Media hosts Betty Irabor at 60: A global media colloquium with leading industry voices

The event took place on Tuesday 25th April 2017 at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, highlighting our proclivity for storytelling and the importance of maintaining high journalism standards, ethics and integrity in media reporting.

The day was moderated by Communications specialist and founder of Women in Journalism conference, Yomi Owope and Award winning Journalist, Tolu Adeleru Balogun.

Notable guests included: Tara Fela Durotoye, Lady Maiden Ibru, Toun Okewale Sonaiya, Mimi Onalaja, Ayo Thompson, Olive Emodi, Salma Phillips, Biola Alabi, Onah Nwachukwu, Ifeyinwa Omowole, amongst others.

The welcome address was given by Ms Sonia Irabor, the daughter of Mr Soni and Mrs Betty Irabor, the citation by Mrs Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Founder of The Woman Magazine and the Keynote speech by Dr Doyinsola Abiola PhD.

The panel discussion tagged truth and integrity spoke about journalism in the age of social media, fake news and citizen reporting. The discussions were headed by Dr. Reuben Abati, Kadaria Ahmed, Chude Jideonwo, Funke Egbemode. Contributions were received by Stephanie Busari, Bayo Onanuga, Motunrayo Alaka, Kunle Ayeni with an executive summary by Funke Treasure Durodola.

With a parliamentary debate in to the activities of the media in Nigeria and the debate about the integrity of journalists, especially those operating online, the need for media that can be trusted seems greater than ever. So the question, do we need different codes of journalistic norms for the digital age? Or in a world where the torrent of information and misinformation make it harder than ever to know what is real and what is not, how can professional journalists help the public they serve to provide impartial and objective news and information? What will the next five years look like for the journalism profession in Nigeria?

It is now more important than ever to establish what is true and to raise the quality of public debate about the media industry in general and specifically the practice of journalism. Journalists, regulators, politicians and people in general are struggling to make the solutions of the last century for the changed media characteristics and conditions of the new century.

The debate was centred around the following solutions:

  • Greater transparency
  • Redefining objectivity
  • New codes of practice
  • New forms of regulation (do we leave this to the politicians? Do we regulate ourselves?)
  • Greater emphasis on education and media literacy
  • Evidence-led news gathering
  • Diversity of opinion

2 key things we learnt:

  1. Knowledge of and loyalty to a code of ethics is the most important way of defining who can be called a journalist in the strict sense of the term

  1. We should strengthen institutions for the education of tomorrow’s journalists to raise the standard of African journalism with excellence and integrity at its core.

This event was proudly supported by So.Me Solutions, Media Room Hub and Women in Journalism.

See more photos from the event;


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