Journalism has been presented and accepted by most prospective mass communicators as one big nut that cannot be cracked. Just like every other line of profession, journalism is not insurmountable. It all requires one to acquire its necessary tactics.
The impression given to me of the profession prior to my internship at BusinessDay was indeed that of a rock that cannot be pierced and as a saying goes, “first impression matters.”
I found myself doing what I never believed I could do. I have always perceived journalism as a profession meant for only experts in writing and not for people of my kind. Prior to now, I did see myself as someone who can only feet into any other aspect of communication field aside writing.
My seven weeks practice in BusinessDay went a long way in shifting that mentality away from my mind
It split the wide gap between practice and theory (not just in words but in action). When I say theory, bury not your mind to classroom settings alone. Some media organizations are much synonymous to classrooms, where you are expected to be an expert without any proper coaching even when the handwriting is clearly knitted on the wall that you are basically there to acquire the required skill for a dream profession.
Are you wondering why I did say so? Lets reserve the answer for a better day.
I received an awesome reception from the first day I stepped into the media organization, starting from Mr.Mike Asukwo whose smiling face calmed my troubled mind to the editor himself, Mr. Anthony Osae Brown
I remembered the editor asking me “Where would you like to be” after Mr. Mike Asukwo must have done a formal introduction. Honestly the fear of receiving ‘No space’ as an answer took away my ears from what the editor was asking, for that has been the national anthem at previous places I have visited. I never expected it to be that easy. He actually repeated himself, asking the same question and this time around, my thoughts allowed me to hear him.
“Wao Cheta, this is an open check before you. Make your choice now before the gate of opportunity closes,” I said to myself while I kept the editor waiting for the response.
“Anywhere sir; so far I will be able to learn how to write stories at the end of my stay,” was all I found myself voicing out. I felt I got the offer in a platter of gold.
Working with BusinessDay has gone a long way in broadening my idea on the full scope of journalism.
Though the job was very much interesting but it was surrounded by lot of challenges. The height of the challenges was leaving my house early and getting to my destination so late, was something beyond my expectation. The traffic experience within these two months got to my neck.
Even the transportation cost has its own particular hours and times. The price is never the same but changes as the hours of the day changes. If one was suffering from the high cost of transportation alone without being stucked in traffic, it could have been much better, but suffering from the two was an experience that one keep hoping to come out of.
Because of the horrible regular encounter, sometimes I’m forced to count my days in BusinessDay. Lagos is really turning into something else these days. There is virtually no place you would go without having a little bitter taste of traffic jam.
The distances between Lagos areas are not actually that lengthy but the continuous constraints on the road makes it so. I can’t imagine one spending over two hours on the road almost every day. The case is usually worse when you are going to cover an event. Not only are you having horrified times on the way to the event but end up with a bad reception from the organizers of such events. What kept my mouth short was the fact that I found joy doing what I was doing.
Despite the good treatments some of them offered as incentives for attending their events, journalists I believe, are more than mere refreshment. I think it’s high time Nigerians, including the government begin to value and appreciate journalists or media organizations. I mean, how can a journalist arrive before an event and some minutes past the scheduled time for the event, the organizers are not seated. These I know don’t happen in other countries of the world, journalists are treated better.
Journalism should not be perceived by the Nigerian society as a mere profession where the workers in the field are to be treated casually. It is much more than that, because we as journalists are the voice of the society. Without us the society is doomed without a voice.
Nevertheless, what interest me most in the job was the person I worked under, Miss Ifeoma Okeke. Miss Ifeoma Okeke is head of the aviation desk, a hassle-free lady to work with. It gladdened my heart to know that she is not just a nice person to work under but she is also a ‘super Jacksonite’ – a nickname for mass communication graduates from University of Nigeria Nsukka. As a Super Jacksonite, she has sat and passed through the same department that I am currently in. With this, I had a very big relief within me. Having a Super Jacksonite as a supervisor was one of the least thing I ever expected and the best that can happen to me as an intern.
Throughout that day, I couldn’t stop thanking God for the job well done, by ordering my step.
She will always instruct me to go read through the papers on every aviation story to get equipped on what the beat is all about and how BusinessDay stories are written, which we refer to as ‘media house-style’ in journalism.
She ensured I was comfortable throughout my stay in the newsroom.
Every day I go to work, there is always something new to be done. No day passes without my laptop having a touch of my fingers. Sitting and transcribing interviews at a time became tiring for me as that seems to be what I was feeding my system with. Though the system might be pleading for mercy but believe me, who cares. I was not complaining.
At least every day, my Super Jacksonite supervisor ensured I take something new home as an experience.
Her unending choruses “How far, hope you are learning. Anything you don’t understand tell me so that I can put you through. You know you have to learn something before going back to school, that’s why the school sent you out on IT”
What of her zealous attitude towards her job? It’s something else. Is it just her, how about Isaac Anyaogu? Another Super Jacksonite in the house who emerged an overall winner (1st in SMEs reporter category, 2nd in Tax reporting category and 3rd in Business & Economy category) PwC Media Award 2017.
No wonder my lecturers will never stop boasting about their department. They will always sound it clear to all who cared to listen that you cannot graduate from Jackson building and end up a disgrace in the field of journalism.
They raise their shoulders so high referring to the department as “the best school of journalism in Nigeria.” Sitting on our necks and bombarding us with writing courses has become their hobby, just to ensure we don’t disgrace the “best school of journalism in Nigeria.”
At a time I began to wish all these our awesome principled lecturers including Dr. M. Ukonu, Ms. E.U Ohaja, Dr Ekwueme, Prof. Okoro, and the rest of them could just walk into BusinessDay and see these their students working so tirelessly. I know it will add another solo to the one we are use to.
All these while I never knew I was only experiencing the marrow part of the job. Sooner than expected, I began to chew the bone marrow. The heat became hotter as events began to crawl out of their chambers seeking for who will attend.
It was quite another chapter of the job that I have just been introduced to. I began to attend events. No week passes without an event being graced by my presence.
You can trust my supervisor on that. She will always want me to attend and learn new thing. At a time, she began to feel for me without knowing the events are funfair centers for me. The fun of beholding some personalities who ordinarily I wouldn’t have met, and visiting many places which I have never been to before was more to me than receiving a pity from anyone.
While the months were busy rolling up for me to end my clarion call, I felt like not leaving.
BusinessDay was an awesome media place one can be. The relationship that exists among staff is something that words can’t describe. Sometimes it comes like a trance. One would be left in thoughts wondering “I thought these two individuals were exchanging gist just now?”
Believe me, when you are done wondering you call yourself to order and marry your system, because the dudes are done with today’s gist to attain to BusinessDay’s business. Even in their socialization state, their eyes are fully focused on individual task seeing that every single story seeking for their attention receives it to its fullness.
In the course of working with BusinessDay, I observed Journalism can be interesting and inviting when you work with hassle-less people.