Two distinguished Nigerian public intellectuals – Dr Nduka Otiono and Barrister Kingsley Osadolor – are billed to champion discussion in the inaugural professional development meeting – an exhaustive intellectual discourse – being planned and organized by alumni of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka also known as Jacksonites Worldwide Forum.
Dr Nduka Otiono, an Associate Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, will be leading discussion on the subject: A ‘Captured’ Media in an Insecure Nation: Democracy and Free Speech on Trial? Dr Otiono brings to the table a bouquet of intellectual and professional excellence in various areas of his endeavour. He is the Graduate Programme Supervisor at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and also the author/co-author of 10 books on creative writing and academic research. As a former journalist and General Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Otiono is upbeat about the subject which is of particular interest to him as it “speaks to the present realities in Nigeria.” The Chairman of the Professional Development Series Steering Committee, Chinedu Mba ,a Professor at Algonquin College, Ottawa, Cañada, who shared thoughts with Otiono, revealed that Otiono feels highly honoured by the invitation to lead discussion on such an important subject in the life of the nation, noting that Nigeria was indeed at a crossroads.
Similarly, veteran journalist and ace broadcaster, Mr. Kingsley Osadolor, has been tipped to moderate the first special professional development series. Mr. Osadolor, a lawyer, comes along with decades of professional and intellectual accomplishments in the media and communication sector as well as political advisory. Currently he anchors the influential ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). At various times, Mr. Osadolor was the Deputy Managing Director, Guardian Newspapers; former Commissioner for Information, Edo State and Special Adviser to the Minister of Information. He is a Fellow, Nigerian Guild of Editors and once Editor of The Guardian on Sunday. Osadolor said, “This is familiar territory. But the subject matter of media capture in Nigeria has not received the rigorous interrogation it deserves in the context of the country’s sub-optimal democratic experience and aggravated security challenges that now gravely imperil life and livelihoods.”
The Steering Committee for the Professional Development Series of Jacksonites Worldwide Forum said that the Professional Development Series is intended to assist professionals in media and communication to keep abreast with developments in their career in a fast-changing world. The Committee Chairman, Prof. Chinedu Afigbo said, “So much is lined up for the 30th of July and afterwards. The Jacksonites Forum as a departmental alumni association, is happy to champion the design and delivery of a well-thought-out programme to keep members and other interested professionals on the cutting edge of their profession. The Chairman added that the media and communication industry being dynamic, professionals need to be on top of their games to be able to continuously deliver on their mandate.
The first in the series of the development seminars will be held on Friday, 30 July via virtual platform. Participants will be expected to register in advance through a link that will be shared. The PD series is a community development initiative of the alumni of the department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.