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WNTV’s 60th Anniversary: Stakeholders task media practitioners on contents to boost Nigeria’s development



Some media stakeholders have tasked media practitioners on developing contents that would promote Nigeria and fast track its development on the global arena.

The stakeholders were unanimous on this position in their different presentations at the 60th Anniversary of Africa’s first Television Station, WNTV, which metamorphosed into the Nigeria Television Authority, marked in Ibadan, on Tuesday.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN), reports that the event was organised by the Foundation for Ibadan Television Anniversary Celebration (FITAC), in collaboration with the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP).

The theme of the anniversary was: “Sixty Years of Television in Africa: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.

In his opening remarks, Dr Yemi Farounbi, a former ambassador of Nigeria to the Philippines, and one of the former General Managers of the first television station in Africa, said Ibadan television has produced very eminent people, who have contributed to the growth of Nigeria.

He, however, said that the event was organised to take stock and rub minds on ways to shape the future.

“Sixty years of television; yesterday is history, today, that is report, tomorrow, that is predictive.

“We want all to be part of predicting what tomorrow should be; and part of what we are thinking, is establishing a training academy, which we think will train the people of tomorrow,” he said.

One of the distinguished speakers at the event, Mr Yomi Bolarinwa, a former staff of the WNTV, told the story of the establishment of Africa’s first television and the technology that existed at that time.

He charged media practitioners and regulatory body on insisting on provision of solid contents that would make Nigeria better.

“The future of television lies on the creativity of the people working in the industry, their ability to create content would largely determine whether they would succeed or fail.

“Don’t forget that if they fail to produce relevant content today with technology, people can afford not to watch any of the stations.

“With internet, you can watch any time, anywhere, wherever you are. The past is past, the past is gone, not when you sit in front of the television and wait for news at a particular time.

“Don’t forget the effects of the social media on today’s television.

“So when you talk about breaking news, is it the news somebody had put on WhatsApp or Facebook some 10 hours ago?

“So media managers need to be creative, they need to be in touch with the viewers and give the viewers what they want, otherwise, bye bye to television, ” Bolarinwa said.

Also, in his keynote address, Prof. Ayobami Ojebode, a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, said television has great prospects if well harnessed.

Ojebode had earlier dissected the short speech of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, on Oct 31, 1959, at the formal opening of WNTV.

“I wish to return to the words with which we began it, those of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He said: “And I am confident that in due course, television will assist in making our great country even greater”.

“This is not the time to ask if television has made African countries, especially Nigeria, greater than it was.

“It is however, the time to suggest that if we want a television that will make our country greater than it is now, we must explore the television of experience.

“One that scrutinises the audience through large data analyses and seeks to meet the audience where they are.

“Television stations which have become the photo albums of the state governors or mouthpieces of political groups; have no place in the coming dispensation.

“Stations that are unwilling to invest in workers’ training and in modern equipment; also do not belong,” Ojebode said.

In her speech, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu, the last child of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was represented by Dr Lasisi Olagunju, Editor, Saturday Tribune, said conscious efforts must be made to improve on the quality of media contents.

“We must remember that journalism is history in motion; going forward, we must keep the records of our activities and history, safe and secure at all times.

“The future needs a record of all we are doing, including today’s event, to guide it to its own future,” she said.

Earlier in his address, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, Executive Vice Chairman, ISGPP, said this was the time to strengthen Nigeria’s state structures and systems, as it is a period of building and boosting Nigeria to its optimal potential.

“The Nigerian media of the 21st century has a full and daunting agenda; these includes: how to facilitate the building of better systems of democratic governance in rural and urban areas.

” It involves how to help make our country cohesive and how to make the state more respectful of individual citizens and human beings.

“This is necessary as the media and their audiences move onwards into uncharted times of fascinating complexity, ” Olaopa said. (NAN)


Ediyed by Olabisi Akinbode/Bayo Sekoni

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