A REPORT OF
SIX WEEKS INDUSTRIAL TRAINING
THE VOICE PUBLISHING COMPANY OF NIGERIA LTD, ABAKALIKI EBONYI STATE
COURSE TITLE: MEDIA ATTACHMENT II
COURSE CODE: MAC 372
DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE - - - - - - - - I
DEDICATION - - - - - - - - II
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - - - - - - - II
TABLE OF CONTENTS - - - - - - - IV
INTRODUCTION - - - - - - - 1
IMPORTANCE OF MEDIA ATTACHMENT- - - - 1
OBJECTIVES OF MEDIA ATTACHMENT- - - - 1
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PLACE OF ATTACHMENT - - 2
ORGANOGRAM OF THE ESTABLISHMENT - - - - 3
DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER COMPANY
ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT - - - - - 4
EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT - - - - - - 4
NEWS DEPARTMENT - - - - - - - 4
PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT - - - - - - 5
MARKETING DEPARTMENT - - - - - - 5
ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT - - - - - - 5
PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT - - - - - 5
COMPUTER/TECHNOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT - - - 6
THE EDITORIAL SUITE OF THE VOICE NEWSPAPER - - 6
MY INDUSTRIAL TRAINING EXPERIENCE - - - - 7
CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED AND ACHIEVEMENTS - - 12
CHALLENGES - - - - - - - - 12
ACHIEVEMENTS - - - - - - - - 13
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION - - - - 16
CONCLUSION - - - - - - - - 16
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Media attachment is without doubt a milestone in the development of academic activities, which forms part of the approved minimum academic standards in various degree programmes for all Nigerian university system. It is an accepted skill programme, which is an effort to bridge the gap existing between theory and practice.
However, it is aimed at exposing students to machine and equipment, professional work methods and ways of safeguarding the work areas and workers in industries and other organizations. The minimum duration for the programme for students of mass communication is six (6) weeks in 200 level and another six (6) weeks in 300 level respectively.
The scheme is a tripartite programme involving the students, the universities and the media establishments (employers of labour). It is funded by the federal government of Nigeria and jointly co-ordinated by the Industrial Training Fund and the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).
IMPORTANCE OF MEDIA ATTACHEMENT
Generally, media attachment or industrial training is responsible for producing qualitative graduate with higher practical experience for better performance in industries and labour market. It enhances economic development and advancement in Nigeria. It enables the students to acquire necessary management practice needed for securing lucrative venture for effective production. It equips students with the basic knowledge required for self-employment than relying on government establishment for job/work creation.
OBJECTIVES OF MEDIA ATTACHMENT
The objectives of include the following;
1. It provides the students with the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in real work situation, thereby bridging the gap between university classroom work and actual practice.
2. It prepares students for the work situation they are likely to meet after graduation.
3. The scheme also provides an avenue for students in Nigerian universities to acquire industrial skills and experience in their course of study.
4. It exposes students to work methods and techniques in handling equipment and machinery that may not be available in universities.
5. It eases transition from university to the world of work easier and thus enhances student’s contacts for later job placement.
6. It enlists and strengthens employers’ involvement in the entire educational process of preparing university graduates for employment in industries.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PLACE OF ATTACHMENT
The Voice newspaper is believed to have started on February 1st 2000 by a group of professionals led by Mr. Imo Eze who is also the publisher. It is a privately owned newspaper.
As the name implies, it is a print medium which dwelt on the publication of stories on newspapers on weekly basis.
It is incorporated which means that is registered under the companies and allied act by corporate affairs commission and the office is located at N0 4 Ebonyi Voice Avenue, Mile 50 GRA in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The newspaper was formally called Ebonyi Voice but due to the fact that it is privately owned, it was later changed to “The Voice” on March, 2010. The logo of the establishment is a “rabbit”. The rabbit shows how the media outfit digs deep underground to uncover truth just as the rabbit does when it has things it want to get. The motto is “Hunting for news”. Its full name is The Voice of Reason.
The media’s slogan is “only the truth can save the nation” and that is the aim of the medium to uncover truths wherever they are so as to take the nation to greater height. Their major interest is to protect the interest of the people and to serve as voice to the voiceless.
ORGANOGRAM OF THE ESTABLISHMENT
DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER COMPANY
The media establishment is made up of the following departments:
· Administrative department
· Editorial department
· News department
· Production department
· Marketing department
· Accounts department
· Public relations department
· Computer/technology department
This unit oversees the day-to-day running of the establishment. They regulate the other departments. They monitor what each of the other departments do and ensure that the right things are being done at when due. They are also responsible for staffing, welfare and punishment where necessary.
This department is accountable to the administrative department and is interested on what goes in as the editorial of the media. It consists of editorial board members. Their work is to decide what to write as the editorial, how it will be written and who writes what. They meet every week to do this.
This department is saddle with the responsibility of news gathering, writing, and editing. They decide what goes into every edition of the newspaper as news. The news editor heads this unit.
This is a very important department in the media outfit. This is because it is in charge of the production processes. It ensures that all factors of production are in place for smooth production of every edition. Their work begins immediately after news editing.
This department canvases for advert and advertorials through which the company generates funds for its day to day running. It also ensures the circulation of the newspaper, this they do by carrying the newspaper to the respective vendors at the newspaper stands and at end of the week retrieve all unsold copies. The unit as well monitors the market situation and as well advice the management for the growth of the publishing company.
This department also undertakes all the financial transactions of the establishment.
This department has as its role, financial record keeping and prudent management of the company’s resources. All the funds generated by the marketing department are being forwarded to the accounts department for proper documentation and accountability. This unit also undertakes the payments of staff salaries and allowances.
PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
This department as the name implies is the link between the newspaper company and the public. This unit ensures that the image of the company is protected using all the instruments within their reach. It also ensures that complains from the public as regards to the media outfit are carefully addressed.
This department ensures the typesetting of the news stories. It also has the lithographers who films and plates and as well pastes the pictures in their appropriate places. That the news stories and all the newspaper contents are arranged properly during the production processes is the responsibility of this unit/department.
THE EDITORIAL SUITE OF THE VOICE NEWSPAPER
Publisher/Editor in Chief
Chairman Editorial Board
Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye
Princess Alu Akanu Ibiam
Barr. Nnenna Evelyn Eze
MY INDUSTRIAL TRAINING EXPERIENCE
Every training one embarks on in life, such an individual is expected to acquit himself with the needed knowledge and skills in such an area as a prove that such training was actually done. There is no exception to this, because even if the training is a day, week, months or year. He must have something to show for undergoing the training.
The same thing was applicable to the six weeks industrial training I embarked on after the second semester examinations.
The industrial training started on the 10th day of March, 2014 with The Voice Publishing Company. First I went to the company and submit my attestation letter with the application letter to the News Editor. She quickly conducted a test for me to access if I was prepared and capable of doing the training with them.
After the assessment was orientation. The News Editor oriented me on the house style of the media house. The things they do and what they don’t do. I was told the things that interest the media house in news gathering. i.e what The Voice look out for in news gathering and also their news writing style.
Then some days later, I was assign to a beat and the beat was court. Immediately I started visiting the court to get stories. I covered a court judgment at Mgbo High Court in which five men who were accused of kidnapping were acquitted and discharged.
My industrial training experience was not just limited to my beat alone as I covered numerous stories outside my beat. The first story I covered outside my beat was the Nzashi-Ugbo Echara Ikwo bad road. I went to the place and interviewed the residence of the area on their plights as a result of the bad road and filed in the story and it was published.
I also went to the university after school resumption and many weeks later, students were yet to come back for academic activities. I went round the school, took pictures of students chatting while in class, the low turnout of the students during lectures. This was written and filed to the news editor ad it was published.
The second week of my industrial training, after the sit rep (situational report) – a daily meeting comprising of all the staff and industrial training students at the company together with the publisher, we were sent to Abakaliki metropolis to interview the residence on the N15million naira bond the state government intent to obtain. We went and gathered their responses and filed in the story, which was as well published.
While still on duty, I learnt of the kidnap of the former coordinator of Okposi Development Centre from one of my sources. Immediately I was sent for his picture and called the minister-in-charge of the church where he was kidnapped, who confirmed it. I further visited the government house press unit to get other stories related to the kidnap after which I filed in the story and it was published.
The following week, unfolding stories about the assassination of the former coordinator of Okposi Development Centre erupted. I followed it up and wrote it and it was also published.
I also covered a story on the story on the state of Abakaliki metropolis as dirts take over some residential houses add schools, and it was published. I went ahead to write an opinion article on the national conference which was as well published.
The third week was also a week of more breakthrough in the news gathering as I covered a court judgement delivered at Mgbo High Court on the kidnap there, the presiding judge acquitted the suspects stating that they were innocent. It was as well published.
I also visited Abakaliki Rice Mill Industry same week to seek the opinion of the rice millers on the ejection notice which they gave them. The story was written and published.
Again, same week, I went out for a vox populi on the national conference, what Ebonyians expect. It was later published. And on the 28th of March which is still the third week, I went to Women Development Centre, Abakaliki to cover the story on the Town Hall Meeting held by Abakaliki Capital Territory Developement Board to discuss on how to make the state capital one of the best in the country and I write the story after the coverage and it was published. And on the burial of the assassinated former coordinator of Okposi Development Centre, I went for the coverage, wrote the story and it was published.
My fourth week with the Voice Company as an Industrial training student was yet another challenging one. I was always on the road looking for news worthy events. On one of those outings, I ran into an accident scene where a pregnant woman was knocked down by a vehicle along water works road causing her to bleed profusely. The driver ran away on seeing the incident, I went to the scene, covered it, interview the eye witnesses and filed the story which was published.
I was again at Mgbo to cover a land dispute story between Mr. Harrison Onwe, the chairman Ebonyi State Civil Service Commission and others. It was written, filed and published. Although, it was a very tasking coverage as I was taken to a very far away community and I was meant to track several miles on foot just to dig out the truth.
Also, I conducted two vox-populi same week on private university and public university which one Ebonyians like best and on the house rent increment in the state. These two stories were written and it was published although without a byline.
And on Saturday of the fourth week, I covered the burial of Michael Eze, a management committee member of Ezza South Developement Centre. I wrote the story and it was published as advertorials.
The fifth week was a good one as I had good records too. I went to several ministers of God in Abakaliki and beyond to seek their opinion on the horrific killings recorded in the state recently. I compiled the reports and it was published. I also followed up the sack of the coordinator of Okposi Development Centre, Mr. Mark Onu and his replacement with Mr. Magnus Aja-Eze. It was written but not published.
Again, I went to Women Development Centre with others, to cover the town hall meeting of the governor on the N15million bond and it was published. We also went to the school authority to get the names of EBSU students that scale through to get Japanese scholarship.
And finally, on my sixth week, I got a letter from the committee for the defence of human right protesting over the irregularities of the defunct NEPA, PHCN and EEDC and I wrote the news and it was published. Also, we wrote a story on Ndibe beach Afikpo and it was published.
My six weeks industrial training experience at The Voice company is a very good and exciting one, I have not regretted for a second doing my industrial training with The Voice.
They offered me the opportunity to practice journalism practically as if I was an expert already.
They gave me the opportunity to go to places and meet people I never thought it was possible for me to come in contact with now, like speaking with the commissioner for Information, the Chairman of Abakaliki Territory Board and so many others. Through these exposures, I was able to establish good contacts with people higher than me in several areas which I know will one day be profitable.
I was also made to take part in news editing. I learnt that editing styles varies from one media house to another as The Voice method of editing is very much different from what we taught in class.
The publisher on several occasions taught me how to carryout investigative reporting which is otherwise called muckraking. He said one can use any means to achieve this even disguising oneself if that will fetch you what you want. He charged us to be extremely careful as one can be arrested and even killed on the process.
We were also made to write some editorials and how to design dummy sheets, the various processes in newspaper production and also the various machines that are used in printing.
The Voice within this sex weeks contributed greatly to making me better. They built me spiritually, morally, socially and otherwise. I must confess, my industrial training days, though short, was not a waste despite that it was a tedious task as we had no leisure time but I have nothing to regret.
CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Challenges most times are inevitable although as humans, we pray against them, but hardly can any man stay without meeting one. While on the six weeks industrial training at The Voice, I encountered some challenges, which includes;
Lack of Finance
This was one of the major challenges that confronted me during my media attachment period with The Voice. As a student, transportation from the place I reside to the office, through and flow and to my beat and some other places I was requested to visit was at my own cost since I was not paid or sponsored by the establishment. As a result, sometimes trek for a very long distance to ensure that I didn’t fail my duty. However, in all I was able to cope financially in completing the programme but it was very tasking.
Lack of Gadgets
Since we work as individuals reporters, we were expected to have our own gadgets like recorder, camera, video recorder sometimes but because I don’t have them, doing the work was more stressful as I was meant to use my phone in place of recorder and camera and in some occasions where reporters without cameras and recorders are not allowed to enter the place, I am always left stranded. Sometimes I will go as far as borrowing these gadgets just to ensure that I record success on the assignment I am sent on.
Actually, this is inevitable in one’s life as it is impossible to get anything on a platter of gold but to be real; the entire period was extremely stressful, as I never had time for myself. In most cases, we report to the office by 8:30am and depart earliest by 6:30pm. In some cases, we stay until 7:30pm, which was not easy.
Omission of My By-lines
Another discouragement I got was not seeing my bylines on some of the stories I covered and was published without my bylines and this of course was a very big discouragement. But thank God I still recorded successes as I have over sixteen stories of mine with my name excluding those that was omitted.
As an industrial training student, doing all the coverage, outings, news writing etc alone was a challenge as I thought I would always have people around me to be doing it together with but this was not the case. Therefore, this made it challenging but with more time, I adapted and overcame them all.
Not minding some of the problems or challenges one met, I was able to make the following achievements.
While serving as an industrial training student, over seventeen of my stories were published in The Voice Newspaper.
The list of the published stories are:
1. Stay clear from our Land-April 13, 2014, page 10.
2. Mgbo High Court Acquits 5 for kidnapping, 30th March, 2014. page 6.
3. Okposi kidnap update: victim killed, dumped in Edda forest. April, 6. 2014, Page 3.
4. Ikwo communities decry state of Nzashi – Ugbodo Echara Road – page 7. April 6.
5. Governor Elechi sack threat: price of rice on the increase – Rice Mill Boss page 9 of April 6.
6. Low turnout greats EBSU resumption. Page 16 of April 6.
7. Tears as Hon. Michael Eze is laid to rest. Page 15 of April 6.
8. Abakaliki Territory master plan is for our good – Chairman ACTDB.
9. N15million loan divides Ebonyians, page 9, March 30th 2014 and banner headline and front page.
10. Okposi kidnap saga: kidnappers demand N50million ransom, set victim’s vehicle ablaze. Page 3 of March, 30 and front page.
11. Help: Refuse take over residence, school in Abakaliki. Page 3 of March 30. Front page.
12. Towards a successful national conference. Page 19 of March 30th.
13. 2 EBSU Students bag Japanese scholarship, page, April 20.
14. Horrific killings: what the clergies speak. April 20, page 20.
15. Expect more loans: Governor Elechi tells Ebonyians. Page 6, April 20.
16. Women knock down by a hit and run driver. April 13 edition
17. Ndibe beach in shamble. Page 6 of April, 27.
18. Protest greets irregularities in power sector, May 13. Page 7.
This is one of the greatest experience and achievement I made as I was opportune for the first time in my life to have a working experience in the field of journalism practice.
Gaining of Skills
The training helped me to learn the skills of journalism in this present daytime.
Meeting Friends and Establishing Good Relationship
My training to a large extent exposed me to different kind of people, both those that are seen as stakeholders in the society, the average men and others which I believe are all for good.
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
To make the scheme more interested to the students for their own benefits, the benefit of the institutions and their place of attachment, I therefore recommend the following:
1. That the programme should be much more encouraged by all the institutions and its great importance made more explicit to students as it serves as an avenue towards the achievement of student’s success.
2. The media houses should be more enlightened on the need of the training so as to give students the basic and best training which will boost their potentials.
3. It will be very necessary for supervisors who shall from time to time pay regular visits to the students in their place of attachment to ensure that adequate training is being given to them and also for those students who takes it as a jamboree to sit up.
4. That the time of the training be extended as 6 weeks is not in any way enough to learn all that is needed in the training.
5. The students should be paid stipends to encourage them in the area of transportation and feeding.
6. Students on media attachment should be provided with Identity card to avoid embarrassment from law enforcement agents and the public.
7. Finally, media establishment and indeed the general public should stop seeing internees as inexperienced and never-do-well as most of them have the potential to be the best in the field of journalism, and also that life is a process, one step at a time.
The media attachment has played a great role in exposing me to what I might likely meet in the field of journalism as a news reporter after graduation. It has also unravelled the mysteries I encountered during classroom work, thus bridged the gap that exists between theory and the actual practice.