Consistent with the principle of the right to reply, we would like to submit the following for publication in the next issue.
The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has noted with shock an article entitled, "BMD Carcass leaves a stink", which appeared in The Patriot on Sunday newspaper, Issue number 298.
The Patriot article raises very serious and divisive allegations against the UDC, which unfortunately, the organisation was not allowed to respond to. There is absolutely no truth in the suggestion that the BNF and BCP have clashed over the BMD constituencies. If the reporter had contacted us, we would have clarified this and the loud and false headline would, hoping there is objectivity, not have seen the light of the day.
One of the basic and elementary principles of journalism is that a reporter should always give the reader a balanced story and avoid subjectivity. The only time when a reporter is allowed to be subjective is when he/she pens an opinion. Even then the reader should be told that this is the reporter's opinion. Opinions generally don't go into the front page, save for exceptional circumstances. The article to us was more of an opinion or sought to push a particular subjective narrative about the UDC. It lacked the hallmarks of objective journalism.
You achieve balance and objectivity by ensuring that those who allegations are raised against are given an opportunity to respond. This we believe is what every media house should strive for. There is no reason to believe that the writer is not aware of this.
The author of the article hides behind unnamed sources to bombard the readers with gossip and untruths. Since when have newspapers been purveyors of gossip? Gossip just gives you a story idea but not the story. What then follows are facts.
We call upon all media houses to always give us an opportunity to comment on issues that concern the UDC. We urge our reporters to desist from writing on anything that they come across. This article, unfortunately forms part of the many that are not written based of facts and objectivity.
UDC Head of communications