The Prowl Of An Ill-Trained Journalist

By Ndidi Anelechi

In this democratic dispensation, many publications are churned out while others are sponsored by different persons and organisations to boost their political egos. This situation becomes gravely worsened in Akwa Ibom State where available spaces and even existing pool and poultry houses in Uyo, the state capital are converted to publishing houses.

Some ill-trained or non-trained persons have automatically become journalists and daylight publishers to the detriment of persons who were trained in universities and Polytechnics. This academic deficit is brought to bear on the psyche of these supposed reporters and publishers who impudently publish to malign persons and tarnish the image of innocent persons.

In Akwa Ibom, Radar newspapers is one of the stables of such gibberish and baderdash publications that should be consigned to kitchen dustbin for always enmeshing in grammatical incorrectness, factual errors, unethical practice, hatchet jobs, blatant lies and satanic "kite flying" news stories and editorials by its ill-trained editor-in-chief/publisher- Otuekong Franklyn Isong.

Take a front page story of Monday, February 29- Wednesday, March 2, 2016 by the Radar newspapers entitled "Exposed! The Face of a tribalist in Udom's Govt". At the side of the jarring, misleading headline is the picture of Sir Etekamba Udo Umoren, Secretary to Akwa Ibom Government, which the paper failed to caption. Of course, this has been followed with an inane Press statement asserting his conviction over that specious publication. For what would serve as maximum damage for him, he published another sensational story describing the SSG as berserk. Without mincing words, the newspapers has perhaps conducted an in-house investigation, put the man on the dock, called and cross examined imaginable witnesses and delivered judgment that Sir Umoren is a Tribalist and lastly berserk. What a way to celebrate junk and infantile journalism!

In the said publication, Radar averred that "The ongoing mass service redeployment exercise in Akwa Ibom" whereas newly appointed staffers and permanent secretaries were affected by the "posting exercise" since it went across the state not within the ministries. In this case, the paper goofed. The paper also reported that Sir Umoren "has refused to accept workers of other ethnic groups". The writer was so naïve not to know that the SSG had worked with Elder George Akpabio, Permanent Secretary, Office of the State Government, Uyo who is of Ibibio stock before his retirement a month ago.

It is on record that when Sir Etekamba Umoren was Permanent Secretary, Government House, Uyo, he had worked with Elder Bassey Usanga, an Ibibio man who had retired from the state civil service as an accountant for eight years and few months in SSG's Office. He also worked with one Charles, an Ibibio person as Cashier, Government House, Uyo, for eight years. Why didn't the paper report or applaud Umoren for entrusting people of other ethnic groups with sensitive positions? Does this attitude portray Sir Umoren as an ethnic jingoist?

Since the creation of the state, four appointed SSGs were of Ibibio stock and majority of workers in the office are of Ibibio stock, who Umoren only inherited without downsizing or ordering for posting of any out. The paper appeared a sponsored piece otherwise it would have offered the reading public a balanced, objective menu instead of sour grapes that clenched the teeth. By this, Radar erred from the perspective of accurate and truthful journalism.

It is unfortunate that the newspapers are relying on ignorance and a whiff of gossips to publish what a few disgruntled workers divulge to them. And since they lack the patience for painstaking investigation, they have allowed their parochial inclination to have a better of them thus leading to their belief in the gibberish churned out by these mean civil servants. It is hoped that some of the junks in the name of newspapers flourishing in Akwa Ibom will cease to pave way for responsible newspapers.

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