...Says Publication, A Model
It was all profusion of praise for the publisher, management and staff of the National Network newspaper as the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Information and his team paid a traditional courtesy call on the publication, which ranked among select few to be so visited in the state, even as the ministry solicited support for its latest initiative, 'Our State, Our Responsibility.'
In his address the Permanent Secretary, Paulinus Nsirim, noted that, as constituted, National Network newspaper is one of the best organized and largest newspaper in the state. He expressed joy about the growing vision of the publication.
He particularly congratulated the Publisher, Pastor Jerry Needam and the GM/ Editor-in-Chief , Chris Konkwo for their doggedness in working together to promote the Journalism profession.
The Perm Sec noted that, over the years, the publication has carved a niche for itself “to become a voice that cannot be ignored”.
He praised the rich editorial contents of the newspaper which he said had made it a well known brand, even as he urged the staff to be proud of being associated with the publication and its vision.
Of particular interest to the Perm. Sec and his team was the presence of Industrial Attachment students at the newspaper house. He stated that this is a remarkable feat because it is a rarity among tabloids in the state.
Going down the memory lane, he said that, ”When I did my IT, I went all the way to Enugu, Daily Star,'' saying that a newspaper now exists habouring attachees in its fold. Continuing, he said that the publication, by its activities over the years is on the positive side of history.
He thanked the National Network for always supporting the administration of governor Nyesom Wike.
Similarly, he remarked that in years to come, contents of the paper will register “as reference materials, not just for historians but for Mass Communication students.
On the new initiative of the ministry, which he code named, Our State Our Responsibility, said it was necessary to use the instrumentality of the campaign to put history in perspective and change the narratives from negative perception to the positives, going by the many developmental strides of the governor Wike administration. According to him, this is a necessary initiative in order to look beyond the antics of the nay sayers whom he reasoned are in the 'vocal minority.'
In his appraisal , the state remains the hub of hydro carbon, oil and gas activities, apart from other comparative advantages that made the state investors' haven.
He argued that the narratives are changing in the state, going by there turned of the much relished night life in the state. He expressed delight that this became possible based on improved security in the state.
He also stated that the prevailing peace in the state had made it possible for it to host many important national and international events in recent time. He challenged media practitioners in the state to strive to tell the story from the positive angle. He also enjoined the media to develop more nose for news and take the practice a notch higher by embarking of the practice of developmental Journalism. He expressed concern that some media houses had become a dump site for all manners of junk stories and press releases, calling on journalists to uphold ethics at all times and avoid unsubstantiated stories that could become a subject of litigation.
Responding on behalf of the Publisher, the General Manager and Editor-In-Chief, Chris Konkwo recalled that the visit by the Per. Sec and his team was the first official meeting in the 15 years existence of the publication. He prayed the team will soar higher and should be ready for greater responsibilities especially under a permanent Secretary with vision .
He informed the gathering that, National Network newspaper has been regular on the newsstands since 1st October, 2004 it commenced operation, without missing the any edition. He argued that, the publication , by its constitution may well be reckoned with as a national newspaper. He said that since the journey, some in the editorial department of the publication had advanced their academic career up the Phd and Masters degrees respectively. He pledged that the publication will continue to uphold the ideals and ethics of Journalism practice and remain committed to moving the state forward by reporting good deeds and point the way to what it necessary whenever the need arises.
He enumerated some of the challenges confronting the publication to include need for better digital upgrade in order to improve quality the more, lack of official support from the government in the last 15 years that ”the paper has been self-sustaining''. He said support could come mainly from regular advert , patronage from government quarters, apart from recognition for the publisher of the National Network as done to others.
He assured the Perm Sec and his team of support for the project being driven by them, even as he congratulated governor Wike for his good deeds and prayed the good works would remain.
In his Vote of Thanks, a member of the team, Mr. Dan Oruwari, stated that the publication recorded a success story under the publisher based on what he described as “his right attitude.”
Officials of the ministry who were on the visitation team include Mr. Obele Chu, Director Enlightenment, Dan Oruwari, Director, PRS Vision, Kenneth Okujagu, Director ICT and Valentine Ugbomma, Director of Publicity.
Meanwhile, highlights of the visit include the official presentation of the emblem of the project to the publisher, part of which is the publication named 'New Vision' and the ceremonial group photographs.