A beat reporter provides much more than the what, who, when, where and why of reporting his or her corner of the world. If the reporter is good, indeed diligent at what he does, it shows in the steps he takes to go beyond the superficial, delves in deeper, enriching the reader, the viewer and the public who are invested with the right to know. Journalism is a service that promotes understanding of issues. That was what I aspired to be when I started my journalism career over 17 years ago. When I started with the ‘Boko Haram’ story, in July 2006, the group was only known and mostly referred to as ‘Almajiren Mallam Mohammed Yusuf,’ or the followers of Mohammed Yusuf I also aimed at making a mark.
It is easier to get into a conflict than to come out of it, and every war has its consequences, whether for the aggressors or the victims. Certainly, nearly everyone that survives a war lives with painful memories of its devastation.