IJF 2013 made us a cut above the rest in journalism

Excerpt of farewell speech by Lloyd Gumbo, political reporter of Zimpapers, Zimbabwe at the closing of International Journalism Fellowship (IJF) Programme, organised by Malaysian Press Institute in Kuala Lumpur 1st October 2013. Eighteen journalists from seven developing countries participated in the one month programme held in Kuala Lumpur. The guest of honour of the closing ceremony was The Associate Editor of The Star, Mr.  T. Selva.

We gather today for a noble cause that seeks to change the world into a better place.

This 2013 fellowship is unique in that we were drawn from diverse socio-cultural and religious backgrounds.

It goes without mentioning that this group has representatives from Zimbabwe, Philippines, Bahrain, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and of course the host country Malaysia.

This shows that ideally, journalism practice is universal regardless of where one is from.

Guest of Honour, Sir, we believe he who invests in education, invests in the future and we are privileged to have been beneficiaries of this worth cause.

The world over, there seem to be a conflict between theoretical and practical journalism because often times what we learn at colleges and universities as ethical practice is thrown into the dustbins, the moment a journalism graduate gets employed.

This is mainly as a result of vested interests in that organisation though sometimes us as scribes can be over zealous and ignore the basic tenets of this esteemed profession.

It is as a result of this vice, that we believe MPI decided to introduce this refresher course to equip upcoming journalists with the requisite knowledge that we are accountable to our readers first before other forces.

This 2013 class would want to prove that MPI’s efforts to see a better world through ethical journalism are not in vain.

However, we are under no illusion that it is going to be a walk in the park, we know other forces may still want to make us behave unethically.

This class pledges to prove that we are set apart, a cut above the rest by practicing ethical journalism that is guided by cardinal rules of the game.

During this intensive training, we covered a number of topics that will certainly mark a paradigm shift between our past and our future in the journalism field. We will go back academically richer and wiser than we were before.

We pledge to implement everything we have learnt to justify why we have come from across the width and breadth of this planet to attend this course. Through our work, we will also justify why huge sums of money had to be set aside for this worth cause that is lectures, accommodation, food.

Our heartfelt gratitude go to the MPI team for introducing such a noble course that will only make the world a better place through ethical information, entertainment and education courtesy of members of the desired fourth estate.

Mr. CEO Sir, Kak Mai, Fiza and the rest of the staff you have been wonderful to all of us here.

We wish you success in your endeavours and may the good Lord richly bless the work of your hands.

We would also like to extend our thanks to all the tutors who spared their time to share with us their experiences and for everything they taught us.

Lastly to my colleagues, the MPI 2013 class, when we started we were strangers but with time we got to be so close to each other as we shared about our different cultures, fiancées and other unique ways of our lives.

It is inevitable that we have to part as the saying goes “we meet to part and we part to meet”. So I look forward to meeting you in the near future maybe in different capacities.

Let me conclude by saying each one of us here have their own brick that that they will have to use in building a reputable fourth estate.

I thank you.

Lloyd Gumbo delivering his speech on behalf of the 18 IJF 13 participants.