CrossRiverWatch: Five Years Of Trail Blazing The Online Media Path BY SOLOMON ASHA

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By CrossRiverWatch Admin

Exactly five years today, August 27, a new and a vibrant online media outfit, CrossRiverWatch was introduced into the media industry in Cross River state and Nigeria to contribute its own quota to the development of the profession in the country and in shaping and playing a robust part in the socioeconomic and political discourse and narrative of Cross River state in particular and Nigeria as a
whole.

The birth of CrossRiverWatch, an outfit owned by a versatile, outspoken media practitioner of repute and a social activist of Cross River State extraction, Agba Jalingo, took the Cross River media space by storm in terms of its news content, incisive and fearless articles, opinions and editorials, indicating that the online media platform was out with the sole aim to let Cross Riverians both at home and in diaspora have the opportunity not only to get first hand information of what is happening in the state on day to day basis, but is passionately committed to providing the information as they are from both sides of the divide.

This unbiased stance of the new baby, CrossRiverWatch, is to say the least, introduced and added impetus to reportage in the state, coupled with the fact that the platform became the first in the state to be businesslike and serious online based medium providing information for Cross Riverians and other Nigerians at the click of the finger.

Undoubtedly, the emergence of CrossRiverWatch platform under the editorial leadership of a fearless journalist with vast knowledge in both the traditional and emerging social/new media, certainly put several individuals, corporate organizations and government establishments who hitherto did things with an unquestioned air of authority, even with mindless impunity, became agitated and frightened with the style of news reports, commentaries, editorials, articles and opinions that the new entry into the media space in Cross River state dishes out daily to the public.

Indeed, while striving to carry out its professional duties in accord with professional requirements and ethics, the name of the platform became a complete nightmare to evil men and women and all those who had thought their actions cannot be questioned by the people or asked to account for their actions in the people’s court/public opinions that could eventually expose perpetrators of evil acts to face the actual laws of the land.

Standing tall to confront both official and unofficial impunity and evil is no mean business, as those who had over the years enjoyed the booties and bounties from iniquity unscarred will always fight with their last drop of blood to vanquish anything that want to question their actions or rock the boat that brings them their ill gotten wealth at the expense of the vast majority.

As it would be expected, when all attempts to put down the platform that has cause them so much discomfort fail, the next option will always to resort to blackmail, threats, intimidations and names calling of those behind the media platform.

Conversely, majority of Cross Riverians and other Nigerians within and outside the country received the sailing and berthing in the shores of Cross River state, the vibrant online platform with open hands and sees it as a viable alternative platform that provides them with fearless and unbiased reportage which the government controlled media cannot afford to risk.

Indeed, millions of Cross Riverians hold CrossRiverWatch in high esteem and regards the platform as a liberator that has come to free them from the suffocation of the government controlled and stereotype information and news as well as the tyranny of the few both in and outside the government circle. It is true that to many, CrossRiverWatch has become their second bible as well as their dependable source of getting reliable information. News about what happens around them and the entire state.

It takes courage and fortitude to stay afloat in spite of the hostility from those who fell that you are stepping on their toes with the way and manner you unearth information on their activities and give to the public. Though, highly loved and appreciated by the people, it is equally not a pot of porridge, butter, bread and tea to remain relevant on the cyber space in an environment where you made a name as the pioneer in the social media and where social media has become the earn thing, with many striving to undo the other.

This writer appreciates the resilience of CrossRiverWatch publisher and Editor-In-Chief, Agba Jalingo and loyal editorial team members
including Jeremiah Archibong, Jonathan Ugbal, Elijah Ugani, Ogar Monday, Odey Ojeka, Ushang Ewa, Itiunbe Atunka, Obeten Geoffrey, Christiana Alawa, Grace Orok, Bassey Bassey, Frank Edima, Lukman Openiyi, Kunle, Ikwen Atuaka, Violet Fanseh etc. etc. whose perseverance and commitment has continued to keep the platform afloat to provide Cross Riverians with dependable alternative source of getting unfiltered and uncensored news and information about both the low and the mighty in the society.

I equally salute the courage and commitment of the pioneer editor, Emmanuel Unah and others for their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of CrossRiverWatch that sees the platform through its infant stage to this present state.

In the same way, the contributions of CrossRiverWatch as a corporate entity to the development, liberation and liberalization of the media, especially the social media space in Cross River is unquantifiable in monetary terms.

For instance, it won’t be overstating the facts to assert that the emerging of CrossRiverWatch has contributed immensely to the current high level social media education among Cross Riverians; In fact the people of the state will be among the top group in social media education in Nigeria.

CrossRiverWatch has contributed in the development of the human capital, educating and developing young men and women not only in the area of media but organizing workshops and seminars to expose young people to the untapped opportunities around them and to key into such opportunities.

Through the fearless activities of CrossRiverWatch, activities of many individuals, organization including the law enforcement agents that would have gone unnoticed and unquestioned have been exposed and called to account for such crimes against the people; not even those in government were spared the scrutiny of the no nonsense social platform.

If you ask me, has CrossRiverWatch been able to contribute effectively and efficiently to the development of the media, providing a viable alternative to government controlled media and play the role of controlling the Cross River socioeconomic and political discourse and narrative for the past five years? My answer will be in the strong affirmative.

Five years is a drop in the ocean of years that are ahead of the promising platform to grow, expand, develop and liberalize the social media space in Cross River, and equally garner for itself a name that will stand shoulder to shoulder with any other in the field globally.

This writer wishes to state that CrossRiverWatch has certainly not arrived its destination, it has also not failed in the discharge of its media functions in the past five years of existence as a corporate media entity.

As the team banter, celebrate, for a cause worth celebrating they should begin to visualize a CrossRiverWatch whose image and influence will loom large in the media industry globally, but whose voice will always be for the poor, the voiceless and those without access to justice in the society.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Solomon Asha is a media aide to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River and served as an Editor in CrossRiverWatch prior to his appointment

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