Friday, November 15, 2019

WHY I SET UP IVORY NG 3 YEARS AGO, PUBLISHER NKARENYI UKONU


Nkarenyi Ukonu is one of the best professionals in the media space. She has paid her dues as a reporter in very many reputable media outfits before she decided to go into online publishing, and she has made a huge success of her IVORY NG online publication.


Below is her story



What has been your experience in online publishing and how many years are you in it?


Online publishing for me has been fulfilling because I am doing what I love to do but it hasn’t quite been easy. IvoryNG.com will be three years old this December. Online publishing is not a walk in the park. Unless you have a passion for journalism, one can easily get frustrated especially if you aren’t making the kind of money you expect to be making. It is the passion that has kept me going.


I take offense when people try to refer to me as a blogger because I am not. I am a journalist who simply operates an online platform. There is a huge difference between a blogger and a journalist. A journalist is well trained in the profession and understands the ethics of the job and tries to abide by those ethics in discharging his/her duties.

But a blogger (like we have many accidental ones today) doesn’t know the rudiments of the job, is not ready to learn and incorporate them in discharging his/her duties. A blogger is only interested in generating traffic to his/her blog not minding if he/she is doing it the right way. As long as there is data, anyone can refer to himself/herself as a blogger. That is not to say that there aren’t bloggers who apply some decorum in discharging their duties. Unfortunately, there are only a few of them.

What gave you the courage to plunge into it?
Well, we all know what the media industry is like in Nigeria these days; newspapers and magazines are shutting down, publishers don’t pay wages but expect you to churn out exclusive stories. So I felt, why to remain in a place where your value isn’t appreciated and so I basically decided to take the plunge and do my own thing. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I was willing to go ahead because of journalism is what I know how to do best.


Tell us about your publication?
IvoryNG is a news and lifestyle platform that seeks to create an unforgettable and engaging experience with its audience. From news to social events to politics, style, in-depth interviews, entertainment, literature, travel, food etc. It has a global perspective on lifestyle reportage and a sprinkle of everything in between.

In addition to the daily reportage of news and lifestyle stories, I have a downloadable magazine that I publish on the website bi-monthly which features people who stand out in their various professional endeavors. The magazine is what sets the website aside from the numerous and regular websites that dot the online space. So, IvoryNG’s mission is to be an authentic source for anyone seeking knowledge enrichment and inspiration within our scope of coverage. We dare say that the world is our oyster.

Tell us about yourself; your background and where you grew up

I am from Abia State but born and well-bred in Lagos. I have seven siblings; three of who are still getting an education and four, who are doing quite well in their various endeavors. My parents who are late were disciplinarians, my father especially and I must say that my upbringing basically shaped me into who I am today.


I read Mass Communication at Ogun State Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, and Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State. I also have a few certifications and professional training under my belt. I have worked in Punch Newspaper, The Union, Daily Times, The Authority and Leadership Newspaper

How did you fall in love with journalism?

My late dad actually made me fall in love with journalism without his knowing. In those days, as some form of punishment, if I erred, he would ask me to listen to the 9 o’clock news on NTA and ask me to summarize it to him. Of course, he watched alongside me just so that I don’t skip anything while making my presentation. At first, I didn’t quite find it funny but the fact that I had to watch someone like Sienne Allwell Brown read the news, ended up making it a delightful experience for me.


And so, I began to nurse the idea of becoming a broadcaster. So right from days at Command Secondary School, Ipaja, I began to nurture that idea. My dad wanted me to be a doctor but without his knowing, after taking science courses in the first term of my SS1, I switched to social sciences. I made sure I did well in school so that the backlash from making that switch would be minimal.


And then he decided that if I couldn’t be a doctor, then I should be a banker. So for two years, I flunked JAMB because it was either Mass Communication or nothing. Eventually, he had no choice but to allow my follow my heart. When I got into the university and had to make a choice between print and broadcast journalism, I realized I would be too shy to face the camera and opted to major in print journalism. And I haven’t looked back since then.



















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