As Realnews prepares to marks its 10th Anniversary with its lecture series on Thursday, November 17, prominent Nigerians and Africans have been sending goodwill messages to the online publication. The goodwill messengers, who have been reading Realnews over the years, have also prayed for its success and advised the pioneer online investigative magazine in Nigeria on how to sustain its good works for the future.
Those who showered encomiums on Realnews include Mohammed Ibn Chambas, former President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ted Iwere, founder, SME Media Limited, Comfort Coleman, Chief Executive officer, NEKEGO Resources and Gifty Samata Bukari, General Counsel, Ghana.
Also not left out in the galore of tributes are former bosses of Maureen Chigbo, publisher of the Realnews at the Newswatch Communications Limited. They are Ray Ekpu, former chief executive officer of Newswatch Communications Limited and chief executive officer of MayFive; Dan Agbese, former editor-in-chief of Newswatch Magazine, Yakubu Mohammed, former deputy chief executive office of Newswatch Communications Limited and executive director of MayFive and Soji Akinrinade, Executive, Editor, Newswatchplus.
The others are Ngozi Anyaegbunam, president, Media World, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, founder/convener, NECCI PR Roundtable; Paul Ejime, consultant, Strategic Communications, Media Elections and Global Politics.
In his message, Chambas said: “Realnews has established itself as the leading online news platform with timely, verified, fact-based, non-sensational reportage that sets it apart from its peers. What is remarkable is that this high caliber of journalism has been attained in a relatively short span of ten years. Clearly, its best days are yet to come. Happy 10th Anniversary!!!”
Also congratulating Realnews on reaching a new milestone in its journey of delivering journalistic excellence, Coleman said: “An ardent follower of its progress so far will confirm that it is a news organisation and a platform that has stayed true to its founding principles. The press is the Fourth Estate of the realm and therefore is charged with the setting agenda for public discussion. This Realnews has done creditably by choosing from inception topics that set and keep the conversation going.
According to her, “In fact, its selection of its keynote speakers from Prof. Maurice Iwu to Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo to Mohammed Ibn Chambers to Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili to His excellency, President John Mahama of Ghana to Mr. Boss Mustapha to Engr. Simbi Wabote, and now Retired General Buba Marwa, the NDLEA boss, at a time when drug use is ravaging Nigeria, attest to its investment in the Nigerian project and indeed Africa. The high-level speakers and discussants at the Realnews Lectures series have distinguished the online publication as the agenda setter for Nigeria’s discussion of issues that are close to the heart of the people of Nigeria.
“The copies produced by Realnews, have indeed been worthy to be referred to as news material. You have stayed true and refused to be dragged down the ignominious part of presenting opinions as news items. Realnews has stood for the facts for the common good rather than sensationalism, which today’s media has embraced because of clicks. Well done. We pray for you that your next 20, 30, 40 years, and beyond will continue to reflect this professionalism and balanced reporting. Please do not waiver as you break new grounds and keep the journalistic flag flying. You are indeed a delight to wake up to and to read. Once more congratulations on your 10th anniversary.”
Similarly, Agbese narrated a perspective to Realnews journalistic disposition that led to the milestone. According to him, “At Newswatch magazine, Maureen Chigbo’s forte was in business and economics reporting. Her reportage helped in no small way to lift that very important desk in the magazine. We worked together on the desk. I was always suspicious of my business and economics reporters because they had a penchant for dressing up their copies in arcane jargon that I found irritating. There was no room for them in a general interest magazine. I worried for nothing in the case of Maureen. She knew her readers wanted to read about the wealthy, not the high-net-worth individuals.
“Under her editorship of our business and economics section of the magazine, it became the go-to section for its style of reportage and the breadth of its coverage. I was glad to see that she parlayed that passion and bias into founding her online magazine, Realnews. The magazine has already carved a niche for itself. It dares to go where other publications, including the mainstream publications, dare not. Thanks to it, some of us now know much more about the corruption and the shenanigans in such critical industries as oil and energy. It does not just publish real news in business and the economy, it also breaks new grounds in politics.
“As the magazine marks its tenth anniversary, I heartily congratulate its founder as well as the editorial and other staff of the company. They have done and are doing a marvellous job as professional journalists. But there is still much more to do because new challenges never fail to show up in human societies.
“The magazine needs to pay more attention to agriculture. It has become a victim of pious political promises that have changed nothing for the better. The magazine needs to do more in interpretative reporting in its core area of bias. Many of us do not know as much as we claim in the critical areas of business and the economy.
“This country cannot feed itself because it is unable to consistently get it right, given the myriads of policy summersaults and contradictory policies of one step forward, and several steps backward. If our country cannot get its economy right, it cannot get its security right; it cannot get its industrialisation right and it cannot its education and the employment of our young people right.
“I know that publications do not solve problems, but it is their constitutional duty to hold governments accountable to the people by exposing corruption and the wrong policies and good policies with short shelf lives that make matters worse for the country and its people. This country needs to move forward as in move forward.”
For Anyaegunam, “IN ten years Realnews has become a standard bearer, a formidable reference in today’s redefined core journalism. Maureen Chigbo, Chief Executive Officer of Realnews, has a lofty and comprehensive dream and she is travelling on the right path to achieving it. Congratulations to the Staff and Management of Realnews and to the many family and friends, partners, and well-wishers who have been part of this great journey. It is exciting to watch it grow.”
On his part, Ekpu observed that “Most online publications strive to be the first to break the news. That way they compromise accuracy and factuality. Your publication has scored very high on accuracy and factuality. I commend you for that.”
Agreeing, Iwere noted that “In the continually changing world of the internet, online news websites can be here today and be gone tomorrow. However, in 10 years and counting, Realnews Magazine Online continues to expand coverage of politics, business, and general interest for its Nigerian and global audiences. Realnews Magazine Online has become a proven and reliable source of up-to-the-minute news and information on Nigeria and the world. With its unique blend of investigative journalism, news aggregation, and blogging, which keeps us abreast of what’s happening around us, as it happens, Realnews Magazine Online is now an integral part of our daily lives.
“If the past is a predictor of the future, the achievements of Realnews Magazine in its first decade may well be exhibitions before the start of the season. Kudos to the management and staff of Realnews Magazine and Publications Limited, under the able, enterprising. I congratulate Realnews Magazine for its professionalism as it enters the second decade of service to its readers.”
Also, Yakubu Mohammed said: “It is heartening to know that you have kept faith in the profession and the reading public by consistently publishing news that is authoritative, dependable, and very professional. Keep doing what you are doing. Going forward, you can only improve on what you are doing. You don’t change a winning formula. Keep it up and congratulations!”
Noting that “the tenacity with which Realnews reports and the accuracy of your reports have made Realnews a reliable online news medium, Ali-Balogun, advised the publication “to emphasise more on research as well as in-depth analysis and investigation to separate itself from the crowd.” “There is so much going on in our society today and so Realnews may also want to add some news feature for more robust stories. I commend your assertiveness and dogged determination to succeed. I commend your resilience in an industry dominated by men. Kudos Realnews. The best is yet to come,” she said.
For Samatha Gifty Bukari, Counsel General, Ghana Consulate General, “With my one-year experience with Realnews, you are proactive, reporting confidently and accurately. I appreciate the hardwork as well as good news and urge you to sustain it.”
Congratulating Realnews, Akinrinade, stated that “In the last few years, journalism has been in turmoil, if not decline. There has been a perceptible shift towards unsubstantiated news, outright lies, and sensationalism. They are ills that have not really left journalism, although today’s reporting has become more opinionated even when it is not an op-ed piece.
“In the event, the coming of online publications has made matters more complicated but thank God for Realnews, which was birthed 10 years ago. The pedigree of its publisher, Maureen Chigbo is quite evident in the publication’s coverage of news – thorough, fact-based, and insightful. Chigbo is ex-News Agency of Nigeria, and an ex-Newswatch magazine editor, so Realnews follows the straight and narrow path of the profession. And that is why when others provide us with “adulterated” news, Realnews at 10, can boast of still giving us the real news, “boring” but accurate and dependable. Congratulations.”
Ejime, who was also a former boss of Realnews at the News Agency of Nigeria, said that “Realnews Magazine is 10 years old in Nigeria’s tough and challenging media environment is not a fluke, going by the character, competence and unquenchable hunger for professional excellence of Maureen Ebele Chigbo, the Editor/Publisher.
According to him, “Maureen is among the diminishing class of journalists who are sticklers to the ethics of the journalism profession and for which she has won several laurels. Realnews blazed the trail as an online news magazine and has continued to wax stronger.
“As we celebrate and congratulate Maureen and her team for the magazine’s 10th Anniversary and achievements, it is fair to remind them that good work means more work. Bravo Realnews!”
Realnews reports that Elizabeth Ebi, group chief executive officer of Futureview Financial Services Limited, will chair the lecture, which will be delivered by His Excellency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, chairman and chief executive officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
The lecture which will hold at the Sheraton Hotel by 12 noon will feature Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, former director general and member of the Presidential Committee on Eradication of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), Dr. Dokun Adedeji, director general, Christ against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM) and Dr. Nkemakolam Ndionuka, consultant psychiatrist and medical director, Tranquil & Quest Behavioural Health as discussants.
Realnews, a general interest magazine, is an online publication that thrives on investigative journalism. We have expertise in reporting the oil and gas sector with its attendant environmental challenges. We aim to unearth exclusive stories about real people and the challenges they are facing in their day-to-day activities. We do this bearing in mind that government can only act to influence the lives of people positively if they are aware of their true situation. Hence, our objective is to use our investigative skills to ferret out information in the sectors we focus on and produce an unbiased report which will actually influence the government and decision-makers to take actions that will make society better.
Realnews is populated by seasoned journalists who believe strongly in the tenets and ethics of the profession. The online publication believes that journalism as the fourth Estate of the Realm can contribute its quota towards building a fair and just society where fundamental human rights are respected and citizens have the freedom to pursue their interests anywhere in the world without hindrance. Its editors have a combined experience of several decades in active journalism practice and are highly dedicated to serving humanity. Hence its motto: “For God and Humanity.”
Realnews Anniversary Lecture Series was established to commemorate the best minds in our society and to tap from them to enrich the discourse in our national development.
The 9th Anniversary Lecture of Realnews in 2021 was delivered by Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on “Nigeria in the Unfolding Integration of the African Market: The Oil and Gas Perspective”; 2020 Eighth Anniversary Lecture of Realnews was delivered by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 on Managing COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa: The Nigeria Experience; Former President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana gave the 2019 Lecture on Beyond Politics: An Economic Narrative for West Africa while Prof. Mahmood Yakubu spoke on Political Transitions and Africa’s Economic Development: Preparations for Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections at the 2018 Lecture. The 2017 Fifth Anniversary Lecture on African Leadership in a Turbulent Era was delivered by Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of Education and former World Bank Vice President. The 2016 Fourth Anniversary Lecture on Security and National Development in Plural Democratic Society was delivered by Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, former United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative to West Africa and Sahel; the 2015 Realnews Third Anniversary Lecture was delivered by Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on November 19, 2015, under the theme: It’s The Nigerian Economy, Stupid? The Second Realnews Anniversary Lecture on Nigerian Democracy: Getting it Right in 2014 was delivered by Professor Maurice Iwu, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).