The NET is a site you should respect – it has broken significant stories in Nigerian entertainment, and has conducted respectable experiments in entertainment content across text, video and events.
But sometimes, it finds itself terribly confused about what it is – or (again, four fingers might be pointing back into our past here) crossing all kinds of lines – like this definitely shock-worthy story about Michelle Obama.
Now it delivered a viral interview with Sean Tizzle, where they asked him the very important, very crucial, very cerebral question about … his skin colour.
To be honest, it’s really fair game. Artistes are not just about their music, they are about their personality. And insofar as Tizzle has himself put his personal life on the front burner in several ways, he can’t dodge it. So this kind of bright and light stories are a staple of the media. You do it, you move on. You don’t explain yourself.
But then, in defending itself in the video below, does NET have to make an intellectual case for something that has none? No, you did not HAVE to ask Sean Tizzle this actually-frivolous question? You don’t have to ask a man if he ‘bleaches’. It’s actually demeaning. You asked because you could, and because it drives traffic, and because it’s all good banter.
And that’s fine.
Let’s not stretch it.
That’s one. But more importantly, perhaps this speaks more centrally to the brand character for NET.
Because the NET also positions itself as the thinking (wo)man’s guide to Nigerian entertainment – it published an excellent series only last week on the debate about whether Modenine is one of Nigeria’s greatest rappers (in case you care what we think: we say he is not. You are not a great rapper simply because your thoughts are complicated, and the general public can’t understand you, sorry) – and does touchdowns with such depth now and again.
Sadly, many times that clashes with the mundaneness of many a story, including the many dubious exclusives there are quickly debunked.
So it has a present existential crisis (and trust us, we know about existential crises) – is it Rolling Stone, is it National Enquirer or is it Buzzfeed?
It needs to decide.
And this is not a criticism, as much as it’s a gentle nudge. To decide what it wants to be and to be it relentlessly so we know what we’re buying anytime we enter the story.
But if it’s criticism that will make you guys move faster towards clarity, then all means, take it.
PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, op-eds etc) send us a mail on [email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!