Nigerian broadcaster Channels Television has won the Nigerian Media Merit Award (NMMA) for best television station of the year for the 14th time.
The ceremony took place this week at Lokoja in Kogi state. Channel TV controller of programmes Ambrose Okoh and other senior staff members accepted the award on behalf of the company.
Okoh said: “On behalf of the chairman of Channels TV, John Momoh, and his lovely wife, we thank all of you for your support. Thank you for this victory today. We are happy we are winning this in Kogi state, the home of good people. For us at Channels TV, we are happy to win this for the 14th time. We are not taking it for granted and we dedicate this award to the staff and management of Channels TV.”
The award for best TV station recognises media excellence in the country. Channels TV has earned a reputation as an aggressive news outlet that provides a balanced coverage.
It was the first Nigerian and African media organisation to stream its news and programmes live, the first and only TV station in Nigeria with over a million YouTube subscribers. It also has the most social media followers of any TV company in Nigeria, with almost seven million.
Elsewhere during the awards, Ngozi Alaegbu of Arise TV won television newscaster of the year; former Channels TV broadcaster Gimba Umar won television programme presenter of the year; Dooshima Pius-Ikerave of the NTA took home television production of the year; and Medium won best TV drama of the year.
According to the NMMA Trust, organiser of the NMMAs, a total of 1,050 entries for various categories, including print, radio and broadcast, were received for this year’s edition, the highest received since the inauguration of the awards in 1991.
A new television programme titled Ready to Run has been launched by Yiaga Africa, a pro-youth advocacy organisation based in Abuja.
The aim of this TV programme is to assist young people in politics who are actively involved in the 2019 general election and give them easier access to the media.
Samson Itodo, executive director of Yiaga Africa, said the programme would enable young candidates from different parts of the country display their public leadership competence and capabilities.
“Most youth candidates running in the 2019 elections are faced with the challenge of limited access to the media or low media coverage. This is further exacerbated by the high cost of engaging media during electoral campaign,” Itodo said.
“The TV show is designed to address this challenge by providing a unique opportunity for youth candidates to showcase their competence, capacity and commitment to excellent public leadership. Every week, youth candidates running for legislative and executive positions will be featured to engage voters on their manifestos and agenda.
“An upsurge in public demand for qualitative and accountable public leadership is expected through the show hence the integration of a public engagement segment with youth candidates through tweets, Facebook posts and SMS-based interactive platforms.
“To complement existing capacity building initiatives for youth candidates, Ready To Run will feature a political organising lab to equip candidates with skills and tactics for running effective electoral campaigns.”
The show will air on Sundays on Channels Television at 6.15pm. It is a partnership between Yiaga Africa, the #NotTooYoungToRun movement, Channels Television and Premium Times with support from the European Union.
John Momoh, CEO of Channels Television Group and chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), has been named national president of the University of Lagos (Unilag) Alumni Association.
Momoh was selected from three other candidates and is himself a former student at Unilag.
According to Nigerian national newspaper ThisDay, a press statement was issued by the association, stating the results of the elections held at its recent annual general meeting.
Each member of the association ruling committee is expected to bring about innovations, thereby moving the association to ‘greater heights’. In lieu of this, Momoh is said to have provided a 10-point agenda for the association.
Meanwhile, before the announcement of Momoh’s new appointment, a report was published last week stating that Abdulateef Abdulsalam, a member of the association, had filed a suit to prevent the election.
He allegedly stated that some members of the association had planned to elect a new president undemocratically through “an illegal body known as body of past presidents, a search team and an unregistered 2015 constitution”.
The court adjourned the case to September 17 and ordered the suspension of any electoral activities by the committee.
However, since the recent announcement of the election results, no comment has been made by the claimant nor was any made by the Alumni Association addressing the allegations.
Political party the African Action Congress (AAC) has threatened to sue the chairman of Channels Television John Momoh, the Broadcast Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG).
AAC has written a letter warning it will go to court if its presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, is not included on the list of those set to participate in a presidential debate.
It claimed that his exclusion went against the rights of all political parties to fair representation as set out in section 100 of the electoral act.
Five candidates had already been chosen as revealed by NEDG, organiser of the debate in collaboration with BON.
The letter read: “From the foregoing, it is apparent that the decision to exclude the AAC from the NEDG/BON 2019 presidential election debate is unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, undemocratic, unjustifiable and indefensible.
“Accordingly, I hereby demand the inclusion of the AAC in the scheduled NEDG/BON 2019 presidential election debate.
“Please take notice that if the AAC is not included in the said debate as demanded, we shall commence legal action against you, the BON and the NEDG in a court of competent jurisdiction to seek redress, including an order of injunction restraining you, BON and the NEDG from holding or organising the scheduled debate.”
Stella Din-Jacob has been appointed director of news by Nigerian broadcaster TVC Communications.
As the Lagos-based television channel engages in strategic changes in its editorial output, Din-Jacob will handle the management of TVC News as well as oversee the division’s strategic direction.
TVC Communications CEO Andrew Hanlon said: “TVC News is about to undergo radical change over the course of the next few months and the change will involve improving editorial output, the ability to break news first and fast, and providing viewers with a modern, attractive and world-class news service which Nigerians will be proud of.
“As a renowned Nigerian broadcast news professional with a pedigree of excellence, Stella Din-Jacob has the experience, drive and determination to bring TVC News to the highest levels to which we aspire as a major African broadcasting company.
“Her commendable experience as a news manager and a practicing broadcast news journalist will be of immense value to the business as we continue our journey of investment and improvement in our services for our viewers and advertisers.”
Having previously been national head of news and general manager of News 24 for Silverbird Communications, Din-Jacob is bringing over 20 years of experience in broadcast news journalism.
She has freelanced for a number of international media organisations including CNN, Al Jazeera, Vatican Radio and UK newspaper The Guardian. At Channels Television, she reported on events across Africa and covered meetings of the UN, Commonwealth, African Union and Ecowas.
“I’m delighted to join TVC Communications and I look forward to the challenge of leading the news team, harnessing creative growth and professional development of dedicated professionals,” Din-Jacob said.
Din-Jacob is a graduate of the University of Kent in the UK and also attended the Nigerian Law School in 1993.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) officially opened its Lagos bureau office yesterday.
The move follows the recent launch of the BBC’s local-language services in Yoruba and Igbo. The Lagos bureau will be home to these plus its other language service, BBC Pidgin.
The opening of the Lagos office makes this the biggest expansion of the BBC World Service since its first language service, Hausa, was established 60 years ago. According to the corporation, the Lagos bureau will be the headquarters of its West African service.
Speaking at the launch, Jamie Angus, director of the BBC World Service Group, said: “It is wonderful to be here to open this bureau, which will be the headquarters for our operations across West Africa. It will be a beacon for journalism and as such I am delighted to announce our mentorship and internship scheme for up-and-coming journalists.
“Meanwhile, our Hausa service continues to deliver with an audience of over 36 million. We have vision to ensure the World Service generates accurate, impartial and independent news to all countries. We spot the stories, see the patterns and make sense of your world. Our mission is to remain your most trusted source of news in the years to come.”
Furthermore, he said the mentorship and internship programme is part of the BBC’s contribution to the growth of media practice and professionalism in Nigeria, and helps aid the fight against fake news.
Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, BBC’s head of West Africa, said: “It’s a great honour to be part of this expansion, and I’m so proud to be leading the teams in Nigeria.
“We will be big on original journalism that impacts the lives of Nigerians at home and abroad. We are expanding our editorial offer to cover politics, culture, business, health and investigations, among others. We will focus more on young people and women, ensuring we cover Nigeria and the whole of West Africa like never before. We’ll remain true to our ideals and values of objectivity, truth and impartiality.”
With over 200 people working at the bureau, the BBC West African headquarters has two radio stations and a TV station, with state-of-the-art equipment.
Chimezie UcheAgbo, broadcast journalist at BBC Igbo, explained to Content Nigeria why the three local-language services – Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin – are launching 60 years after BBC Hausa.
“Getting a licence for a foreign terrestrial radio or TV station is a bit difficult. BBC Hausa is on the AM radio frequency; it doesn’t have a Nigerian frequency,” said UcheAgbo.
“However, the BBC is collaborating with TV stations like Channels TV to get its TV content out there. We work with partner stations, so we produce content and give to them to broadcast. Some of these stations include Odenigbo FM, Bliss FM and ASPS.”
The BBC is partnering with Channels Television to launch Connect Africa, a new weekly half-hour programme, later this year. Connect Africa is a current affairs series that will focus on the stories behind the news and the public reactions.
The BBC also plans to launch more TV programmes in Africa in English, Hausa, French and Swahili. According to the corporation, some of the TV teams will join the Lagos bureau to create content.
The guests at the event included John Momoh, Garba Shehu, Wole Soyinka, Okey Bakkasi, Don Jazzy, Tosyn Bucknor, Bolanle Olukanni, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Steve Babaeko, Frank Donga and Julius Agwu.
Nigeria’s federal government is seeking a court order to make broadcaster Channels Television hand over a copy of a controversial interview with Senator Isah Misau.
The move came after Senator Misau was taken to Abuja High Court in Maitama on seven counts of allegedly accusing the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, of corrupt practices, sexual misconduct and falsehood during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.
Senator Misau is a retired deputy superintendent of police and represents Bauchi Central Senatorial District. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and was granted bail, set at N5m.
The case against the senator was adjourned till February 22 and Channels Television has been instructed to produce footage of the interview for evidence.
Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo has spoken about the challenges faced by the country’s media at a forum marking the 50th birthday of top journalist Kadaria Ahmed.
Speaking at the forum, held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Victoria Island in Lagos, keynote speaker Osinbajo addressed the audience on the topic ‘A Conversation on Media Renewal in Nigeria.’
Commending the Nigerian media for contributing to the movement and development of the nation since colonial days, Osinbajo said: “The democracy we enjoy today would not have been possible without the guerrilla efforts of some of our finest and most irrepressible journalists.
“The Nigerian press is and has always been one of the most vibrant in the world. You can always take it for granted that no matter the intensity of the clampdown on press freedom in Nigeria, there will always be a prominent group of journalists who will refuse to be cowed, and will seize every tool at their disposal to hold the authorities to account.”
He then went on to note the challenges and drawbacks in the media industry that journalist face, highlighting the lack of innovation and vision as well as poor financial provision.
Osinbajo noted that the media’s response to technological advancements and innovations has been slow and it must do well to reinvent itself to overcome declining sales.
He added that the media is not spared from the corruption affecting the nation, saying: “The Nigerian contemporary press is caught up in a crisis of confidence. The faith in the media is at all-time low because faith in all things in the country is at all-time low.
“The crisis of corruption is systemic and every institution is infected. Justice can be bought so headlines can also be bought. Wherever you find a judiciary that is poorly paid, you will find a judiciary that is compromised. The same applies to the media – a poorly paid journalist should not be expected to be ethical.”
After his speech, the VP joined other dignitaries, including Hajiya Hadiza El-rufai, Dr Wale Babalakin and John Momoh, to present Kadaria Ahmed’s scholarships and book.
With over 20 years of experience in media, award-winning Kadaria Ahmed is one of Nigeria’s top journalists. She started her career at BBC before moving on to become an editor of the now defunct Next newspaper. She was also a presenter of Straight Talk on Channels Television.
She is currently one of the board members of Premium Times and also hosts The Core on Channels Television.