From the Editor-in-Chief
Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Journal! This publication emerges, and strategically so, at a time when nations and societies are submerged in an overabundance of seeming unavoidable distractions, disruptions and interruptions of diverse shades and colours. Yes, colours indeed! With many sociopolitical developments emerging and playing out almost at the same time, the reality remains that of a defining uncertainty at best. We are therefore often compelled to ask what exactly the colour of truth is. What are the times saying and who is taking account of such significant events that enable society to properly understand itself, and to gauge the performance of authorities and the conscience of an emergent sometimes over-suspicious and sometimes unsuspecting public?
At times like these, it becomes increasingly less baffling that everything from religion to technology, sport and the economy now, more than ever, assumes the colouration of politics in the hands and minds of those who ‘play the game.’ Indeed, these are interesting times when reality tends to endlessly oscillates between truth and untruth, and more agonizingly, between hazy facts and surplus fiction well encapsulated and vaguely nuanced in the heart and soul of national discourses.
Already, Nigeria as a national space has, over a long historical time, come to present a titanic yet fascinating context, which is at once interesting to both the insiders and the keenly conscious outsiders who ‘scout’ for social, political, economic and sometimes religious lacunae within the national discourse, which they consider uniquely stimulating. Certainly, while all of these contesting, often conflicting, and sometimes complementary realities play on as in an exaggerated big screen in the eye of the watching world, the local lookers-on and the active political and economic players, there appears to be a noticeable existence of a certain absence. The absence of an objective ombudsman who sees the emergent and unfolding events just as they are and applies the cutlery of critical and analytic judgement in dissecting same, with less or no bias at all.
It is therefore in this very sense and wide context that The Journal is, in many serious ways than just a few, to be welcomed and appreciated as the distinctive voice of the times, the epitome of sound journalistic judgement offering unique views and reviews of social knowledge production that tends to overwhelm many actors in the trenches of media and journalism. On a daily, indeed moment-to-moment basis, many news outlets and media houses ̶ government-owned or independent ̶ are now, more than ever confronted with the demands of critical judgement as news-worthy stories flood the social and political landscapes almost by the minute. While many media outlets consider the exigency of ‘breaking news’ as paramount, there yet remains a significant gap to be closed where balance, objectivity, and realism are concerned, albeit without losing grasp of the need for the positive, pleasant and inspiring sides of many narratives.
As The Journal, our vision encompasses but is not restricted to sheer weekly releases of printable items of news and current affairs in the Nigerian, African and global polity; nor are our objectives constrained by a seeming jousting in the marketplace of news business. We do seek to become the most reliable, first-choice Pan-Nigerian information and public knowledge platform. Ours is an outlet which will privilege a promptness of information germane and applicable to the very contexts in which they are already gaining currency in the meantime. With our team of dedicated writers, editors, researchers, and contributors, we hope to be the big player in the brokerage of not only news-worthy updates, but of the much that is likely to be considered as timely reportage and ‘knowledge items’ applicable on account of their ease of consumption. The Journal is thus no mere ‘newcomer tabloid’ in the news market for these very reasons.
Pertinent to our vision, therefore, is social engineering and reengineering made possible through our definitive offering of news reports and analyses, feature stories, and opinions from perspectives favoured to enrich the general polity, and through the brilliance we show in establishing clear positions in the midst of issues considered subjective enough to create social and political divides. This fact, being one of our journalistic strengths, holds the propensity to prime our present and prospective readers and audience for more critical and beneficial social engagements, armed with ideas garnered through our valued contents.
The Journal represents, at these important historical times, a true celebration of the Nigerian spirit through a journalism of conscience and goodwill. In spite of the unpredictable vagaries and uncertainties of the times in the midst of which opportunists of all sorts take undue advantage of citizens and netizens, The Journal stands as a beacon to the sublime virtues of our humanity. The idea of our platform is a timeous response to the abiding gaps and gullies in modern journalism and reportage often characterised by a vacillation between fiction and falsehood of the one hand and truth and fact on the other.
While our brand yet exists and our will to maintain and defend enterprise, good governance and social fairness subsists, we shall not relent from our mandate and task of filling the existing huge gaps by covering stories with an objective stance hinged on the tripod of reason, truth and equity. The sustainability of this objective will rest hugely on our core values of truth, objectivity, integrity, analytical reasoning, and constructive criticism, made possible through empirical research, rigorous enquiry and hardcore professionalism.
Where the mainstream reportage becomes defined by an overarching mood of gloom, we will do our best to spot missed or ignored positive elements that provide not only an alternative view, but also the glimmer of hope that society needs. The Journal shall embody the elevating and transformational ethos of the media. It will seek at all times to mend the growing gap of misinformation and disinformation in the 21st century media; provide objective and comprehensive analyses of current news and stories of interest; stimulate critical and constructive debates and intellectual discourses; offer deep insights on national and international issues and development; explore national and international socio-political and economic trends; promote the good and the beautiful; and denounce the bad and ugly.
In living up to our own bidding, this maiden edition offers a distinguished array of coverage from current news reports to commentaries, feature and opinion writings. In ‘balancing the act,’ we have sourced from contributors whose fortes and tastes cut across interests and fields such as healthcare, travel, politics, economics and entertainment. These are areas within our scope of interest, which equally include media, finance, business and markets, arts, culture and lifestyle, education, science and technology and international affairs.
These, we are persuaded, will serve to create a balancing effect both in the nature of our content assemblage and indeed in mediating the tendency towards tension that often get the polity livid. While we liven up our readers with the information-pellet of this first offering, we are of the utmost confidence and optimism that this inaugural outing will be a historic take-off for a transformational trajectory in the positive purveyance of news.
Dr. Udu Yakubu
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