The Veterans Speak – Stand Up For Ethics & Excellence
The third edition of Women in Journalism conference ( Wij2016) held on Thursday, July 21 at the MUSON Centre, Lagos. And I was there.
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. Paulo Coelho
When we have dreams and goals, life pulls us in the direction of our overall vision.
By events that led one to another, God ordained that I be invited to the Women in Journalism (WIJ2016)event. Leading and aspiring women journalists and people in media, PR and communications were all in attendance.
As I walked in, I felt like a fish on top of a mountain and just whispered to God, please show me why I’m here, cos I don’t know what I’m doing here. And He did.
Veteran journalist and former member of the House of Representatives, Abike Dabiri gave the opening keynote speech
She praised journalists and said, “you’ve chosen one of the best jobs in the word”. She emphasized the need to focus more on effecting change and doing good with the powerful tool of Journalism. She recalled how she followed a story for eight (8) years because she wanted to see it through and help the person in question.
She advocated for diligence especially in investigative journalism as this is no longer upheld with poorly researched stories being published every day.
Veteran journalist, Bimbo Oloyede gave a blueprint of what is expected of journalists for life and career.
E – Explicit. You should say what you mean and mean what you say
T – Trustworthy. Your conduct should earn the trust of your readers. Thorough research and no lies.
H – Humble. The fact that you wield the pen should make you arrogant.
I – Impartial. Your articles should report all sides of the story. Not a one-sided view, or partisan in nature.
C – Content. Run your own race. Be ambitious but also content. This will help kill greed.
S – Sensitive. Be mentally and socially aware. Know what to publish/write at what time.
She asked this probing question to columnists, writers, broadcasters, what is the purpose of your article?….
E – Efficient. You do the best and be the best.
X- X-ray. Double check your work for errors, crosscheck facts. Be correct.
C – Catalyst. Be a change agent. Move the public in a positive direction by what you do.
E – Enthusiastic. Inject life. Be passionate. Self-motivated.
L – Leader. As journalists, take up your role as a gatekeeper. Lead in words and actions.
L – Loyal.
E – Engaging. Be courteous, personable. Especially when handling interviews. People don’t have to talk. Ask nicely.
N – Nationalistic. Promote the vision of a greater Nigeria. Don’t be write to divide.
C – Credible. Let your word be trusted.
E – Erudite. Keep on learning. Seek more personal development.
This offered a totally different way to Journalism and it applies to everyone and not just those in media productions, whether print, radio or TV.
I strongly believe that if everyone imbibes these qualities, our lives will be richer and our nation, Nigeria will rise to unimaginable heights.
And it is possible.
The African panel with Video journalist,
@SharonOgunleye,the yoruba-speaking Dutch journalist @femkevanzeijl and the CNN bureau chief in Lagos, @StephanieBusari highlighted the challenges that journalists face in Nigeria and was moderated by On Air Personality, Tolu Adeleru Balogun @tolulopeab #wij2016.
There is a new revolution and I’m glad to be part of it. Plus, I got to have a chat with the CNN chief. More things to come!
This is the beginning of a #NewNigeria.
What do you think journalism is, today and how can these qualities be imbibed? Share your views in the comments. And don’t forget to share.
Ignorance is no longer an excuse.