N50,000 Bribery: My Ode to Ibekwe

Posted by Mayowa Okekale | 8 October 2014 | 3,504 times

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Mr Nicholas Ibekwe, a reporter with the PREMIUM TIMES, has won my heart. I believe he equally deserves to be financially and statutorily encouraged for his latest demonstration of professional ethics. By that singular act, he has practically pronounced more on the journalism profession, which is naturally a noble one. Under the prevailing economic circumstances, especially in the media industry, that feat is a rare gesture.

I was shocked when I read the headline, “TB Joshua Bribed Journalists with N50,000 to Conceal Details of Church Building Collapse.” After I listened to the tape (which I downloaded on my phone), where he provided sound bite, as an evidence. I asked myself a question, which I don’t wish to publicise. No gainsaying he is the thoroughbred journalist.

What has he done? Of all the reporters who went for the coverage of Pastor T.B. Joshua’s recently collapsed Church Guesthouse building, he happens to be the only one who turned down the N50,000 meant to conceal the details of the collapse. It was not a small amount of money? Was it? If you happen to be a reporter, would you have concealed the truth to misinform the reading/viewing public? I leave you with that to judge

And this reminded me of an assignment given to me in a course: Ethics of Communication, which I offered in my 400 Level. The question was ‘Discuss ethical aberrations of the press in Nigeria.’ Interestingly, the question resurfaced on the examination day. It was battled, based on the journalistic experience I have been able to gather on the field. My score, when I checked, was 78. It was in this course I scored the highest point. Suffice to say that I (including up-and-coming journalists) can learn better from Mr Ibekwe. No room should be given for ‘brown envelope’ syndrome. It is not the perfect way to go.

This is a man I do not know from Adam; a man I have never met before. But this gesture would make me follow his reports henceforth. He is a staunch respecter of journalism. He is an undiluted vanguard of justice. He is a quintessence of democratic media agent, who believes fair reportage is the pinnacle of journalism. He is un-waivered reporter for education and information. He has further carved a niche for himself in the pen-pushing career. Mr Ibekwe, as much as he understands the fact that the public must not be misinformed, took a swipe in compromising his professional integrity and journalistic uniqueness.

Kudos to you, Ibekwe!

Mayowa Okekale is News Express Ibadan Correspondent. Photo shows TB Joshua, whose bribing of some journalists was exposed by Ibekwe.


Source: News Express

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