By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the umbrella body of all editors in the country, has held this year’s edition of its annual flagship conference, the All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC), yesterday.
In normal tradition, the ANEC is usually a three-day event, but President of the Guild, Mr. Mustapha Isah, said this year’s edition was virtual (Via Zoom) and one day.
According to a statement issued by the Guild’s Social and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ken Ugbeche, a copy of which was made available to The Triumph, indicated that the conference was themed: ‘Media, People and COVID-19: How to Create Sustainability in the Digital Era.’
The statement quoted Mr. Isah explaining that the Guild had to adjust the conference in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant safety protocols of social distancing and virtual communication among others.
“Every year, members of the Guild physically gather under one roof to brainstorm on national issues, including state of the media, but this year, as thought-leaders and agenda-setters, we have decided to model our conference in tune with the exigencies of the moment, hence the decision to make it a one-day event,” Mr. Isah said.
It added that this year’s event is the 16th in the series and was chaired by Alhaji Kabiru Yusuf, a Fellow of the Guild and chairman of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust newspapers among other publications.
Yusuf, also a member of the Board of the International Press Institute (IPI), is a recipient of many awards, including the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ).
The chairman of the Planning Committee, Mr. Steve Nwosu, said the event was essentially a capacity building session keynoted by Mr. Taiwo Obe, a Fellow of the Guild and Founder/Director, The Journalism Clinic, a Lagos-based journalism training centre with international affiliations.
According to Mr. Nwosu, the choice of the theme was deliberate.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a big blow to an already distressed media industry, shrinking revenues both from advertising and readership.
“There is, therefore, the need now more than ever to seek new ways to create the type of content, aesthetics and overall values that would help sustain media as a business.
“This informed the choice of the theme and the keynoter by the Planning Committee.
“We hope members of the Guild would maximize the opportunities that this year’s special edition of our ANEC presents to us,” Mr. Nwosu said.
Many members of the Guild from across the country, to include those from its Northern part, such as those from Kano and Jigawa States, participated during the conference.