By Jonathan Ugbal and Patrick Obia
Five Cross Riverians made it to the 2020 #Media100 list of culture curators, the publication by YNaija, an online news portal shows.
They include CrossRiverWatch publisher, Agba Jalingo; German based journalist, Mercy Abang; Pulse Nigeria Editor-in-Chief, Ben Bassey; Broadcast Journalist, MaryAnn Duke Okon and second-time recipient, Philip Obaji Jr.
According to YNaija, the list aims “to celebrate those who do the job of leading others on, sometimes without request. We call them the Media 100 -culture curators.”
“They are the ones who shape cultures, and when you join conversations and become passionate about it, you later realise that someone had set the agenda for you to follow – ‘It is a subconscious something’. We call these people the indispensables because you can’t do away with them like some bread with molds,” the statement read.
The recipients from Cross River…
Jalingo whose works have drawn ire from public officials became a household name when he was arrested in August 2019 for for an article published in July of same year which sought the whereabouts of the NGN500 million approved and released by the Cross River state government for the floating of the state owned Microfinance bank. He was charged with treasonable felony, terrorism amidst others and spent six months in incarceration before his eventual release on bail in February 2020. He remains on trial. Governor Ben Ayade was fingered as the hand behind his ordeal and he allegedly used his involvement in the #RevolutionNow movement as a cover up.
Duke, who graduated from the New York Film Academy in 2019 where she majored in Broadcast Journalism, works with News Central TV. She had served as Head of Presentation at Nigeria Info FM and also worked as a presenter on Plus TV after she left the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation.
Bassey, a graduate of the University of Calabar is currently the Editor–in–Chief, Pulse Nigeria. A certified Digital Marketer, Digital Strategist, Content Marketer, Journalist, and Storyteller, he has helped several brands create campaign strategies that effectively push their brand/product message to their target audience, thereby boosting brand engagement and conversions.
Mercy is an award-winning journalist, who has worked from the United Nations in New York; reported from the Bundestag, the German Parliament; writes and produces for Aljazeera English; has worked with the Economic Communities of West African States; volunteered with the African Union media, observed elections with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and is a volunteer with the African Union (Digit-trends Team). She is a widely read international journalist who focuses her reports on under-reported communities.
Philip is currently a contributor to New York–based news and culture website, The Daily Beast, and a blogger for Global Partnership for Education and A World at School. His articles have been published in numerous foreign and Nigerian newspapers and websites, including MSN UK, MSN South Africa, Al Jazeera, Yahoo, Foreign Policy Magazine, AllAfrica, Global Citizen, Sahara Reporters, The New Humanitarian, World Politics Review, P.M. News Nigeria, News Deeply, Equal Times, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Sundiata Post.
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