The director, research, documentation and publication, Bayelsa State ministry of culture and Ijaw national affairs, Dr. Akpos Adesi, has advocated for the decentralization of the media workshops organized by the national institute for cultural orientation (NICO), to have a national outlook and also to groom local journalists be grounded in art/culture reporting skills.
Adesi, a former lecturer in the department of theatre arts, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa state, who stated this at the 3-day NICO national media workshop, lamented the dearth of arts and culture journalists in other parts of the country, adding that such a pitiable situation would not augur well for the transformation and development of the culture sector in Nigeria.
He said: “I will want a workshop of this nature to be organized at the provinces (zones) to give room for some of the encumbrances faced in terms of reporting cultural events organized at the provinces (zones);” and that it costs an organizer of cultural events in the rural areas a fortune to hire journalists to cover or report such events as most art writers and editors reside in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan.
He therefore appealed to the Institute to decentralize the national media workshop for journalists in other parts of the country to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge in culture and art reporting.
Responding, NICO’s executive secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, informed that it was the desire of the institute to hold the national media workshop in states, and that that informed the hosting of the February 2012 edition by Gombe state government, as shown in a documentary that had been played for participants earlier.
Ayakoroma noted that the holding of the workshop at the zonal or states levels would very much depend on the readiness of state governments to partner NICO, disclosing that the institute had written to many state governors in this direction, but that many of them have not shown interest.
He, however, affirmed the commitment of the management of the institute to continually explore other avenues of collaboration which are imperative to take the workshop to journalists at the grassroots.