29 Oct Philip Ashon: Media is the most fulfilling career you can choose
Editor’s Note: Philip Ashon is the Head of Production at Citi TV. He is also the host of Citi Trends, a radio production that highlights the local impact of the latest trends in global technology innovation. Ashon was the moderator of 2019 edition of Quantum Leap Career Fair which held earlier this year at the British Council. We reached out to him to seek his opinion on the media industry with regards to content creation, fake news, entrepreneurship and much more. Below are his insights and advice. Enjoy!
Brief biog and career journey
I am an unrepentant workaholic. No apologies there. I am a Christian. I have a wife (Doreen) and daughter (Nissi). I have two brothers and a sister. And about my career journey, it’s a long story but at the base of it has been God’s grace and handwork. I have worked in the media all my working life. I started out writing in Achimota, did some work at TV Africa and Metro TV and finally ended up at Citi FM.
I have an M.A in International Journalism from Cardiff University. Studying in Cardiff was an incredible time. And, a real eye-opener for me about the options that lay outside the shores of Ghana for my work to have a global impact. It was a time spent discovering myself and my voice as a journalist and documentary maker. Cardiff gave me the base upon which I developed my skills as a documentary filmmaker and journalist.
How Ghana’s entrepreneurship ecosystem can reach full potential
Collaboration. We don’t do that enough. We have very silo mentalities and that is making us lose out on opportunities. We can gain so much by collaborating with others to break barriers and ceilings.
“Whether we have 60 secs or 60 minutes, we must understand that people want to consume relevant content that speaks to their world and their reality. We need to serve that need.”– Philip Ashon, Head of TV Production, Citi TV
The future of content creation
Mediums, tastes, and platforms will continue to evolve and improve. What will not change is creativity and innovation. The ability of content creators to be creative, innovative and keep pushing the barriers will make all the difference. Whether we have 60 secs or 60 minutes, we must understand that people want to consume relevant content that speaks to their world and their reality. We need to serve that need.
Of digital storytelling, people are expressing themselves in ways never thought possible. There are arguments for the faux realities it tends to paint. But then, for content creators like myself, it definitely offers options. We have to be deliberate in the stories we tell, how we tell it, how often we tell it and how we sell it.
Ethical journalism and fake news
For me, any story that is inaccurate or that seeks to undermine others by twisting facts is fake news. As a journalist, you must be able to set your personal ego and idiosyncrasies aside and present the facts for the reader, viewer or the ‘tweeter’. You must allow your audience to draw their own conclusions based on the facts you present. You have a responsibility to present the facts as they are without bias. Its hard work but that is the profession I have come to know and love. The day it stops being that way, I will quit. At the end of the day, success is the ability to uplift the people around you to achieve impossible dreams with you.
Advice for young people looking for a career in media
Media is hard work. It will task you and pull you to your wit’s end. It will test every bit of you. It does not pay as much as you want it to. Yet, it is the most fulfilling career you can choose. You will be responsible for shaping the perceptions and opinions of millions of people. Think about that for a second.
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Tom-Chris Emewulu is the Founder and President of Stars From All Nations, an education company that unlocks African youth’s potential through EPIC events and an immersive career accelerator called ReadyForWork.Africa. A business strategist and trainer, Tom-Chris enjoys helping entrepreneurs and rising professionals to be successful and has consulted for brands such as the MasterCard Foundation, GIZ, British Council, among others. He is the author of the classic self-help book Breaking the Limits. Forbes, DW, Business Insider, SABC, and other publications have featured his works. Tom-Chris is a thought leader on youth development, social entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and the future of work. You can find him on Social Media via @tomchrisemewulu.