A media Icon and former Managing Editor of Leadership Newspapers, Mr Chucks Ohuegbe, has urged media practitioners to subject themselves to mentorship if they want to excel in the profession.
Mr Ohuegbe who has worked in many outstanding media outfits including the Guardian and now in the media team of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spoke in a chat with the News Chronicle. He advised young journalists to embrace hard work and be willing to commit themselves to the cause of nation building.
According to him, hard work is key to excelling in the Journalism profession or any other field of human endeavour.
“You have to put in a lot of effort into journalism if you believe in it and if you want a successful career in it. Always read news, books news and articles and cultivate the habit of writing. Step out of your comfort zone and be willing to endure the challenges in the job.
“You need to be consistent. When I started out as a journalist during my service year, I didn’t know much Journalism or Communication. It took four months before my first article was published. I had written several articles but none was published until after four months. Some of my colleagues gave up but I didn’t; I kept writing until I finally wrote something worth publishing. Don’t give up; keep pushing; keep learning and keep writing.
“You have to be willing to learn and this takes time. Don’t be eager to jump into it; allow yourself to grow in the process. Be willing to learn under a professional; let them groom you. There’s a lot you need to learn when starting a career in journalism and other journalists around you with more experience can put you through. Be humble and willing to learn from them.
“Be original! Most journalists pick from the internet and edit then insert their by-lines. If you are original, people will look forward to quoting you and that will make you stand out. Go out and get fresh news and conduct interviews so that you can produce unique content.
“News is facts! You must cross-check whatever you are putting out. We are in the era of fake news, so you must check the authenticity of the news. You must also be knowledgeable about whatever you are writing about. If you are talking about the constitution, you should know what the constitution says about an issue. This also applies to anything you are talking about. When you have your facts right, even if someone wants to harass you, you can defend yourself with facts.
“Not all journalists must write on politics. Whatever you choose to write on, whether religion or business, you should be consistent. Train yourself in that field, read related topics. Engage with people who are professionals in what you write about and interview them. Do not be discouraged, when your time comes you will shine,” he stated.
Mr Ohuegbe got promoted from the status of a reporter to senior reporter, to correspondent and to senior correspondent in one day because his boss was satisfied with his work and consistency over the years.