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Development communicators gather in Keffi as Institute honours Sule, Lalong, Ogbeche others



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The Institute of Strategic and Development Communications (ISDEVCOM), Nasarawa State University will play host to Development Communicators and industry experts who will converge at Keffi for its 4th International Conference to brain storm on how to harness data for national development.
The Governors of Nasarawa and Plateau States, Engr. Abdulahi Sule and Simon Lalong as well as the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche are expected to grace the occasion where they will also be conferred with awards by ISDEVCOM.

The chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 4th International Conference on Communication and Development in Africa, Mr. Odoh Diego Okenyodo in a statement made the disclosure on Monday.

According to the statement, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) which is partnering with ISDECOM to host the conference has its Director General / CEO, Engr. Aliyu Abubakar Aziz billed to deliver the keynote speech while the Secretary to the Government of Nigeria, Mr Boss Mustapha shall be the Special Guest of Honour.

Shedding more light on the significance of the awards at the conference, the Executive Director of ISDEVCOM, Prof. Emmanuel S. Dandaura explained that “The awards are part of our 5th anniversary celebrations as an Institute dedicated to the promotion of dialogue between the academia and the society for national development. We want to acknowledge the roles played by pioneer researchers, theorists, practitioners and different stakeholders in communicating development.”

He disclosed further thus: “The honourees are Nasarawa State Governor, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule; Plateau State Governor, H.E. Simon Bako Lalong; founder of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Centre of Excellence on Development Communication, Prof. Ogah Steve Abah; Director General of the Nigeria Television Authority, Mal. Salihu Adbulhamid Dembos; former Director General of NTA, Professor Tonnie Iredia; former Vice Chancellor of NSUK, Prof. Mohammed Akaro Mainoma; and the Director General, Sheda Science and Technology Complex, Prof. P.C. Onyenekwe.

“Other honourees are Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Mr. Samson Itodo, Center for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), Mrs. Babafunke Fagbemi, Executive Director of African Radio Drama Association (ARDA), Mrs Data Phido; Country Coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa, Nigeria Chapter, Dr (Mrs) Rose Gidado; and Chief James Ume (Ike Abam Onyerubi), Unubiko Foundation Abuja.

“Institutional recognition for excellence in development communication go to ActionAid Nigeria and the Lagos-based Development Communication Network.

“Others to receive the awards include Chairman of the Plateau State Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Fabong Jemchang Yildam; Chairman NUJ Abuja Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche; Per Second News, Mr Femi Soneye; National Biotechnology Development Agency, Professor Maxwell Gidado, SAN, and the first Bassa PhD holder who is the Aguma of Turunku, Toto LGA, HRH Dr. David Tukura.

In his own remark, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Suleiman Bala Mohammed said he is very proud of what the Institute of Strategic and Development Communication has achieved in a short span of 5 years, one of which is organizing the Conference on Communication and Development in Africa.

“I am glad that this conference has become a veritable gathering of diverse experts from the academia and practitioners in development communication, alongside policy makers, civil society organizations, key government institutions and the media, and this edition is throwing light on how data has been a driver of strategic engagement for development” the Vice Chancellor stated.

ISDEVCOM is credited with championing curriculum development in Science Communication in Africa, partnering with Sci-Dev of London and funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung of Germany. ISDEVCOM popularized Science Communication in Nigerian universities and also mentored the Makarere University of Uganda as well as other institutions internationally.

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Stallion Times builds capacity of 39 Journalists on Multi-Media Applications




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

STALLION Times Media Group has organised training for 39 Media professionals in Kogi on Multi-Media Newsroom practices” as part of efforts to enhance their investigative reporting capacity and sustainability.

Malam Isiyaku Ahmed, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Stallion Times declared the one-day “Multimedia Newsroom Training” on Thursday in Lokoja.

He said training was part of the implementation of the three-year Participatory Governance and Media Literacy project tagged “Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve Project (G-DRIP)” in Kano and Kogi states.

He said that the objectives of the training workshop include among others making journalists to understand the multimedia newsroom design and workflow as well as acquainting them with the roadmap of a story in a multimedia newsroom.

It is also aimed at getting the media professionals to appreciate the use of technology to deliver investigative reports in a blend of text, static images, animation, video and audio clips.

The project, according to him, is being executed in collaboration with the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism under the Collaborative Media Project (Collaborating for Media Independence and Government Accountability), funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

“In this initiative, we are looking to amongst other things, build the capacity of media practitioners on investigative reporting, journalism ethics, safety, media literacy, independence, and sustainability.

“News organizations have moved to multimedia, using multi-platforms to tell stories.

“Reporters and editors needed to be empowered and with the necessary skills that would make them tell stories in social spaces, which now accommodate a large audience.

“We at Stallion Times recognize the importance of embracing and using new technologies and platforms to effectively convey stories that resonate with the audience in the digital age.

“This workshop, therefore, is designed to introduce the concept of multimedia newsroom storytelling that caters to all sorts of audiences and platforms.

“It will help journalists appreciate the use of technology to deliver investigative reports in a blend of text, static images, animation, video, and audio clips”, he said.

The training workshop featured among others, Multimedia Awareness; Concept and Effective Use of Multimedia as well as Essential Skills, Tools for Multimedia Journalism delivered by Isiyaku Ahmed and Stephen Salawu.

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We will sustain cordial Relationship with the media, says RTEAN




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The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has expressed its determination to sustain the cordial working relationship between the association and journalists in Nigeria.

 The  RTEAN President, Alhaji Musa Mohammed, made the vow on Thursday during a visit by the leadership and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Correspondents ChFCT Council.

The visit was a sequel to the 3-day football tournament organized by the Chapel for organizations, associations and government agencies in the FCT, during which Alhaji Mohammed was a Special Guest of Honour, but was unavoidably absent.

The visit provided the NUJ FCT Correspondents’ Chapel with the opportunity to decorate the RTEAN President with his medal, present the certificate of participation to the association, and a mini-trophy for RTEAN’s partnership with the Chapel.

In his remarks, Mohammed expressed gratitude to the leadership of the NUJ FCT Correspondents’ Chapel for the honour and recognition just as he promised to sustain the collaboration with the Chapel in all its activities.

“To see all of you today in our national headquarters, I am so excited. We appreciate what you do as journalists, and I want to especially thank you for putting together the 3-day football tournament.

“For you to recognise RTEAN and decorate me with my medal, present the trophy and the certificate to us as your guest and partner, I am so grateful. We appreciate the honour you have given to RTEAN. We will try our best to keep the good relationship between RTEAN and the NUJ,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the FCT Correspondents’ Chapel, Comrade Jide Oyekunle, who led the Chapel delegation, had hailed the RTEAN President for his commitment to peaceful co-existence among members of the association across States of the Federation.

Comrade Oyekunle commended Mohammed for his statesmanship and for choosing the path of honour and peace without resorting to violence during an impasse the Association had with the Lagos State Government.

Oyekunle urged other organizations and associations alike to emulate the RTEAN President’s exceptional and exemplary leadership style exhibited by seeking legal redress in the court of law.

Oyekunle stressed the visit was aimed at promoting strategic partnership and collaboration in many areas that would further deepen the existing relationship between the Chapel and RTEAN.

While seeking the collaboration of RTEAN for the next edition of the football tournament, Oyekunle said the association would be formally invited as a participating team.

He said “We are the executive members of Nigeria Union of Journalists FCT Correspondents Chapel.

“We are here this afternoon to pay homage to you as Special Guest of Honour in our just concluded 3-day football tournament.

“This is borne out of the cordial relationship that has existed between you and the media over the years as well as your love and support for sports development in the country.

“Your presence at the final of our tournament would have been an icing on the cake but we understand your busy schedules and engagements and we are happy to tell you that the tournament was a huge success.

“Sir, it will interest you to know that RTEAN will be formally invited to participate next year in the second edition of our tournament, and we can’t wait to see the President lead the team”.

The highlight of the visit was the formal presentation of a trophy, medal, and certificate of participation to the RTEAN president in recognition of his outstanding and significant contribution to the success of the tournament.

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X-raying the consequences of Tinubu’s Crackdown on press freedom




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The recent decidion by President Bola Tinubu to restrict several broadcast journalists and prominent media houses from covering activities at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa has raised significant concerns about press freedom, the democratic process, and the very essence of an informed society.

The Nigerian Constitution explicitly upholds the press’s role as a guardian of democracy, empowering it to hold the government accountable to the people.

Section 22 of the Constitution states that “the press, radio, television, and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.

“However, the recent actions by President Tinubu, which exclude broadcast journalists, camera men and photojournalists from media outlets such as GalaxyTv, BenTV, MITV, ONTV, ITV Abuja, Liberty, Vanguard, and others from covering the Presidential Villa, cast a dark shadow over this constitutional commitment.

The fact that more of the affected journalists are video/broadcast journalists underscores the severity of the situation, as the medium’s impact is not limited to print but extends to the hearts and minds of millions through still pictures, moving images and sounds.

The gravity of President Tinubu’s media crackdown is underscored by the manner in which the access tags of the affected journalists were collected on Friday by security officers, without providing any explanation for their exclusion.

This departure from best practices not only raises questions about transparency but also showcases a lack of respect for the media’s vital role in fostering an informed citizenry.

The failure of media outlets like Channels, TVC, AIT, Arise TV, STV, Vanguard, Punch, and others, which were not affected by this crackdown, to report on this significant development is equally disconcerting.

Their silence can be interpreted as an attempt to protect their interests or remain in favor with the authorities.

This division within the journalism profession, where some media houses shy away from highlighting the infringement on press freedom, further weakens the collective strength of the Fourth Estate.

This clampdown on media access has far-reaching implications for Nigeria’s democracy and the freedom of speech that it upholds.

The media serves as a vital check on the government’s power, enabling citizens to be informed and engaged participants in the democratic process.

By limiting access to a select few outlets, President Tinubu risks distorting the flow of information and creating a narrative that lacks the diversity of perspectives required for an informed citizenry.

The authorities have directed the journalists from the affected media houses to source video clips from those that have not been subjected to the crackdown.

However, this approach undermines independent reportage and raises concerns about potential information distortion.

The move raises concerns of censorship and undue control over the media, elements that are antithetical to the principles of a free press.

Censorship often leads to a manipulated version of events, stripping the public of the right to hear different voices and interpretations.

This not only compromises press freedom but also erodes trust in the government and its intentions.

History has shown that restricting media access and silencing dissenting voices can have disastrous consequences for democratic societies.

Examples from around the world serve as cautionary tales. In countries like Turkey, Egypt, and Russia, governments have tightened their grip on media outlets, leading to a decline in press freedom, human rights violations, and the erosion of democratic values.

In the Philippines, former President Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law and curtailed press freedom, leading to a decade-long period of dictatorship and human rights abuses.

The aftermath of media crackdowns often reveals a lack of accountability and transparency, allowing governments to operate with unchecked power.

The outcry against President Tinubu’s media crackdown must be massive and resounding. Civil society, media organizations, and citizens alike must unite to defend the principles enshrined in the Constitution and the fundamental role of the media in preserving democracy.

A free press is not a privilege; it is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy that cannot be sacrificed for political expediency.

The media’s duty to inform, educate, and empower the public transcends political agendas.

The collective voice of the people, guided by the principles of a free press, can send a powerful message to the government – that an informed citizenry is a formidable force that cannot be ignored.

As Nigeria navigates this critical juncture, the preservation of press freedom and democratic values stands as a non-negotiable imperative for a just and equitable society.

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