It is not true that it is obnoxious to toot your own horn or blow your own trumpet. Rather, if you don’t, some records will not be straight. That is why I will make this following statement.
There is no other State in Nigeria, including Lagos and Abuja, that has a vibrant local media, especially online, that can hold their State officials accountable like we have built in Cross River State.
Majority of Cross Riverians both at home, in other parts of Nigeria and abroad, no longer wait for the “main stream media” to tell them what is happening back home. They get news about happenstances in our State in real time from the local media organizations, most of which are still mushrooming. YES! Mushrooming…
These media outfits are still faced with a barrage of criticisms and attacks and a lack of revenue sources and sufficient experience but their consistency and perseverance is evolving into a collective force that is smoking out public officials from their holes they used to hide to respond to critical issues of public interest.
This is a novel development in our State. Information flow has always been one sided in Cross River. Only from the supply side. Public officials have characteristically been so full of themselves and feel they don’t owe the people any explanations for their actions or inactions. That arrogance is waning. That yoke is being lifted and the fourth estate is gaining muscle and credibility. The news writers are gaining the respect of the news makers. The respect is becoming mutual.
1. Negroid Haven
3. Paradise News
4. Cross River Daily
5. Daily News NG
6. Grassroot Reporters
7. Epistle News
8. Fearless Reports
9. Solomon Island
10. Yala Voice
And many others, all have dedicated Cross River focused content and are all working together to liberate the State from the monopoly of information dissemination which has held our people down for decades and empowered our arrogant politicians with our ignorance.
The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, and some very young, courageous and vocal activists are also raising their voices to fill the void created by the conspiracy of silence of our establishment politicians who are all quiet in the face of excruciating dictatorship in our State, either because they have been compromised or afraid.
This development is exciting because there is a need for both the Government, the media and the civil society to all sufficiently develop for democracy to work for the people in our State.
Government is already a behemoth. The media in our State has developed some muscle and is still growing, the civil society must also be developed, devoid of nuanced encumberances to enable them fill the last and crucial leg.
For my fellow new media practitioners in our State, we must look beyond the antagonism of those who feel they held the sacred grail of the pen in our State before we came. We must keep our eyes on the ball. We are from Cross River. It is our State. Our parents and siblings live in Cross River and the shoe pinches us the most. We must not for any moment, allow their attempt to belittle our effort catch up with us. They are actually worried that we are processing them into irrelevance.
Let us continue to bond and grow. No matter how slow, the joy of the little progress we are making should sustain our zeal and in the end, these little efforts will employ hundreds and thousands and create a bulwark against corruption and mis-governance in Cross River and set example for other states in our federation.
Salute to all the people wey sabi!
Citizen Agba Jalingo.
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch and writes from Lagos State.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.