Journalists must pursue career development while busy chasing stories

For a very long time, Lekan Otufodunrin rehearsed news-casting and rose to the situation of Group News Editor at The Punch Newspaper where he labored for a very long time.


He worked in some other media associations prior to joining The Nation Newspaper as the spearheading Sunday Editor. He in the long run left the newsroom in December 2018 to run the Media Career Development Network, a media vocation improvement preparing outfit in Lagos.

Otufodunrin, who likewise established Journalists For Christ, the relationship for Christian columnists and associated experts in 1998, talked with DAYO EMMANUEL on his vocation venture and encourages writers to give sufficient consideration to their profession as they approach their obligations.


Two years prior you withdrew from the newsroom following 32 years of dynamic media practice. Will you momentarily review your involvement with the media?

My involvement with the media traces all the way back to my moving on from the University of Lagos where I examined Mass Communication, after which I went for public youth administration in the old Sokoto State. I had before done a temporary position with the old National Concord Newspapers. In any case, in the event that you talk about my media work appropriate, I would say everything started around May 1987 when I joined The Punch and I was the state journalist for the paper in Ogun State. I was in The Punch till 1999.

During the years, I was state journalist, political reporter, I became top of the political work area, later right hand news editorial manager and in the long run Group News Editor. Before I left, I was momentarily Lagos City Editor and Group Political Editor. When I left in 1999, I had worked in those positions and it was an exceptionally fascinating season of learning and doing what I truly delighted in.

One of my critical occasions was the point at which I made a trip to United Kingdom to go to the Thompson Foundation partnership in Cardiff, Cardiff for a quarter of a year where I took in a ton past being a columnist. It was there I figured out how to prepare columnists which is the thing that I am doing now.

Subsequent to leaving The Punch, I worked momentarily in a couple of papers; National Interest, Financial Standard and New Age. I was simply testing since I was attempting to be all alone, however ultimately I joined The Comet momentarily before The Nation took off.

I really needed to begin the media vocation improvement network at that point however I didn’t accomplish what I needed and didn’t have the necessary assets.

I didn’t leave The Nation until 2018. A big part of years I was Sunday Editor, at that point in the long run I became Managing Editor Online and Special Publications. In all, it has been an extremely intriguing time; having the option to do stories that affected lives and tutor more youthful columnists.


Recapping 30-32 years in couple of moments, somebody would think you are one fortunate individual, since some have had harsh encounters which you don’t appear to have had a lot of taste of passing by your portrayal or don’t you feel fortunate?

I certainly had some unpleasant encounters as well. I worked at The Punch for those years and when I needed to leave, I had a few doubts. Comparative things occurred in different spots I worked. Things that didn’t turn out how I would have preferred as far as profession progress. I figured I might must a few positions I didn’t get to. In any case, not withstanding it was a pleasant encounter working in those spots.

I asked in light of the fact that your experience appears to be blushing at those spots you had worked, wouldn’t you say so?

Ruddy is relative, there were times when one felt worried about the workplace. There were times when perhaps things didn’t work how I would have preferred it, and in those days news-casting was not this upsetting, the economy was not this awful.

You were working and simply getting your essential compensation, you were fine. Fortunately, Punch was a spot things were generally smooth, you were paid as and when due. Things product well spelt out. Those periods before I joined The Nation was what we can call a harsh period. I worked momentarily at the National Interest, Financial Interest, New Age.

The encounters dislike that of The Punch. Possibly those were the harsh occasions. I would prefer not to call it disappointment. So I will not call it fortunate. 32 years is certainly not a brief period. I can say I was blessed to have had the option to get what I needed at the correct time and to likewise have the option to affect life which is more critical to me.

After the newsroom, what would you be able to say you have missed

Outside the newsroom, I think the little distinction is that now I run my own outfit which is called Media Career Development Network which is a preparation, tutoring, instructing organisaiton for writers.

We run a site that is tied in with revealing the media. What I can say I miss is the pressing factor. At the point when I was Online Editor, I can say it was rushed on the grounds that it was pretty much a 24-hou work; when a story breaks and you need to screen it. I will not say I miss the newsroom much, however now I am more loose to work, to do the accounts I need to do. It isn’t each story that I am pursuing currently like previously.

Like I said being an online manager is a rushed occupation where you follow each story that is breaking. You must be on top of it or get somebody to follow it. You are dozing and a story is breaking, the opposition is there, it is stiffer, not normal for a typical paper when you alter an every day or end of the week paper, the second you produce, you are gone, you can take as much time as necessary before the following creation however online stories are breaking, you don’t rest.

I can say I miss that swarm when you have a many individuals to associate with, when I have a great deal of correspondents to appoint to take care of responsibilities yet now I don’t need to do each one of those ones, I am putting my energy to different things else. My energy is into giving an empowering climate to columnists and it is likewise of concern.

Numerous media houses don’t focus on preparing. Thus, numerous writers work and work and don’t focus on their vocation, not knowing when they need to become familiar with another expertise. Our association is assisting individuals with following their vocations, assisting individuals with realizing what to do and what to focus on. We are in any event, advancing trainings that are appropriate.

Some of the time there are trainings that are not reasonable. A portion of the typical trainings are either insightful news coverage, covering one beat or the other however we are doing preparing that has to do with vocation advancement, we are discussing ranges of abilities that you can utilize, the board, we are discussing computerized change.

Numerous old writers are simple in their direction however now they need to move to advanced. We have been associated with the simple time so we realize how to move them without getting them disorientated. On the off chance that the individual preparing doesn’t have the simple foundation, he doesn’t have a clue what they are experiencing. We can be that connect.

Coaching is likewise the thing we are giving. You might be a decent writer yet you may likewise have to realize what to do per time and how to send your abilities.

You discussed a few writers working however not disapproving of their profession. Work and profession; how would you exhort rehearsing columnists to mind their vocation as numerous writers may profess to understand what they are doing?

My recommendation is that like never before previously, columnists should be more expert about their work. Proficient as in it isn’t simply working, you need to realize how to intentionally assemble your vocation. You should know when you are beginning, you need to set timetable; in five years I ought to have the option to accomplish this. In the event that you can’t accomplish that, you should know why.

You should realize when to get extra abilities, you should realize what is accessible in your industry, what partnerships are accessible, what trainings are accessible in light of the fact that these are markers of the sort of progress you are making so you can create yourself accessible for open doors.

A common expert ought to have the option to know all these. In different callings they screen these things. You need to think of certain tests to proceed in certain levels yet in our own calling, somebody can chip away at a situation for a very long time without going for preparing. In certain associations, to permit you go for preparing is an issue.

So my recommendation is that you should define individual objectives toward the start; what sort of columnist would you like to turn into? In the event that you have that objective, you will actually want to screen if you are advancing, if not you’ll simply be working five, 10, 15 years, you’ll be thinking about what is befalling you.

Yet, on the off chance that you say you need to be a columnist who has practical experience in perhaps detailing schooling or improvement by and large, you need to become analytical writer of note, at that point, you will realize what to do per time. Focusing on your profession, figuring out how to plunk down to ask yourself you are gaining ground.

On the off chance that you have extra pertinent capabilities, how it can help you? On the off chance that I lose this my employment how might I proceed? Vocation is a progression of work that you do throughout some undefined time frame and you should comprehend that industry. On the off chance that you work and work without disapproving of your profession, when you lose the employment, you may not realize what to do straightaway.

How would you place writers 32 years prior and the present columnists? Despite the fact that we are in the time of new media and all that which makes things somewhat unique in the two periods?

All things considered, 32 years is quite a while, those were the days there were no PCs and Internet. For you to foundation a story, you need to utilize the library. We were utilizing typewriters, you would need to compose your story long hand and they would be composed on the typewriter. So there is a ton of contrasts as far as workplace and accessible apparatuses. There are better apparatuses now and there are better freedoms to go to trainings. All the more significantly, we are in an advanced time where there is space for performing various tasks.

Back then on the off chance that you are going for a task, a correspondent would need to go with a camera man. Today you will do all that yourself as a columnist. In those days the stages were insignificant not normal for now. In those days you could tally.