IPI conference: President Buhari hosts global media executives

Ugo Okoro, Abuja

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President Muhammad Buhari is to declare open the congress of the International Press Institute (IPI) in Abuja on Thursday.

The IPI is a global network of editors, journalists and media executives, who promote conditions that allow journalism to thrive without interference and fear.

Spokesman of the 2018 IPI congress, Mr. Eric Osagie, President Buhari will perform the opening ceremony of the two-day 2018 IPI congress at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja at 4 pm.

Osagie said after President Buhari declares the congress open, there will be an event entitled, “Conversation with the Government of Nigeria,” where four ministers will address participants and take questions.

The ministers are: General Abdurahman Dambazau (Interior); Chibuike Amaechi (Transportation); Okey Enelamah (Trade and Commerce) and Kemi Adeosun (Finance).

The event at the presidential Villa will be rounded off with a cocktail party hosted by Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello.

The 2018 IPI congress, with theme, “Why Good Journalism Matters,” will move to the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Friday, where papers on various topics will be presented.

Expert sessions

Papers to be presented are to showcase investigative stories and projects that bring positive change to individuals and communities in Africa and around the world.

At the Friday session of the congress, five editors and publishers from world’s leading publications will speak on the topic: “Why Good Journalism Matters (And How to Make People Like it.”

They include: John Daniszewski, Vice President, The Associated Press; Glenda Gloria, managing editor, Rappler; David Jordan, director (editorial policy), BBC; Khadija Patel, editor-in-chief, Mail & Guardian and Mostefa Souaj, acting director-general, Al-Jazeera.

There will also be a paper on “Covering Elections, Advancing Democracy,” by Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu and Mr. Lanre Arogundade, director, International Press Centre.

Other papers are: Africa’s Looking to the Future. So is its Journalism” by Juliet Ehimuan, country director of Google; “Reporting Africa – Shaping a New Africa Narrative by Roukaya Kasenally, CEO, Africa Media Initiative and “Covering Development: A Guide to African Journalists” by Lisa Anne Essex, trainer, European Journalism Centre.

Victor Bwire, programmes manager of Media Council of Kenya and Hamza Idris, politics editor, Daily Trust Newspapers, will both present a paper on “Understanding Terrorism and Conflict in Africa.

Another paper titled: “Fighting the Good Fight: African Media Face the Might of State Censorship,” will be presented by Deodatus Balile, Acting Chairman of Tanzania Editor’s Forum (TEF); Joan Chirwa, Editor-in-Chief and CEO, The Mast and Barbara Kaija, Editor-in-Chief, New Vision Printing & Publishing Company.

Also, there will be a paper, “Why Journalists Struggle to Make a Living and What we can do about it” by Ralph Akinfeleye, professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Lagos; Funke Egbemode, president, Nigerian Guild of Editors; Mohammed Idris, publisher, Blueprint Newspapers and Abdulwaheed Odusile, president, Federation of African Journalists (FAJ).

The day’s session will be rounded off by a “Conversation with Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka. Kenneth Woosuk Choi, Editor of The Chosun Daily Newspaper, Korea will also speak at the event.

The Saturday session of the congress will feature papers on “Collaborative Investigative Reporting on Corruption, Financial Crime and Abuse of Power; Covering Natural Resources and the Extractive Sector; Contending with Fake News and Propaganda; Innovative Ways to Fund Investigative Journalism; What Change Can I Bring? Evidence is Power: Presentation of Independent and Secure Platforms for Journalists in Nigeria.”

The Saturday session will also feature two workshops and the IPI General Assembly.

Osagie said the congress is a rare opportunity for Nigeria to showcase its best. “It is also an opportunity to re-brand the country.”