And that’s a supremely good thing.
Whilst our team in-house has joined others across the media to confirm this rumour (in this case, waiting for family confirmation, or at least independent sightings on a matter of huge public interest), we at TMB monitored the major – and even many minor – news, lifestyle and entertainment sites, up until 3.30pm.
All we got was silence.
And it was the sweetest hours of silence we have ever heard.
The news was tweeted by @Asiwaju_Foye, not an unreliable source since he has claimed to speak for the family over the past month, but still only a social media account with no accountability to anyone.
He tweeted at 1pm WAT, but even as at 4pm, there was nothing on the major online media – Silence from BellaNaija, LIB, NET, LadunLiadun, SDK, Premium Times, The Cable, Daily Post, The Scoop.
360Nobs was the first front-liner to report it, but only at about 3.15pm.
Clearly, and heartwarmingly, the space had learnt the lessons from the last time many were in a rush to call a young woman’s travails a ‘scam’. And once again, everyone is reminded of the sanctity of human life.
It’s a basic journalism principle: in summary, yes, bad news sells. But there is nothing to be excited about in declaring the death of another human being not named Adolf Hitler. Or in the extreme case of an urgent public interest, like NEXT Newspapers did in announcing the confirmed brain-damage of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Not even the reporting of a rumour, unless you have verified information about the certainty of a person’s death.
In what is clearly a sign of the space’s evolution, the Nigerian blogosphere, even traditional newspapers who play footloose online like the Vanguard, has acquitted itself well on this matter.
Let’s see if the future keeps these lessons in perspective. And may the heavens keep Mayowa’s family strong, whatever happens to her beautiful soul.