NUJ Standard: A Timely Tool For Developmental Journalism



It is indeed exciting for me to be in your midst today for the public presentation of the NUJ Standard Magazine, a novelty from media practitioners in contemporary time.

I am also happy with the speed at which this initiative has moved from conception to fruition, considering that it is barely two months ago that I was notified of plans to come up with this journal. This is again a source of reassurance that the present executive of the NUJ in the state means business. I commend the NUJ leadership and the editorial board of this magazine for this admirable sense of dispatch.

The idea of a full-blast commercial publication by the NUJ is coming at the right time. This is in view of the crucial need for stakeholders in the Akwa Ibom project to weigh in more forcefully on the current dialogue over an accelerated transformation of our state from the “Land of Promise” to that of fulfilment.

R-L: NUJ Chairman, Comrade Amos Etuk; Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo; AKS Chief Judge, Justice Godwin Abraham; DG AKBC, Pastor Anietie Ukpe and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mr Inyang Jameson during the public presentation of NUJ Standard Magazine…recently.

This magazine is also timely because Akwa Ibom should be able to get its views across to the rest of the country through a medium which combines the communication expertise of its promoters as journalists; and audacity, as unionists.

The NUJ Standard Magazine is unique in its conception; enhanced, as it is, by the possibility that it is also a response to the call by Governor Udom Emmanuel last year for media practitioners in the state to team up and birth a private publication from the lavish and excellent media endowment enjoyed by the state. This endowment is borne out by the current NUJ membership strength of about 500 journalists in the state, and an approximate newspaper population of 100 journals.

It was the Governor’s view that if this number of Akwa Ibom journalism professionals and newspapers were able to put their prejudices behind, and work single-mindedly toward advancing the cause of their profession and the state; making demands for our socio-political and economic rights in the Nigerian polity, not as divisive partisans but as a united media front, the results would be phenomenal.

I totally agree with the Governor on this optimistic view, and I think that the NUJ Standard Magazine has fittingly seized the initiative in this regard.

The birth of this magazine is the first step in a long journey, and like every first step, it is no doubt invaluable as a factor in the success of the journey. But let me stress that subsequent steps are equally critical, and should be taken consciously with clear strategies and expectations in mind if one is ultimately to be home and dry on the Journey.

For this journey, modern day realities demand that the strategy and expectation should be rigidly geared toward commercialization, even as you provide social service.

I urge the editorial board of this magazine to aim at serving as a means for promoting the unity of Akwa Ibom State. The magazine should also be a demonstration ground for the ideals of fairness, balanced reportage and strong content, which is the paradigm for progressive and developmental media practice the world over.

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I believe that if you reach out for the very best hands in staff and contributors, your goal of being a standard magazine will be achieved. This will impact on the crucial issue of content and general quality. The publication will also be able to attract respectable patronage and pay its way without compromising your founding ideals and principles.

You can achieve the standard that you have set out to be; you can stretch towards the widest possible range of operation; you can genuinely serve the people of Akwa Ibom and indeed Nigeria, while still smiling to the bank at the end of the day.

All this is possible from this mustard seed, and I ask you to “rise to the faith of our greatness”! As opinion moulders that you are, I also request that you use this outing to demonstrate the possibility of that greatness to the rest of our country men and women.

With this optimism in mind, it is my singular honour and privilege to present the NUJ Standard Magazine as a major additional brick on the wall we are currently erecting to safeguard the Akwa Ibom place – and indeed, the place of the journalism profession, within the Nigerian project. This magazine should be a strong and patriotic voice for the growth of our country as a whole.

Thank you.

Being a remarks by the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses F. Ekpo, MFR, at the public presentation of the NUJ Standard Magazine at the NUJ Press Centre on the 9th of March, 2020.

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