by crossriverwatch admin
WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, CRWATCH RESOURCES; AGBA JALINGO ON THE FIRST YEAR ANNIVERSARY LECTURE OF CROSSRIVERWATCH HELD AT TRANSCORP METRO HOTEL, CALABAR THE 27TH OF AUGUST 2013
I sincerely welcome everyone to this occasion. This is one day that we have waited for with a lot of anticipation. It is a day that seemed as though it was not going to come.
We were anxious not because of the fear of any untoward circumstance but, because one year seemed so long a time to reach in so soon a period.
But this day became possible not by the mere fact of the existence of a publication whose birthday we are gathered to celebrate but because you the reader has kept faith with us.
When CrossRiverWatch debuted this day in 2012, the only thing that was available to us was the idea and the people. We had enormous confidence in the boundless possibilities of the internet and the social media and how to maximize it in disseminating information to our people.
Our state, like several other states of the federation is denied of the democratic finesse occasioned by popular participation due to the absence of adequate media platforms to engender engagement.
Several times when my vendor delivers the newspapers in the morning, I flip the pages from start to finish and often times Cross River is not in the news.
Generally speaking, you will agree with me that if you are not in Cross River, getting information about the state is a herculean task.
Even on the internet, the presence of Cross River cannot be described a
s informative enough for keen citizens who are following or want to follow events that are happening back home.
Even when you come to the state and go outside the cluster of four local governments that people generally refer to as ‘Calabar’, getting news becomes more excruciating. Farther into the northern part of the state, people queue to buy newspapers that are 72 hours old, in a world were news is being served to citizens on their palms in ‘realtime’.
With a sparing population estimate of 3,104,446 (NPC, 1995) scattered around an area covering 20,156 km square, in villages and towns far flung from themselves, it has been difficult for home grown media entrepreneurs to survive the odds of sustaining a viable private media organization.
But in all these, it is the people of the state that are being denied the opportunity to adequately engage their government on matters that concern them.
It is the realization of this gap and the need to fill it that spurred the birth of CrossRiverWatch. In other words, CrossRiverWatch is an audacious attempt to tell the Cross River story by ourselves. A conscious shift from our reliance on media organizations in other parts of the country to tell our stories.
There are a myriad of young leaders, entrepreneurs, actors, lawyers, artisans, journalists, farmers in Cross River state who are in dire need of a platform to showcase their innate possibilities. We have only created one for them and after one year, we can look back and draw confidence from the mileage we have covered.
With a strictly ‘Cross River-only’ content and well over 1.2million visitors to the online portal www.crossriverwatch.com and 10,000 average daily visits with 52,000 peak daily visitors, we can indeed safely say that we are not a flash in a pan.
We have a long term vision of building a massive media empire for the people of Cross River state and these will include; a radio station and a television station with Cross River only content.
I am personally optimistic about this possibility because of the energy and commitment that every member of our team has put into this work. The sheer courage with which members of the team have faced the ch
allenges that have beset us this one year gives me confidence that we will cover the distance ahead of us and achieve our set goals.
For a large section of our people, both at home and in Diaspora, we are filling the information gap. We are not a government megaphone neither are we an opposition media, we are simply a citizen’s media house looking for information to give to our people.
We will continue to strive to protect the interest of the greater majority of the people of Cross River state. At all times, that shall be our overriding interest. Our editorial tilt and content shall continue to put the interest of the majority of the people of the state atop every other consideration.
We are also determined to grow this idea until it becomes a big business that is able,
not only to create employment like it is doing, but to also create wealth both for the practitioners and other Cross Riverians.
That is why your coming today is very special to us. Accept our special thanks and gratitude for your coming. Your presence is a further demonstration of the support CrossRiverWatch is already enjoying and we will always appreciate it.
And for every member of this team, you are the best people to work with in this world. It is not yet an auspicious time to unveil your identities. When time and circumstances make that convenient, the world will see you and celebrate you.
I welcome you all and thank you for your attention.
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