Realnews in the Eyes of Others #Realnews4thAnniversaryLecture

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Alex Cummings

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Realnews celebrates its fourth anniversary on November 17, 2016. Below is what Nigerians and Africans think of the online publication which focuses on business and economy, oil and gas, politics environment, women and children. Excerpts:

Alex Cummings, presidential Hopeful, Liberia, and former chief executive officer, Coca Cola, Africa – I am highly honoured to be invited speak at this Realnews Fourth Anniversary lecture. I think Realnews is really a dynamic young and upcoming online news organ. I’m very impressed with Maureen and what she is trying to do with Realnews. So I’m very happy and honoured to be here today. The topic of discourse in this forum is very relevant considering the security challenges across Africa. Without security our ability to attract international and local investors will be insignificant. If people do not feel protected as individuals and citizens, if companies and enterprises do not feel secured, they will not invest. They will fear for their lives. So security is very relevant to the progress of any nation in the world.

Wada MaidaWada A. Maida, chairman, Peoples Media Limited and former managing director, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN – Realnews is a good online magazine. I think Maureen has done a lot to keep it fresh for this last four years. It has been able to survive and is not a small achievement in this era of change, recession and also the crowd in the online publication. I congratulate her and want her to keep it up.

Haruna MohammedMohammed Haruna, veteran journalist – Realnews has done well and you know the times are hard whether you are online or offline is tough. What I must say is that I commend the indefatigability of the publisher for the way she has been able to keep up the company in spite of all the challenges.

Ikechi EmenikeIkechi Emenike, chairman, DER Group – I think it is a good initiative particularly giving the challenges of the print media and other platforms. I think Realnews is doing very well and  should be encouraged to continue to sustain it because what is more important is sustainability. But I believe that Realnews is a good platform trying to reach people and it’s consistent. You people should sustain it.

Frank OditaFrank Odita, chief executive officer, Frankon Limited and former commissioner of Police – Let me go down the memory lane a little, when I was the head of public relations at Nigerian Police in my office was at Ijora and Maureen was at NAN. She was coming to me and we were doing a lot of things together. I, also being a journalist, I’m not surprised that she has achieved this height because she is transparent, hardworking and very duty conscious. And I respect her a lot. When she told me that she was holding this in Abuja and I said it is recession, who is going to buy ticket and pay for hotel for me in Abuja, she said daddy you can do that for me and I say that’s true. I must say that I’m very highly impressed, is only somebody of Maureen’s calibre that can assembly this crowd and I tell you that it’s only very few people who can do that. So I want to say I’m very highly impressed and I will wish are every success in her endeavour, and whatever cooperation she deserves, we all will jointly give it to her.

Victoria IbangaVictoria Ibanga, general secretary, Nigeria Guild of Editors, NGE – She is a journalist per excellence. She paid her dues and I’m so excited that she is on top of her job. I have said this before that whenever I receive my copy of the Realnews newsletter, I read everything. I like Realnews magazine.  It is the best.

Don AwunahDon Awunah, public relations officer, Nigeria Police Force – Online is in main thing and it takes courage, determination and knowledge for you to be an editor of an online news because is very technical and it has a lot of content. So I think Realnews is a trailblazer.

Ambassador Brownson DedeAmbassador Brownson Dede, former Ambassador of Nigeria to Ethiopia – This is my first contact with Realnews and like everybody said, she is a determined person. My friend was the one who introduce me to Realnews and today, I said let me come and see. Just yesterday, she sent me the invitation twice because the first notification was almost three weeks ago. She is good and I said no I’m going to be here to support because I’m not even an online person because of all these Facebook and Twitter that specialise in false stories. I like to feel it even if it’s not true and examine it and see whether it’s genuine or not. So I belong to the old generation but now that I have been here I will make an effort to make this an exception to be on Realnews.

Paul EjimePaul Ejime, international media and communications consultant – Realnews for me is a product of hard work and professionalism. What grow the society today are ideas, investigative journalism and its being run by somebody who has the passion for the profession, Maureen Chigbo. Maureen, if I tell you the story of how she started; it is just a story of tenacity of purpose, knowing your vision and where you are going and how you want to reach there. Of course, there should be obstacles but the bottom-line is the determination to overcome all obstacles. We should see obstacles as opportunities to discover new ways of doing things. And Realnews represents that in a way that the story you are getting is balanced, the story you are getting has authentic, the story you get is one that will generate ideas in the people who make decisions that affect society. And also people concentrate on the ruling class or the personalities without having time to go to the man on the street to get their own pulse about how they want to be governed. So that is what Realnews is doing and we can only wish those of you who are behind it cooperation, growth and development and achievement of its purpose and objective to change society for good.

Nsukaba NsidifiokNsukaba Nsidifiok, former marketing manager, Newswatch Communications Limited – When an outfit is run by a professional in the long run you see the difference. What we have seen today is a product of diligence, focus. In fact, Maureen has been a friend overtime, and bringing all these people together on the fourth anniversary of Realnews is not a surprise because from day one she has been into journalism. It is not anyhow journalism, when others were going for cheap gratifications she had always remained focused on her job. She came into Newswatch at a very difficult time and she was able to pull the newsroom together and gave them focus until she was promoted to the general editor of Newswatch. And at that point you know what a general means in the military, so that was how she managed Newswatch until it was taken over by the new management when we all left. So what you have seen in the Realnews so far with the structures she is trying to put on ground, the organisation will outlive her and her generations. So that is my prayer for Realnews.

Adama GayeAdama Gaye, author, journalist and chief executive officer, Newforce Africa, an Africa public relations and business consultancy, Dakar, Senegal – Realnews can only be a good product of the person who created –  a very serious, hardworking, determined and foresighted person. I have known Maureen Chigbo when she started her career in journalism at NAN and I was then the director of communications at the ECOWAS and I recorded how humble she was; how determined she was to learn, how honest she was and to see her achieve this height by setting up not only the powerful medium but putting something that is in tune with the 21st century indicate that she is really bent on moving upward. The sky is her limit from this project. I think that these days’ people do not longer read the physical papers. They go online to get their information and that she has been foresighted to do that indicates that she is ahead of time. And the product Realnews has been good. You read something that is really happening in the country and I think all these goes down to the leadership of the founder of this institution and I’m happy that she deserved to be supported and we will continue to support her.

— Nov 28, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT

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