Why I left The Nation –Otufodunrin

Why I left The Nation –Otufodunrin
Otufodunrin

Popular Nigerian journalist committed to media career development, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, on Monday, announced his resignation from The Nation newspaper.

The Managing Editor, Online, of the newspaper, Otufodunrin has put in over 30 years into journalism practice.

He is a pioneer member of The Nation.

Announcing his resignation in a statement made available on his social media pages, Otufodunrin explained that his resignation did not mean leaving journalism, but to exploit other areas in connection with the profession.

According to him, his new exploit would be the actualisation of a dream dating back to 1998.

He said it had to do with career development bordering on mentoring and coaching young journalists to help them achieve their goals in the profession.

“In an industry where continuous training is not given priority in the country, ensuring that journalists are fulfilled on the job and maximize available opportunities demand a deliberate, planned and sustained structure which I want to devote the rest of my career to.

“With the depression in the industry, journalists more than ever before need more than regular trainings which only a small percentage of practitioners benefit from. Journalists need regular motivation. They need inspiration, encouragement, coaching, counseling, accessible resources and much more to remain committed journalists.

“From the Media Career Development Centre in Ogba, Lagos, I will be the Executive Director of the Media Career Development Network along with a board of eminent Trustees and Advisers.

“From January 1, 2019 I and some other mentors will be available for consultation on media career development issues physically and through all channels of communication,” he said.

The statement reads in full:

In one of their popular songs, Knowing me, Knowing you, the legendary Swedish pop music group, Abba sang “Breaking up is never easy, I know, but I have to go.”

After 13 years of working in The Nation Newspapers, out of my cumulative over thirty years of being a journalist, I’m not about breaking up from journalism, but I have resigned my appointment to become a full-time Media Career Development Specialist effective January 1, 2019.

Resigning from The Nation Newspaper where I was a pioneer staff and have had a very fulfilling career is not easy for me. I have enjoyed every moment and would love to stay on considering especially the unfinished task of making The Nation digital platforms number one, but I feel more compelled to take up the challenge of contributing my own quota to providing the much-needed structured media career platform for journalists in Nigeria.

Over the years, I have experimented with all manner of media career support programmes for journalists, but I need full-time attention to give this crucial task of mentoring and coaching, especially mid-career, young and student journalists to become the journalists they ought to be.

In an industry where continuous training is not given priority in the country, ensuring that journalists are fulfilled on the job and maximize available opportunities demand a deliberate, planned and sustained structure which I want to devote the rest of my career to.

With the depression in the industry, journalists more than ever before need more than regular trainings which only a small percentage of practitioners benefit from. Journalists need regular motivation. They need inspiration, encouragement, coaching, counseling, accessible resources and much more to remain committed journalists.

From the Media Career Development Centre in Ogba, Lagos, I will be the Executive Director of the Media Career Development Network along with a board of eminent Trustees and Advisers.

From January 1, 2019 I and some other mentors will be available for consultation on media career development issues physically and through all channels of communication.

I am looking forward to visiting newsrooms to chat with journalists on how to enhance their career prospects. When journalists get stressed and disillusioned with their work as it is once in a while, I want them to call our help line 08050498530 and speak to someone who can help them get over what they are going through.

I want to sit down all day with Mass Communication students and aspiring journalists to explain to them how to prepare for a fulfilling media career. I want to share with them all sides of the story of the profession. Not only the ‘old wives tales’ of the doom picture of the profession.

I want to travel across the country and share with journalists outside Lagos and Abuja, opportunities and resources they should be aware of. I want support media training organisations in mentoring journalists after workshops and seminars.

I want to work with our media unions and groups to organize more professional programmes and network with international media support organisations.

The above and many more I want to do especially at this time when our profession is going through digital disruption. I will appreciate all the support and understanding I can get for this dream that dates back to 1998 when I returned from Thomson Foundation in Cardiff, United Kingdom.

In the countdown to January 1, 2019, I will share more details of our plans and recall the various unforgettable moments of my career so far. Watch out.

It has been a pleasure working at The Nation. It will be a greater pleasure working for all journalists.