Enhancing media practice through practical steps
Jackson Isimeme Akpasubi has launched his two books, Practical Guide to Public Affairs for Journalists and Dictionary of Media Terms. The event held last week at the National Institute for International Affairs, Lagos. It was a gathering of men of the pen profession, as they celebrated one of their own.
The author, Akpasubi, who has practically been in journalism practice all his life, has also set up an NGO, Africa United Journalism Awareness Centre and MCPL to train and retrain media practitioners, as well as open their horizons.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Patrick Okpah said over the past few years the author has been a pillar to media practitioners in Nigeria and beyond, adding, “A lot of journalists have understanding of issues that have to do with public affairs as well as intellectual, government, political, economy, but the reality is, there is a need to deepen the understanding of journalists and media practitioners in this land.”
Okpah advised journalists to draw from the author’s depth and wealth of knowledge and experience, and described the books as global vision that could change the face of media practice in Nigeria.
Chairman of the launch, Chris Akiri, said the author is a man of letters, adding, “When you discuss with him for five minutes, the tenacity of his understanding is inevitable.”
While reviewing the books, Ikechukwu Amaechi, who was the former editor of Daily Independent and publisher of The Niche online, said it was a double barrel presentation as both books are timely in today’s journalism practice. He said the books ensure that journalists find a balance in reporting sensitive issues such as book haram insurgency, Fulani herdsmen and others.
He noted, “It has a political aspect that brings both students of political science and journalism up-to-date on many issues. It should be for every Nigerian desiring to have understanding about political, economic as well as other issues in Nigeria.”
Quoting an American journalist, Amaechi described news, as ‘something, somebody, somewhere, doesn’t want you to break, everything else is advertising.’ He said what a journalist is able to break depends on the sources and contacts he is able to build and his ability to bring skills to play in his practice, adding, “The need for capacity building in the newsroom cannot be over emphasised. If public affairs journalists will rise to their responsibility, which is constitutionally assigned, Nigeria may not have all the debts on ground right now. When the media is alive to its responsibility, government is held accountable and the society is better for it.”
According to Amaechi, the author lamented the number of years of constitutional violations against the media, saying, “The fourth estate of the realm either did not know its left from its right or turned a blind eye to the violations. No story is more valuable than the reporter’s life.”
A former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Dele Alake, who saw Akpasubi grew in media practice, described him as one of his best reporters at Concord newspaper at that time, adding, “If I had the power, I would nominate him to the highest position in the land.”
Alake recommended the books to all journalists, historians, students and to everyone interested in the political growth of Nigeria. The chief launcher, Prince Osobase Lewis, said the books are vital and suitable reference points for journalists of today.