Ramadan Mubarak!I pray that we get the full blessings of Ramadan and may Allah (SWT) grant us more blessings in the year to come.Amin Summa Amin.Ramadan Kareem,
Started by gogannaka, August 17, 2008, 08:29:18 PM
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Quote from: gogannaka on July 25, 2011, 02:28:37 PMWritten by Wole Olaoye (firstname.lastname@example.org) Monday, 25 July 2011 05:00Daily Trust. 25-07-11We are a very confident people. You would easily recognize a Nigerian outside these shores. Some foreigners think we are too confident, brash and even arrogant. The Nigerian is wont to assert his rights at every opportunity even if he couldn't do that at home. Like many of my compatriots, I am proud to be a Nigerian, but unlike some of my countrymen and women I am not blinded by the magnitude of the work yet to be done before we can rub shoulders with the advanced countries of the world.There are times that we carry our self-confidence too far. This makes it difficult for us to strive for excellence. Take the case of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), which styles itself as the "largest TV network in Africa". A station which operates from a boys'-quarter-type premises in Abuja whose entire acreage is not more than that of one standard studio in some other countries is styling itself the largest network on the continent? It is true that the NTA has many mini-stations scattered all over the country, but to what avail? The DSTV cable network is headquartered in South Africa without much physical presence in Nigeria but there is hardly any home in our urban areas that doesn't subscribe to the network. Indeed, many people can't access NTA and other Nigerian stations, except through DSTV.The situation is comparable to a man who has 50 mini-buses and styles himself as the largest transporter in the land; he conveniently forgets that just across the border is another transporter who runs a train service.In terms of set design, perhaps only Channels and NN24 can be said to have an idea of what standards are about. NTA is flat, drab, and archaic. But it is our national television station, and that is why we must not just gloss over the matter. Check out China's CCTV which is a visual delight. One may criticize the sometimes academic bent of some of the programming, but the visual presentation is riveting. How many years ago did Aljazeera commence operations? Today, that station is giving CNN a run for its money. Excellence is not about hype. When you visit a Nigerian office or home, you find that the TV is either tuned to Africa Magic, CNN or Aljazeera. The only time Nigerians stay riveted to NTA is perhaps during the 9 o' clock network news or if there is some contentious issue being trashed out at the National Assembly.Instead of living in the past, the Nigerian Television Authority ought to comprehensively retool. Stations such as the AIT have been blazing new trails in several areas, particularly in sports casting. NTA still relies on old tapes of Olympic Games held several decades ago. Who wants to be served a regular menu of items from your video morgue?A cursory look at the TV industry in Nigeria shows that NTA produced most of the professionals who now form the core of personnel of the new stations. So, we are not necessarily indicting the staff of NTA but the system that makes the station stagnate. A station cannot make further progress when those who call the shots think that they are the "largest station in Africa". The system is such that once the NTA satisfies those in power; it can carry on as a local champion without aspiring to the highest standards in the industry.I recall that when the Western Nigerian Television/Broadcasting Service, WNTV/WNBS, was established in 1959, it was the first TV station in Africa. Yes, Nigeria preceded South Africa in that area. But where are we, 52 years after? South Africa is spoon-feeding us a diet of foreign channels and our own NTA is celebrating its stunted development.Just like the NTA, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria has also not lived up to its billing as the "station of the millennium". We love high-sounding words as if they are capable of transforming a hamlet into a sky-scraper. I don't know if they have a bandwidth problem but I sometimes find it difficult to get clear signals from FRCN. The seeming ubiquity of FM stations doesn't help matters. But on the professional newsgathering front, FRCN is lagging behind. Our news is staid and often dated. We don't get the immediacy that is apparent in BBC or VOA. The problem can't be with the staffing. Our journalists and broadcasters have excelled in other climes where they had the necessary tools and working e appropriate environment.I am aware that both NTA and FRCN have been 'commercialised', but what does that mean? A licence to stay mired in the stagnant mud of mediocrity? When is NTA going to be able to rub shoulders with CNN and Aljazeera? Will FRCN ever be in the same league with stations like BBC, VOA and Radio Deutsche Welle?Like a child who insists that his father's farm is the largest without bothering to check out the size of other people's farm, we tag everything Nigerian 'first' or 'largest'. The world laughs at us. We travel to other countries and admire the strength of their institutions and the excellence of their output but refuse to replicate same at home.I hope Information Minister Labaran Maku will be able to breathe life into the "largest TV network in Africa" and the "station of the millennium". He has his job cut out.And while we are at it, the rest of us should control our tendency of thinking that the world begins and ends in our little corner of the world: a pharmaceutical company opens a puny plant in some remote part of Nigeria and styles it "the biggest plant in Africa"; a pure water factory is commissioned in Abule-Egba and christened "the biggest producer of treated water in Africa"; a food processing plant is established in some NEPA-less suburb and hyped as "the biggest food processing plant in Africa".We have to grow up and live up to our potentials instead of spreading unfounded rumours about our place in the scheme of things. Otherwise we would continue to be the butt of jokes in the more advanced countries of the world. "Comparing oneself with Galileo or Einstein is certainly good for the ego" says John McCarthy, "— provided one refrains from going into too much detail".
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