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In Owerri, stakeholders chat way forward for broadcast presenters

By Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
11 October 2022   |   3:36 am
The Association of Imo Radio and Television Presenters (AIR-TP), at the weekend, commemorated its one year existence with a seminar and awards’ ceremony.

The Association of Imo Radio and Television Presenters (AIR-TP), at the weekend, commemorated its one year existence with a seminar and awards’ ceremony.

The AIR-TP, led by its President, Jerry Osuji, was formed a year ago, after radio and television presenters in Imo State, numbering about 185, converged on Owerri to discuss issues affecting their profession.

At the anniversary seminar, they identified impediments to programme presentation and proffered solution, as a way to ensure growth of the sector.

Speakers at the seminar were former Director-General of Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), Alex Nwahiri; the Imo State Commissioner for Homeland Security and Vigilante Affairs, Dr. Ugorji O. Ugorji and a Professor of Political /Social Economy in Imo State University, Owerri, Prince Sam Ezeanyika.

Ezeanyika’s paper was on ‘Broadcast Industry Academic and Professional Opportunities: Challenges, Prospects and Perspectives’, while Nwahiri dwelt on ‘The TV/ Radio Presenter: the Most Critical Actor in the Media Industry, Paradigm Shift’. Ugorji, in his paper, dissected ‘Security and Strategic Communication: Towards a Partnership between the State and Broadcasters /Presenters’.

According to Nwahiri, a presenter must have excellent skills in verbal and written presentation. He also said they must have excellent presentation skills in adlibbing and ability to adjust to critical challenges on air, good and clear voice.

For the veteran broadcaster, a presenter must also have a vast knowledge in every area of endeavour, “because every discipline is your constituency.” He said a presenter must be calm, humble, respectful, courteous and friendly at all times; eye contact for those in the TV is a must.

His words, “do not bring your emotion into presentation. Your body language should equally be restraining no matter the level of provocation.”

Nwahiri, who spent 35 years in IBC, also raised the need for a presenter to “do great research in every area you are about to present and know your topic well.

“Learn professional interviewing skills. Always remember that you are playing the time of a midwife as an interviewer and avoid injecting your opinion or partisan leaning into the programme. You are a moderator, ombudsman or mediator; great discipline and decorum at all times, but never allow your guest to take over the interview or begin to ask you question, but with respect, calmness and firmness, remind him that he is the special guest and the only person authorised to answer questions on the program, and continue with the interview.”

Ezeanyika, who is a research associate at the School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy (SPMGP), University of Johannesburg, South Africa, stressed the need for broadcasters in the ‘New World’ to be ‘global, conscious, dynamic and highly competitive.”

He noted there are “academic and professional opportunities” available to the presenters to explore, including, “Internships, grants, scholarships, and fellowships.”

He urged them to take into cognisance, existence of new areas such as “artificial intelligence” (AI), “virtual reality” (VR) and “augmented reality” (AR).

Ezeanyika concluded: “Broadcasting, despite its numerous challenges, has been an ever growing industry full of prospects and perspectives. It has provided a spectrum of different jobs to fit many different people and what they may be looking for in a career. With a constantly expanding industry, the need for educated professionals is never-ending.”

Ugorji called on media practitioners to conduct themselves in a manner that does not breach security in the state. He, however, promised that the state government would ensure that they are protected and not harassed unduly by the security personnel. He said: “You are expected to present verified information on security matters with caution.”

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