By MCPHILIPS NWACHUKWU
The continued search for ways of harnessing the media for the purpose of cultural promotion being pioneered by the Barclays Ayakoroma led National Institute for Cultural Orientation held its third leg workshop for art and culture editors and writers at the Merit House, Aguyi Ironsi Street, Maitama , Abuja last week.
Held under the theme; Media Relations in the Culture Sector: An Integrated Approach, the programme, which in its last two editions drew notable media resource persons from the media and the academics, is designed by NICO as a very significant platform for art editors ,writers and culture managers to interact and share ideas on ways of employing the rich resources of the media in promoting culture administration for national development.
Put succinctly, Mr Rotimi Obamawumi, who represented Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ’s President noted that the workshop as designed by NICO, will help” to expand the horizon of the institute and continuously draw the institute closer to the consciousness of the people.”
In confirmation of Obamuwumi’s position, NICO through this programme and other of its engagements in the areas of indigenous language and traditional dress culture promotions, the erstwhile moribund cultural parastatal in the relative two year tenure of cultural technocrat, Ayakoroma has positioned itself freshly in the consciousness of the nation’s cultural climate.
And this great achievements in two years is done through a cost maximized method since according to the NUJ spokesperson, the workshop helps to “ assist to maximizing publicity expenses in an organization.”
In his opening remark at the occasion, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Ayakoroma told the journalists that NICO was also committed to seeing to the improvement in the performing efficiency of cultural journalists since according to him,” one should not be tired in learning from the elders because if one is a not a good beginner, one cannot be a good finisher.”
He further urged the participants to be more creative in their ideas and, very conscious about what the write and report because” what you write is very important to the development of the culture sector.”
Addressing the theme of the workshop, seasoned journalist and cultural activist, Toyin Akinosho re-affirmed Ayakoroma’s position, when he maintained that journalists were supposed to be positively critical about their positions and in what they report.
Media relationship between the media and any organization, he said “ does not mean you should run their material without proper criticism.”
Continuing he added that “ we are more important than the people we service because without us their stories will not be heard.”
He also urged the participants to expand the frontiers of the arts by looking at the economic arm of cultural reporting. This neglected aspect of cultural journalism, which according to him, helps to provide information for the people, ask questions that help entrepreneurs and policy stake holders, will not only help to expanding journalistic skill of the journalists , but also help to growing the nation’s economy.
In his goodwill message, veteran culture journalist, Ben Tomoloju described the workshop as an “embodiment of a synergy”, which according to him, the lecturer, Toyin Akinosho represented at the occasion.
“ The integration approach deployed by NICO should involve as well in house journalists, who work in the several parastatals of the Ministry of Culture to synergise with their colleagues in the media before synergizing with their Chief Executives in the offices.” He said.