the questions as to the verity of his sources was never questioned because he is supposedly a trusted big daddy of hope.
This is the trouble with investing too much into emotions and then failing to separate hate and truth.
Truth should and must always be told even when it seems to be supporting those you perceive as the enemy.
Even Journalists and broadcasters who purport to be neutral are a constant object of scrutiny and derision, whenever they appear to let their personal views slip.
Understandably in this age of 24hour news demand where news is live-streamed around the clock. The work of journalists involves an increasing amount of unscripted, real-time discussion, which provides an occasionally troubling window into their thinking. However, truth must always be the guiding principle in news reporting.
But this is not simply an anti-journalist sentiment. A similar fury can just as easily descend on a civil servant or independent expert whenever their veneer of neutrality seems to crack, apparently revealing prejudices underneath. Sometimes a report or claim is dismissed as biased or inaccurate for the simple reason that it is unwelcome.
Truth must and should be upheld no matter who it benefits.
So for all that has been said on social media thus far with regards the newly appointed Presidential Envoy and Ambassador at large Uebert Angel.
Has anyone managed to gather facts and separate opinions and fiction?
Was he ever a fugitive?
Is he a fugitive?
Are the allegations against him simply issues on social media or are there any active cases in the legal system?
Is he hiding behind his newly acquired diplomatic status? Speculation is not and will never be fact.
It is however, a fact that he is now presidential envoy and ambassador at large for Europe and the Americas.