Convener of the meeting who was affirmed by colleagues as the inaugural leader of the new Union said the formation of the new group is not in any way an attempt to flex shoulders with the Nigerian Union of Journalists in the state but to see how the social media platforms can organize and synergize effectively with the NUJ.
Speaking to CrossRiverWatch after the meeting which held at Carlcon Hotel in Calabar, the Convener, Mr. Iwara Iwara, Publisher of www. calitown.com said: “the NUJ is a national union with tentacles in all the 36 States of the Federation. In every state council, members from all parts of the country have their equal rights to aspire to any position.
“The Association of Cross River Online Journalists, ACROJ on the other hand is a union strictly for online journalists who are from Cross River state or are publishing content that relates to Cross River. Basically, it is an attempt to come together to tell our own story in Cross River by ourselves.
“Essentially, membership is not open to anyone or platform that is not online and whose content does not concern Cross River State. Our focus is not national, our focus is Cross River State and we are sufficiently guaranteed by existing laws of the land to so associate and form any association to advance the interest of our state”. He said
He called on all who have any form of publication online that is Cross River focus to indicate interest and join forces with ACROJ to development the sector in the state.
One of the attendees at the meeting, Mr. Agba Jalingo, Publisher of CrossRiverWatch.com also told our reporter that: “I commend Mr. Iwara for this initiative. Every effort to organize or union by common interest is a commendable move with potential to add value. What we are doing is new and we are bringing a new culture of a free press to a regimented environment. We did not even know that we have a good number of online portals promoting our state until this meeting and there is a huge need for us to close ranks for myriad reasons some of which are to create a peer review mechanism, share ideas and resources and seek to key into the IT backbone that the state government is putting in place to secure the future of our practice.
“There is also the greater need to groom competent online citizen reporters who will understand the need for ethics and standards in relation to a truly free press as an integral part of the democratic process because like I have always maintained, an uninformed population is a liability to democracy.”
“Our state like the so-called educationally disadvantaged state is ‘media disadvantage’, we are hardly reported by the mainstream media yet there is a lot going on in the state. We are journalists from Cross River who want to come together and use the advantage that social media has afforded to tell our own story by ourselves and I think this initiative should be supported by every progressive minded Cross Riverian.”
Part of the resolution of the meeting was to set out with a workshop on “Ethics and Responsibility in Online Journalism.”
The date and time of the workshop will be accordingly announced to the public.
*culled from crossriverwatch.com
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