Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Friday Post Our Guilty Pleasure

Forget about the front-page headlines or the sport players who grace the back-pages of The Post Newspaper. The Friday Post has become notorious not for its informative news that makes up the paper rather it is the pictures that grab the attention. These are not your ordinary pictures of two businessmen shaking hands or cadres raising their fists in the air that is child’s play. The Friday Post pictures are the kind that makes parents hide the paper from their children, people do not spend too long staring at when people are around, the moral compass of society loathes and make me wonder what the photographer was thinking to get such photographs.

It is very clear that The Post newspapers are on an agenda, when it comes to Friday Post popularly known as the Weekend Post, this is to sell the paper. I can bet my finger that the edition must rank among the highest of all the days of the week. The pictures are clearly taken for the shock factor and shock us they do. It usually involves some scantily dressed drunk woman exposing her underwear, dancing queens climbing on poles, or a couple holding each other as if they are in their bedroom. It just depends on the mood of the photographer. These pictures have led to a public outcry from some sections of society. They have accused The Post of corrupting morals and publishing according to them ‘Pornography’ in a wide spread daily newspaper.

The more people complain about the Weekend Post issue, it appears the more explicit the pictures get. I think it may only be a matter of time before we see a naked person one of these days. The reasons I have heard as to why The Post should be banned from publishing these pictures are that children read the paper, this is a Christian nation and it reflects badly on us or it is demeaning to women who are mostly exposed in these pictures. These are fair enough reasons why The Post should tone down in future issues, as to whether they are strong enough reasons I’m on the fence on this one.

Why should The Post change a winning formula? There are certain Fridays when the paper can hardly be found on the streets of Lusaka because it is sold out. SOLD OUT! The Post are a profit making business and they will do what they have to do to make money. No wonder the photographer will go to whatever length to get that prized picture. Eish some of the angles the chap gets make me wonder, how on earth did he get that shot? It leaves you to thinking what the instructions are when they go out.
In Zambia, we do a lot of talking and less action. I have seen people complain bitterly about these pictures while they have the page wide open. If people really wanted to send a strong message to the editors of the Weekend Post, they would just stop buying the paper on that day. They could opt to buy Daily Mail or Times of Zambia. If parents are afraid that the pictures are too obscene for their children don’t go home with the paper. If people do not like the pictures do not make them the topic of discussion in the offices. As to whether it is professionally right, that is not my arena to dwell in. I will leave it to my journalist friends to answer it.

Do you think the Weekend Post has gone too far?

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