By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has urged maritime reporters to take advantage of the social media in dissemination of information projecting the maritime sector positively.
Hadiza acknowledged that the digital mobile and social media has taken centre stage in news dissemination, and Nigerian maritime reporters must not be left out.
The NPA in collaboration with the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI) on Monday kicked off the 3-day training program tagged “Challenges and Opportunities for Maritime News Reportage in an Increasing Digital Mobile and Social Media Environment” at the NASPRI auditorium, Bonny Camp, Lagos.
Hadiza who was represented by Head of Graphics and Production Unit of NPA, Mr. Akosile Olusola Kayode noted that the advent of new media has really changed the face of journalism in Nigeria, and there is need for NPA to train maritime journalist on the dynamics of the new media.
In her opening remarks, she said “It is a much needed endeavor, at the end of this training, the reporters must have learn and unlearned”
She acknowledged that there has been a robust, existing relationship between NPA and the maritime media, and that this is not the first time NPA was training journalists.
“The corporate and strategic communication department has had a robust relationship with journalists and it has existed for years”
“The advent of new media has really changed the face of journalism, and I believe we are going to learn more about it here, I cannot remember the last time I read a newspaper because everything is now online, and you can actually get news on your phone”
“Social media has come to stay and there is nothing we can do about it” she said
Participants in the training were drawn from various media houses, as well as officials from the Corporate and Strategic Communication Department of NPA.
Also, seasoned lecturers were carefully selected to do justice to the topic including Dr Suraj Olunifesi, Senior Lecturer at University of Lagos (UNILAG), Zonal Director of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Mr Ahmed Lawal, renowned public relations expert, Merce Anyanwu among others.
In his welcome address, Acting Commandant of NASPRI, Col Abubakar Ankar disclosed that this is the second in the series of training organised by NASPRI and NPA for maritime reporters.
According to him, the training would further enhance maritime journalists capacity and proficiency on the job.
Speaking, he said “It is often said that learning is from cradle to grave, and indeed a process that requires continuous training and retraining”
“It is on this premise that we deemed it fit that it is necessary to synergize with the Nigerian Ports Authority to carry out training of the reporters in the maritime sector”
“The theme of the program was well coined and the topics well selected to add value to the participants and enhance the already existing relationship between NASPRI, the Nigerian Army at large and NPA”
Consultant to NASPRI on the program, Mr Marce Anyanwu while delivering a lecture titled “Preservation of National Security and Reputation of Organisation through Fair Reportage” identified the maritime press as a principal player in the arena of national security.
According to him, the perception and reports of the international media is totally false, and it behoves on Nigerian media to launder the image of the country.
“Putting your country down in your reports constitutes your inability to preserve national security” he said