Nigerian Arts and Culture Editors and Journalists have disclosed that they have learnt a lot of strategies in the art of reporting Nigerian arts and culture through the national media workshops organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).
Declaring this in his vote of thanks in the just concluded Media Workshop which NICO jointly organized with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), in Abuja, Chuka Nnabuife, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Arts and Culture Journalists Association of Nigeria (ACJAN), the umbrella body of arts and culture writers in Nigeria, commended NICO for the sustenance and success of the workshop so far.
Nnabuife, who is the Arts and Entertainment Editor of Nigerian Compass Newspaper, attributed the success of the workshop up to the sixth edition to the handiwork of a media professional in the person of Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, a renowned playwright and veteran journalist, who is heading the Institute.
According to him: “Anybody who had been participating in this workshop since it started, would agree with me that each edition is always better than the other edition. It is a viable project. First of all, let me commend the NICO Theatre Troupe for the message on book and reading culture they dramatized. I must say that the troupe is trying with their performances I have watched. The truth here is that I have learnt a lot in this project. I can say that all my colleagues will say the same thing. I really have something to take home.”
Continuing, Nnabuife expressed his delight to the resource persons, the participants and NICO adding: “I want to specifically thank the man behind our gathering here, the ES of NICO, Dr. Ayakoroma. This initiative he has sustained is something that will take culture to all the places it is supposed to go to. It is really a successful project. The fact is that no journalist disappoints when he is in a position of authority. Dr. Ayakoroma is one. I am impressed with his ideas. Though he is theatre artist, a culture administrator and playwright, he was also a journalist. He has worked as Head of News and Current Affairs in River State Television. I have respect for him.”
On his part, the National President of ACJAN, Mr. Sola Balogun, in his goodwill message, also described all the editions of the workshop as having recorded tremendous success, saying that the theme of this one, Media Strategies for Propagating the Book Culture in Nigeria, is relevant and timely.
Recalling how reading of articles of Dupe Ajayi, Ben Tomoloju, and other seasoned literary journalists, attracted him to arts journalism, Balogun who is the Arts Editor of The Sun Newspaper, lamented that reading culture is dwindling among Nigerian children.
He added: “In the University, I read books by Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Femi Ososifan, etc. Those books helped me a lot. Today, our children operate more with Blackberry. I am worried because I wonder how that can help the book and reading culture in this country.’’
The success of this edition was registered in the large number of journalists that were in attendance. More than fifty arts and culture journalists in Nigeria including the arts editors from both print and electronic media were in attendance: The Sun newspaper, The Nation, Vanguard, The Punch, The Guardian, Champion, ThisDay, Nigerian Compass, NTA, Plateau Radio, Daily Independent, Daily Trust, Leadership, etc. in addition to many Press and Public Relations Officers from Federal and State MDAs.