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| By Augustine Adah | Nov. 19, 2012 @ 01:00 GMT
OCTOBER 24, would remain indelible in the lives of management and staff of Realnews Magazine and Publications Limited, the publishers of Realnews, the first online weekly news magazine in Nigeria. It was the day the corporate office of the news outfit located at 23B Balogun, Streets off Akinremi Street, Ikeja, Lagos, was inaugurated and dedicated to God.[caption id="attachment_580" align="alignright" width="300"] Rev. David Akala[/caption]
David Kehinde Akala, a catholic priest, who performed the ceremony, admonished the staff to work like an athlete, who practiced from dawn to dusk in order to win laurels. ?He believed that with hard work and faith in God, the new company, whose business is to disseminate investigative news to the people would succeed. ?In order to move forward in the new endeavor, he encouraged the management and staff of the organisation to put behind them?previous disappointments or experiences from previous employments. He congratulated?the management of the new outfit for the vision and prayed that as God created Adam and gave him dominion over all things on the earth, the magazine would succeed and be the best in the country.
The clergy man took time to bless all the tools in the office including laptops, cameras, tape recorders and prayed to God?that the staff would use them to work for the success of the company to uplift humanity and the glory of God.
Maureen Chigbo, editor, Realnews magazine, thanked the priest for his patience and honouring the invitation to dedicate the office despite his numerous official engagements and several postponements of the date for the inauguration because of circumstances beyond the control of the new outfit. She believes that with his prayers and God on the side of the organisation, the new outfit would succeed in the business of telling the real news to the people.[caption id="attachment_581" align="alignleft" width="300"] RealNews team[/caption]
Those who attended the historic event include Mike Akpan, editorial consultant, Realnews, Udochukwu Chigbo, managing director, Spark Links Nigeria Limited and the pioneering staff of the magazine.
After the inauguration, the management and staff of Realnews paid a courtesy call on the former executive directors of Newswatch Communications Limited in their MayFive office in Ikeja, Lagos. Ray Ekpu, former chief executive officer and Yakubu Mohammed, former deputy chief executive of Newswatch, received Realnews, team.
Chigbo, who was the former general editor of Newswatch magazine, told her former bosses that she wanted them to be the first to know about the magazine before it goes public because of the high regards she had for them. She said that she treasured all the support and encouragement the directors gave her throughout the more than 14 years she worked in Newswatch. Chigbo, who described the former directors as grandmasters of journalism in Nigeria, also solicited their professional support to ensure the growth of the new organisation.
Ekpu commended Chigbo for the courage to resign from Newswatch on principle because of the crisis that engulfed the organisation under the chairmanship of Jimoh Ibrahim. He explained that with their ugly experience in the hands of Ibrahim, the core investor invited to turnaround the fortune of the magazine, anybody working with him could be humiliated at any time.
The journalism icon reminisced on the dedication and resilience of former staff of Newswatch, which saw the growth of the international award winning magazine for 27 years before the dream was truncated in August by Ibrahim who does not believe in the idea of others. He promised that he and his colleagues would continue to give their professional support to Realnews but advised?the new organisation to learn from their experience. “Be careful of some business men who disguise as investors but are out to destroy the business,” he said.
Also promising to give professional support to Realnews, Mohammed commended its management for taking the initiative to commence an on line publication which is the new trend globally. He believed that with the suspension of hard copy publication by Newsweek magazine from December this year, the idea of commencing an online magazine publication in Nigeria was timely. He advised the staff of the new publication to put into practice the good things they learnt from Newswatch so that the new magazine would create a niche for itself in the industry.
Realnews is an online publication which thrives on investigative journalism. It aims to unearth exclusive stories about real people and the challenges they are facing in their day-to-day activities. It does this bearing in mind that governments can only act to influence the lives of people positively if aware of their true situation. Hence, its objective is to use its reporters’ investigative skills to ferret out information in the sectors it focuses on and produce an unbiased report which will actually influence the government policies and decision makers to take actions that will make the society better.
The vision of Realnews is to build a reputable and world class media institution whose watchword is professionalism and integrity. Its mission is to become the cornerstone of investigative journalism in Nigeria and Africa. Realnews will focus on oil and gas, environment, vulnerable groups – youth, women and children, and give voice to the silent majority and minority groups. Realnews magazine will also fight any form of injustice and ensure that no section of the Nigerian society is neglected, discriminated against or left behind in our quest to build a better and just world where basic human rights are well respected and cherished.
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