PRESIDENT, American University of Nigeria (AUN), Dr. Margee Ensign, has said that the need to train communication students in investigative and objective news-writing and multimedia skills at this critical moment in Nigeria’s history, has made it necessary for the university to engage the services of a top Canadian communication expert, Professor Don North. He is to teach in the Communication and Multimedia Design program of the institution, according to a release by the university made available to Vanguard Learning.
The release signed by Mr. Daniel Okereke, Executive Director, Office of Communications & Public Relations, noted that besides years of professional writing experience, North “holds the Advanced International Reporting qualification of the Columbia School of Journalism, New York. In 1984, he was an Associate Professor of Journalism at the Ryerson College, Toronto, Canada.
“A veteran documentary filmmaker, North has participated in training journalists for the Voice of America. In 1996, he trained journalists in Bosnia from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, London. He has worked for ABC News and NBC News and has filmed, produced and directed more than 30 documentaries/TV programs.
In 2005, his documentary, Remembering Saddam, won the Best of Show at The Aurora Awards. He also won Best Reporting Award at the Overseas Press Club. At the New York Film Festival, he won a Gold Medal with his Time of the Jackals. In print, North told the story of his own career in Inappropriate Conduct: Mystery of a Disgraced War Correspondent.
At a welcome dinner organised in his honour, Prof. North reflected upon his professional principles, emphasizing that every story should be factual and checked. Quoting a media guru and Canadian communication scholar, Marshall McLuhan, North who won the Gold Medal for his work, Siege of Beirut 1982 at the Berlin Film Festival, said: “I have deep and abiding belief in man’s potential to grow and learn, to plumb the depths of his own being and to learn the secret songs that orchestrate the universe. We live in a transitional era of profound pain and tragic identity quest, but the agony of our age is the labor pain of rebirth.”
Also speaking, the Dean, School of Arts & Science, Dr. Idorenyin Akpan described Don North as an “indispensable asset.”