For the first time in its four-decade existence, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board is being a represented at the World Congress of the International Press Institute in Vienna, Austria.
This was made possible by the present leadership of the Board which, in a bid to align its operations with international best practices, is showcasing its potential to the whole world not only to harvest expert opinions on its activities but also to benchmark with other organisations on ways and means of improving on its service delivery.
It is worthy of note that while many government entities are cocooning themselves to foreclose public scrutiny, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board is moving in the opposite direction as its attendance at the congress was intended to invite expert scrutiny as local experts with analytical minds as well as international civil organisations including very distinguished members of the international press community would have the opportunity to assess its internal operations.
This exposure would, no doubt, go a long way in underscoring the importance that the present leadership o f t h e B o a r d a tt a c h e d t o t h e institutionalisation of transparency, fairness and equity. Representing the Board at this global forum for editors, journalists and media executives, who share a common dedication to quality and independent journalism, is the Head, Public Affairs and Protocols, JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin.
The 70th IPI Congress, which began on Wednesday, 15th September 2021, critically reviewed the global situation of press freedom and the media industry in general especially in the wake of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The body expressed concerns that the coronavirus pandemic has seen the spread of new norms and tendencies that have endangered the free flow of information while stressing the need for accurate and independent reportage given the prevailing circumstances globally.
Congress also frowns at the brutal crackdowns on the press as seen in the vicious attacks on the media in Belarus and Myanmar, where journalists face harassment, arrest, and violence for reporting on pro-democracy agitations. IPI members demanded the immediate release of all journalists held by the Belarusian regime and Myanmar’s military junta, in addition to the freeing of every other journalist jailed across the globe.
Furthermore, the congress featured lectures, master classes and seminars on varying topics such as Africa Talk: Innovation in Distribution of News on Messaging Platforms; Think Globally, Report Locally; Sustainable Financing of Media: How can Philanthropy Help?; Master classes dwelled on such topical issues as Combating Online Harassment; Strategy Roundtable: Independent Journalism; Cooperation and Solidarity in Central and Eastern Europe; Town Hall: Strategies for Resistance; Conversation: Are you still there? How to Keep and Grow our Audiences; among others.
Nigeria’s Raheem Adedoyin was on Thursday, 16th September, 2021, elected alongside 15 others, to the Governing Board of the 70-year-old Institute. Mr Adedoyin, who is the Chairman, Editorial Board of The Herald Newspapers and Secretary of the IPI, Nigeria Chapter, was elected unopposed to the Board of the prestigious body. Mr Adedoyin succeeds late Wada Maida, the publisher of People’s Daily. Maida had succeeded Mr Kabir Yusuf, the publisher of Daily Trust. The election was held at the 70th IPI General Assembly with at least 200 journalists in attendance while a substantial number had virtually tuned in to the event worldwide.
IPI Chairman, Markus Spillman, in his address, congratulated Mr Adedoyin and other newly-elected IPI Board members. Other newly-elected Board members are: Walid Batrawi (Palestine); John Daniszewski (USA); Marton Gergely (Hungary); Emre Kizilkaya (Turkey); Elizaveta Osetinskaya (Russia); Etaf Roudan (Jordan); Hiroki Sugita (Japan); Jussi Tuulensuu (Finland); and Sami Zeidan (Qatar). Zaffar Abbas (Pakistan) was re-elected to the Board alongside Mahfuz Anam (Bangladesh); Monika Eigenaperger (Austria); David Jordan (UK); Riyad Mathew (India); and Khadija Patel (South Africa).
Nigerian delegates to the congress comprised: Sir. Folu Olamiti, member of IPI (Nigeria) Board of Trustees who is the Chairman of the Church of Nigeria Advent Cable Network Nigeria Television (ACNNTV) and Publisher/CEO Newspot Online Newspaper ; M r Dapo Olorunyomi, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Premium Times; Dr Benjamin Fabian, Head, Public Affairs and Protocols of JAMB; Mrs Tawakalitu Olayemi Yusuf, member of the Executive Management of Sobi FM and IPI member; as