A piece of information especially one that is credible is energy. The career of information in the thought of Marshall Mcluhan in his concept of the medium is the message is energy. This dual significance of the medium and the massage means that the credibility or lack of it of the messenger impacts in the same proportion on the quality of the massage. This degree of importance heighted by the urgent need to raise as well as reverse existing imbalances in information flow in the South- South geo – political region are the core reasons for the birth of The Lens newspapers. Unarguably, the intensity of media coverage and pattern of reporting stories among states in the region is grossly inadequate and lopsided. Access to information especially localized contents among states in the region, though varying in degree, is still a challenge. The Lens is positioned strategically to bridge this information gap thus helping to reposition the region as a hub of information. The media is the pillar of democracy meaning democracy cannot thrive in the true sense of it without a credible and vibrant media. The Lens will engage with the representatives of the people at the three layers of government and keep their publics informed of their activities because the people have the right to know. This way voters from the constituents are armed with cogent and sufficient information to make informed choices of their elective representatives at the poll.
The Lens newspaper is a new publication on the stable of Sleak Kommunications Konsult limited, a wholly media and marketing communications company incorporated in 2003.
The publication is a geographically based news tabloid focusing on Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Edo. Our perception of this tilt towards the region is more not on exclusion of other regions in the polity but development. Our emphasis will be on development for the common good of the people. Its philosophy is to practice journalism in the classical form adhering to acceptable ethical standard. Responsible journalism not crossing ethical boundaries will be our hallmark. However, this is not of exclusion of other challenging issues or events. Offsides for instance, as in other everyday conventional stories shall be presented in context, exploring untapped details to reflect fairness and balance.
The strength of The Lens newspapers is penetration, editorial and circulation wise, to metropolitan and non-metropolitan population in the region. It will be a corridor for the domestic audience in the region to engage in local and national discourse leveraging on freedom of expression which is a core tenet of democracy.
On the whole, it will focus on a number of trajectory of public importance as captured in our slogan projecting people centered issues; reasoning the views of the people.
The Lens, though designed to target different kind of audiences has some specifics which makes it unique. Aside publishing of some of the other more conventional stories like sports, entertainments, news, features, opinions et cetera; the legislature, data – driven journalism, graffiti to mention a few will be unique additions of the tabloid. Spotlight on the legislature will receive prominence in the tabloid. States in the region as well as their representatives in the two chambers in the national assembly will form our catchment of coverage. Bills and activities originally from these representatives at the national assembly as well as phenomenon of national coloration will form the contents of the assigned columns.
The germane tool of data – driven journalism will be explored and exploited to the later as well on critical public issues, public entities, public infrastructures among several others to create real and measurable values.
Another highpoint is the intensity of coverage and reportage of the hinterlands in the geo-political region. The Lens will not only report but will be visible in the communities, engaging the local population and their representatives in government to ginger development for the common good of the people.
The Lens will strive to add value to everyday news by reporting behind the news as well as looking out for opportunities in every piece of news to inject creativity as well as exploring alternative angles in reporting thereby infusing freshness, which catches the readers interest.
The initial edition on newsstand will be weekly appearing on Mondays. Thereafter, two other editions, mid weeks and weekends will drop.
The vision of The Lens newspaper is to raise the bar of journalism profession among tabloids based in any of the states in the South – South region and by so doing impact the standard of journalism practice in Nigeria.
Published in maiden edition, Lens Newspapers Vol. 1 No. 1.