Nigerian media, one of most vibrant in Africa — Peterside

Dr. Dakuku Peterside, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, says the Nigeria media remains one of the most vibrant in Africa.

He made the assertion during the presentation of two books by the Publisher of Yes International Magazine, Azuh Arinze.

The books: Anything and Everything Journalism and My Story of Many Colours, were presented in Lagos on Monday.

Peterside said the impression that journalism was all about “brown envelope” was a mere misconception about the profession.

He said: “I will say Nigeria media is one of the most vibrant in Africa.

“However, we also know that in Nigeria today,  we are also dealing with the issue of fake news, non-factual reporting and improperly trained journalists who co-exist with thoroughbred professionals.

“Now, what we should re-emphasise is ethical reorientation among our journalists.

“We cannot be identified with brown envelopes.

“Rather, let Nigerian journalists be identified by professionalism, ethical conduct of their business; it is important.

“So, the Nigerian media are doing well, but we can do better.”

Describing Arinze as one of the revelations in the journalistic trajectory in the country, Peterside said that the writer had put journalism in proper perspective in his books at a time when there were issues with journalistic ethics and professionalism as well as fake news.

He said: “When Azuh is engaging us on what is proper journalism, I believe he is doing the society a lot of service because there is the misconception that journalism today is all about brown envelopes; that is absolutely not true.

“There are different dimensions of journalism.

“There are professional journalists.

“Like we have good doctors in the society, we also have bad doctors.

“The same way as we have good journalists, we have bad journalists.

“It all boils down to a number of things, knowing what it takes like engaging in quality training, good ethical standard, more orientation and background.

“Azuh represents the finest among us.

“Nigeria exposes journalists to the world, not that we have fake journalists, we have very good journalists. 

“The fake journalists among us are in the minority.

“And so, all of us cannot be painted in the same colour because of the few bad among us.”

Peterside said that Arinze was offering both the already made journalists and aspiring ones to learn, relearn and unlearn how to be a good journalist.

Speaking on Arinze’s second book, titled: “My Story Of Many Colours,” he said that there was nobody who would not go through one adversity at one point or the other.

He noted that considering the enormous power of the media and the current insecurity in the country, the media and security personnel must collaborate.

He said it was the responsibility of the media to dig deep to seek information from the government, put it in context and give it to the people.

He said: “If people understand the critical role the media can play in addressing insecurity, the media will definitely offer the platform.”

Veteran musician, Onyeka Onwenu, urged the publisher to ensure the books get to schools for proper education on the journalism space.

Also, Oba Michael Ajayi, the Elerinmo of Erinmo in Osun State, said Arinze had focused on his area of core competence, adding value to the society.

Ajayi, however, urged Nigerians to take every opportunity at their disposal to effect change in the society, praying for the writer for greater heights.

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Reviewing the book, Uche Nworah, described “My Story of Many Colours” as a compendium of the author’s reflections on his profession and encounters with very prominent personalities in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the book presentation was done by Chief Bimbo Ashiru, Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company.

The event was attended by various publishers and veteran media practitioners.

They included Dele Momodu, Publisher of Ovation Magazine; and Bisi Olatilo, Chairman Biscon Communications.

Earlier, Arinze appreciated everyone present as he disclosed that he had published nine books already and was looking forward to publishing three more books at once.

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