By Cornelius Ellah
The founder and editor-in-chief of CrossRiverWatch, Mr. Agba Jalingo has stated that journalism is a rich profession meant only for those who are trained to practice with uprightness and integrity.
Jalingo stated this Monday in Calabar while delivering a pep talk on the values of journalism to 200 level students of the Department of Mass Communication in the Cross River University of Technology.
Jalingo who encouraged the students to be proactive and conscientious at all times, posited that journalism has no room for quackery.
“Journalism is a rich profession. Don’t let anybody deceive you that it isn’t. Don’t let anybody tell you that it is ‘brown envelope’ that is keeping us here. It is a lie! There are innovative ways of making money in journalism. I am telling you this so that you would understand that people can build careers in journalism. Oprah Winfrey is a Journalist. Larry King is a Journalist. These are billionaires,” Jalingo said.
On professionalism, Jalingo averred that: “I keep telling Mr. Cornelius that for this profession to grow, we must consciously teach young people how to practice this profession because so many charlatans have taken advantage of the profession and they are just sitting down somewhere waiting for people to give them money. They are making people refer to Journalists as idiots…
“It is some people that have reduced us to that level. I have been a Beat Reporter for Sahara Reporters for 9 years and we do not collect money from anybody. When we go for assignments, other Journalists wait behind to collect money. But we do not. I say it with all sense of honesty that we do not collect money from anybody because we are proud of our duties as Journalists. We do not collect pittance from people. We know how to make money.”
He encouraged the students to emulate such role models in journalism.
Equally, Mr. Jalingo said that owning a Facebook account or working as a Presenter in a radio station, does not necessarily make anyone a Journalist. He explained that rather, professional training and profound knowledge of ethical standards serve as frameworks for the practice of the profession.
He urged the students to be proactive at all times by studying beyond the contents of their academic curricula so that they can acquire skills that would enable them to contribute meaningfully to the growth of society.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s pep talk was held in continuation of “Inspire Series” that this reporter instituted for aspiring Journalists in the courses that he teaches in Cross River University of Technology.
So far, the Series has featured Mr. Omini Oden, a former Chairman of the Cross River State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Godwin Okonkwo, former International Volunteer at CUSO International and Mr. Iwara Iwara, publisher of Calitown.com.
Each of them shared their experiences in life and journalism with the students, in order to encourage them to aspire towards attaining lofty heights in the profession.
Mr. Iwara, who also hosts ‘The Public View’ on Hit 95.9 FM consolidates the “Inspire Series” by allowing students of the department to visit the studio of the broadcasting outfit on Saturday Mornings to see how he presents “The Public View” in that station.
Similarly, Mr. Jalingo has promised to work in concert with this reporter to see how at least four students from the class that he inspired yesterday can pay a visit to the headquarters of Sahara Reporters in New York, USA.
Also, Mr. Jonathan Ugbal a correspondent at CrossRiverWatch and co-host of ‘The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo,’ on Hit 95.9 FM Calabar, accompanied Mr. Jalingo to inspire the students.
Culled from www.lincornellah.com.ng