With about 17 years experience in journalism, Titus Usman has no regrets being a Journalist, his lifelong ambition.
Titus was inspired to be a journalist from his early years in primary school listening and watching journalist on radio and television. “I was inspired right from my early years in primary school when I use to listen to Radio Nigeria and watch Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) a lot. My role models were late Zakari Muhammad, Umar Faruk Musa, Tokunbo Ajayi, (of blessed memory), Soni Irabor and lots of them from that generation. So for me it was a lifelong ambition and I am grateful that I am living it to God’s glory”.
A graduate of mass communication from Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna Titus hails from Billiri LGA in Gombe State, and is presently the publisher of the only community newspaper in Gombe called Jewel Treasure (an online version to be launched soon). He is also the Head of News and Program AIT/Raypower Gombe.
As a publisher for the past ten years, he has been involved in covering almost every beat, though he began as a crime and political reporter. No doubt, Crime, politics and community reporting are his favorite beats.
Even though Crime and community reporting stand out the Publisher’s favorite beats it has also being the most challenging for him as it involves a lot of investigation, he said.
On his experience, he said “The experiences acquired over these years have been a mixture of joy and pain but that is life for you. They come in different ways and we must accept it the way it comes.
“The turning experience was when I decided to float the community newspaper Jewel Treasure in Gombe and the swift intervention from authorities concerning issues raised in the course of my job.
As with most journalists who report on crime and development issues, Titus noted “I have ran into trouble on several occasions with authorities who feel uncomfortable with my work but then we all know these challenges do come with the work”.
Titus has enjoyed many training opportunities that “I have lost count of them. I am grateful to God that I have been able to travel wide to attend trainings of various degree”.
He maintains that he has no regrets being a journalist “but looking at where I am coming from; my background and exposure, I think I would have loved to practice in a bigger place than where I am but then I respect the fact that in any assignment given there is a specific location earmarked for the execution so I believe I am ordained to be here for a purpose”.
Like every profession, journalism has its pain and challenges but Titus admits that his passion and commitment for the job keeps him going against all odds. “I am also motivated whenever I am in the midst of great colleagues at different forums like those provided by Africa Media Development Foundation, I learn so much and compare notes especially from the field.
To the upcoming journalists he has this to say: “For upcoming colleagues, have the passion first and everything else will follow naturally. Money should never be the motivation. The name matters and of course it should be a good name. Integrity, self respect and discipline must be supreme for one to attain the peak of the profession”.