Soyinka added that the headline left a false impression on the minds of casual readers, and banalised both the purpose and tenor of the memorial reading session held in honour of the late Ghanaian poet, Kofi Awoonor, who was among those killed by the recent terrorist siege on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya.
In a statement, the Nobel Laureate explained that “The circumstances of the Nairobi outrage, the grave issues surrounding this pattern of human negativity, and the stature of Kofi Awoonor in whose honour we were gathered – which constituted the core of my address – deserve worthier treatment than this.”
Soyinka condemned the attempt to attribute sentiments such as “Escaped Attack” to him in the reportage which he described as “highly immoral and unprincipled”.
While decrying the trend to sensationalize reports by publishers in their bid to gain more patronage, Soyinka noted that such “left a false impression on the minds of casual readers”.
“You will have sold a few extra copies of your paper but – is this all that journalism is about? Have we now abandoned all notion of ‘responsible journalism’ on the altar of sales figures?” he asked rhetorically.