Editor In Chief and Managing Director of Genevieve Magazine, Mrs. Betty Irabor (Aunty Betty), recently clocked 60. As part of the celebrations, the Media decided to put together a colloquium in her honor.
Spotted at the event which held on the 25th of April, 2016 at The Agip Recital Hall, Muson Center Lagos were Mrs. Betty Irabor, Mr. Soni Irabor, Sonia Irabor, Onah Nwachukwu, Tewa Onasanya, Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Chidera Muoka, Deola Adebiyi, Mimi Onalaja, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Oma Ehiri, Funke Treasure Durodola, Kadaria Ahmed, Reuben Abati, Funke Egbemode, Chude Jidenowo, Elizabeth Osho and others.
The hosts of the event, Tolu and Yomi, kicked off the event by 11am, giving us a brief as to why the event was being put together to honor Aunty Betty but to also address an issue that affects the media especially since the advent of social media. They went on to invite Sonia Irabor, daughter of Aunty Betty and the Assistant editor of Genevieve Magazine, to give the opening address. In her address, she highlighted some of the major feats that her mother has achieved in Genevieve Magazine including the pink ball.
After Sonia’s speech, we had the citation of Aunty Betty by Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenokwe (AO), the editor in chief of TW Magazine. This was quite significant for all as both women have been perceived to be competitors in the industry seeing that they both run 2 of the most successful women magazines in Nigeria. However, they have chosen to let us know that when women collaborate, ‘the world will shake’. In the words of AO, “Genevieve Magazine and TW Magazine are competitors but Adesuwa and Betty are friends”.
Some of the highlights of Aunty Betty’s citation by AO was the fact that she was the daughter of a Policeman and a seamstress. She also admitted that she always wanted to do a magazine but if Aunty Betty didn’t do it afraid, she may never have done it. She went on to recite her background including the fact that Aunty Betty was in the media for 5years before she decided to run Genevieve Magazine. Most of what she said can be found in the latest copy of Genevieve Magazine which has Aunty Betty on the cover.
After the citation, AO invited Aunty Betty to give her speech. In her speech, she did admit the work rivalry between herself and AO but said that they remain friends who need to collaborate to ensure that people do not take them for granted. Some of the other highlights of her speech was on the subject matter of the day, #integritymatters. She made reference to the Journalistic code of conduct asking that;
- Journalists are those who earn their livelihood or at least a major part of it through journalism. Thus the need for publishers to renumerate them well.
- Journalists should have knowledge and care for the profession.
- journalism entails a high levvel of public trust and there should be high regard for public interest.
The keynote address was by Dr. Doyinsola Abiola who is a member of the Board of Directors, Genevieve Magazine, a friend to Aunty Betty, and the first female editor in Nigeria. She was the editor of The Concord and at 75, the veteran who doesn’t look her age at all, has achieved quite a lot in her life. Some of the highlights of her address include;
- Truth is evasive in our society today, not just in journalism.
- Nigeria is the only country where a daily newspaper circulates nationally.
- We need to change the way we do media business in Nigeria.
- publishers need to import in bulk since we import every material that is used in printing and publishing.
- There is the need for institutionalised integrity.
- Staff and the NUJ should have a say in the selection of an editor.
The peak of the event was the debate on Truth and Integrity in the New Age. Reuben Abati- a former special adviser to the former President of Nieria, Kadaria Ahmed- an editor, Funke Egbemode- MD telegraph and Prrsident NUJ and Chude Jidenowo- co-founder The Future Awards, were the panelists and discussed extensively on the matter. At some point, it seemed like a debate on Traditional Media and New Media but in the end, the subject matter was clearly addressed which is the fact that the new media has come to stay but integrity is a matter that affects both the old and the new media. To read their arguements, click HERE
After the debate, the audience had a few questions to ask and contributions were made. Mrs. Funke Treasure Durodola also gave an executive summary which helped in refreshing our minds on what was discussed and what we need to take home.
The event came to an end with picture sessions and light refreshments.