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SMC brief

June 2013

An In house publication of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University


still remember, as though it were yesterday, a visit to the cinema that I, a gawky teenager, was treated to back then in Benin City. It was quite an experience to step into the rich interior of the then newly opened Saidi Centre and sink into one of the plush, red upholstered seats. There was a hushed air of expectancy as we waited for the lights to go out and the screen to light up. It was rather magical. Unfortunately, there were not too many opportunities to engage in that brand of magic. The economic depression and its consequent realities led to the crash of the cinemas, and cinema halls were, in the main, turned to other uses. But things have now come full circle, and there is renewed interest in the establishment of cinemas. This is the good news contained in our lead story, which features a report on the June edition of the Filmmakers’ Forum of the GTBank Nollywood Studies Centre. The MD/CEO of The Filmhouse, Mr. Kene Mkparu, was the guest on that occasion and spoke positively about the future of cinemas in the country. He had words of advice for the filmmakers as to how they could make the best use of the opportunities inherent in the renewed growth of cinemas. This edition also carries the interesting report on the 'Distilling the Freedom of Information Act for Public Understanding and Participation' workshop. The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, who spoke during the workshop, defined the freedom of information as a human right. I hope you enjoy the issue. Ikechukwu Obiaya

Mr. Kene Mkparu, MD/CEO The Filmhouse Ltd.

A Trip to the Nigerian Cinemas


he number of modern cinemas in Nigeria is expected to rise to 30 by 2014, with a total number of 135 screens. And by 2016, there will be 40 cinemas with 200 screens. These figures were given by Mr Kene Mkparu, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of The Filmhouse Limited, while speaking at the June edition of the Filmmakers' Forum of the GTBank Nollywood Studies Centre. Although Nigeria has a history of film exhibition that stretches as far back as the 1900s, the prevailing economic depression and the consequent insecurity of the 1980s and 1990s led to the demise of cinema culture. But there is now a renewed surge of interest in the cinemas as shown by the increasing numbers. And this is a positive development for filmmakers. Mr. Mkparu noted that Nigeria is grossly underserved by the number of screens currently available. And, although the projected numbers may not appear to be significant, given the size of the Nigerian populace, they are nevertheless an important sign of growth. T he numbers are also important for the Nigerian filmmaker since they point to the distribution

possibilities that exist. However, in order for the filmmakers to make the most of the opportunities that the cinemas provide, Mr. Mkparu stressed, they must reach an understanding of the way cinemas function. He acknowledged the various c o m p l a i n t s f r o m f i l m m a ke r s , particularly in the last two years, who say that they have been poorly treated by the cinema owners. They have complained about having had problems with one or the other cinema, about the fact their money was not remitted to them in time or that they did not receive as much money as they expected for their film from the cinema. Such complaints, the Filmhouse MD implied, could largely be traced to a poor understanding of the workings of the cinema. Among other things, Mr. Mkparu emphasised the need for filmmakers to work with theatrical distributors. Such distributors are in a better position not only to monitor the progress of a film in the cinema but also to oversee the collection and sharing of revenue. In addition to this, the distributor has a better knowledge of the good cinemas as well as the best play dates for releasing one's films.

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The AWARES 12 Class Goes Touring The tour ended on a positive note, and the members of the AWARES class expressed their satisfaction with the experience and the new knowledge they had attained. They were also impressed with the giant strides that were being taken to ensure positive and up-to-date news reporting in the media industry. – by Obianuju Okafor

The AWARES 12 Class with Members of Keystone Bank


he 12th edition of the Advanced Writing and Reporting Skills certificate course (AWAReS) has ended with an industry tour, which took place on the 6th of June, 2013. The tour began with a courtesy visit to Keystone Bank to express gratitude for the bank’s sponsorship of the programme. The AWARES class was warmly received by a team headed by the Executive Director, Lagos and West Directorate, Mrs. Yvonne Isichei. Mrs. Isichei seized the opportunity to explain why Keystone Bank had decided to sponsor the programme. She then went on to encourage the participants to carry out their jobs diligently and without fear. The class then proceeded to the Television Continental (TVC) News, located in Ketu. Mr. Celestine Umeibe, the head of the public relations unit, welcomed members of the group and took them on a tour of the facilities. The group had the opportunity to visit the news room and studios and were shown how some of the equipment work. The visit was an eye-opener for the class in general because some of the members had never heard of TVC News while others, some of who were practicing television journalists, were able to appreciate the technological advances apparent in the state of the art equipment present at TVC. By way of providing a balance, the next port of call was a print media organization, the Vanguard Newspaper, situated in the Apapa area of Lagos State. Mr. Mideno Bayagbon, the Editorin-Chief of the Vanguard Newspaper,

received the group. Mr. Bayagbon showed members of the class around the newsroom where he introduced them to some of the editors. The tour was concluded with a visit to the printing room where the latest newspaper printing machine had been installed. The technician in charge of the printing room explained the workings of the machine and the mode of production.

Towards a Change in Market Research

Prof. Raimund Wildner and a cross section of the audience


he GfK Centre has held a forum on market and social research. The forum, which took place on the 19th of June, 2013, had as its theme 'Changing Market Research in a Changing Marketing World.' The guest speaker was Prof. Raimund Wildner, MD/CEO of GfK Verein, the sponsors of the SMC’s GfK Centre. The forum was attended by representatives of numerous

organisations from different industries. The organisations present included Interswitch Nigeria, UAC Nigeria Plc, DDB Lagos, Dufil Foods (makers of Indomie) and Chellarams. Among the SMC alumni that were also in attendance were members of the pioneer class of the Certificate in Market and Social Research course.

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Freedom of Information as a Human Right


reedom of information in itself is a sine qua non for the fulfilment of all other rights and is also important as an underpinning of democracy.” Prof. Bem Angwe, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), stated this while speaking at a workshop on 'Distilling the Freedom of Information Act for Public Understanding and Participation.' The two-day workshop was jointly organised by the School of Media and Communication (SMC) and the Nigerian Human Rights Commission and took place at the Institute of International Affairs, in Lagos. According to Prof. Angwe the access to information is an important component of transparent and accountable government. Consequently, unless there are good reasons for withholding it, everyone should be able to access the information held by public authorities since it is ultimately intended for the benefit of the public as a whole. The free access to information can promote good governance since the populace can use t h e i n fo r m at i o n to h o l d t h e i r governments to account. In this light, Prof. Angwe pointed to various

proclamations of both the United to information, the person concerned Nations and the African Union that can apply to the courts for the promote freedom of information as a enforcement of the right. He also noted means of combating corruption and that the NHRC, by virtue of its mandate enhancing transparency. and functions, has a monitoring role to The NHRC Executive Secretary had ensure compliance with the Act. earlier in his presentation described the In his welcome address, the SMC freedom of information as a human Dean, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, who also right. As a backing for this, he referred to stood in for the Pan-Atlantic University Resolution 59(I), which was adopted at Vice Chancellor, Prof. Juan Elegido, laid the very first session of the United emphasis on the relevance and Nations General Assembly in 1946, and timeliness of the workshop. The keynote the 1948 Universal Declaration of address was delivered by Prof. Idowu Human Rights. About 127 countries, Sobowale. Other presentations were Nigeria included, have recognised this made by Barrister Sonnie Ekwowusi; right by signing it into law. Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN; Prof. Yemi T h e N i g e r i a n F r e e d o m o f Osinbajo; Mr. Maxwell Kadiri; Mr. Bayo Information Act, which “was signed into Atoyebi; and Mallam Garba Shehu. law on 28th May, 2011, gives every Nigerian legal right of access to information, records and documents held by government and private bodies carrying out public functions.” Prof. Angwe went on to add that In the face A cross section of participants at the workshop of a denial of access

SMC Update Mr. Robert Ogbuagu Anikwe (M.Sc FT4) has been appointed General Manager at Spectrum Broadcasting Company (SBC) Ltd, operators of the Hot FM radio chain in Nigeria. SBC is already transmitting live in Abuja (FCT) and Owerri (Imo State) and plans to expand to Lagos, Calabar and Asaba in the nearest future. Mr. Anikwe is charged with growing the value of the company in Abuja and Owerri as well as coordinating its expansion.

Church, Maryland. We wish them a very happy and fruitful married life.

Our belated congratulations go to Ms. Nwando MaryAnn Ivenso (PGD Digital Media 2) and Chineme Anthony Uzo who got married on the 13th of April, 2013, at St. Agnes Catholic

The mid-year retreat of the faculty and staff of the School of Media and Communication has taken place. The retreat which held on the 24th of June, 2013, served as an avenue for reviewing the progress made in attaining the goals set for 2013.

Mrs. Odebunmi Remilekun (PGD CR1) has given birth to a baby girl. The birth took place on the 4th of June, 2013. The child has since been named Treasures Iyanuoluwa. Our warm congratulations go to the Remilekun family.

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Research Notes: Studying the Creative Industries


he term 'creative industry' is a problematic one that brings along with it a lot of baggage, both political and definitional. According to Garnham (2005, p. 16), the term “serves as a slogan, as a shorthand reference to, and thus mobilises unreflectively, a range of supporting theoretical and political positions.” The creative industries have been recognised by many governments for their economic value as well as for their importance in constructing and defending national culture (Hesmondhalgh & Pratt, 2005). This approach permits the consideration of the realities of the creative industries in line with their cultural, social, economic and political contexts. Nevertheless, various authors have indicated definitional and conceptual problems which accompany the use of the term, especially with regard to the notion of culture (cf., for example, Hesmondhalgh & Pratt, 2005; Galloway & Dunlop, 2006; Galloway & Dunlop, 2007; Roodhouse, 2006). Linked to this is the fact that the concept, as Galloway and Dunlop (2007) have put it, is “highly context specific it has been widely adopted in advanced capitalist countries with a tradition of state support for culture.” Lobato (2010) also notes that “the creative industries (CIs) project has for most of its short history been exclusively concerned with urban service-industry economies in the first world.” But there is a growing body of work that seeks to apply this CI approach to non-first world nations to assist their integration into the global economic networks. And, as Lobato puts it, Integration into the international entertainment economy is one path for cultural producers in developing nations, but it is not the only option. Alternative routes which bypass or ignore these channels also need to be considered. Various efficient and economically sustainable industry models already exist in Second and Third World media, even though many of these are informal in nature and are only minimally connected to circuits of international intellectual property (IP) trade. Creative industries policy seeks to formalize these networks, incorporating them into established circuits of international commerce, but it also needs to acknowledge that informal economies have their own logics and their own potential. (Lobato, 2010, p. 338)

With regard to methodology, there

is no clear cut methodology that guides the field of the creative industries. This is perhaps largely due to the fact that “the creative industries represent new forms of economic, social and cultural activity; as such they are in a constant process of change. It is therefore difficult to devise appropriate measures of activity, especially if the activity under investigation is itself novel and changing” (UNCTAD, 2010, p. 96). Thus, rather than being a field of study defined by a clear methodological thrust, research in the creative industries comes across more as a field of enquiry guided by certain ideas and employing diverse methodological tools. The emphasis has been largely on the economic contribution which the creative industries can make to a nation's economy. This can be seen especially in the various methodologies which have been drawn up in different countries for the purpose of mapping the creative industries (cf. Higgs and Cunningham 2008). Thus, according to Potts and Cunningham (2008, p. 233), “‘Creative industries’ is a new analytic definition of the industrial components of the economy in which creativity is an input and content or intellectual property is the output.” This focus on the economic contribution of the creative industries is not at all incidental. Interest in this sector has grown precisely as a result of the recognition of its economic potential. Most, if not all, of the literature credits the 1998 Creative Industries Mapping Document of the British Department of Culture, Media and Sport with having played a landmark role in this process. Subsequently, there has been a growing tendency on the part of governments around the world to develop policies aimed at promoting these industries. As stated by Hartley (2005, p. 19), “the advantages of developing creative industries seemed clear: jobs and GDP.” He goes on to add that, The “creative industries” idea brought creativity from the back door of government, where it had sat for decades holding out the tin cup for arts subsidy – miserable, self-loathing and critical (especially of the hand that fed it), but unwilling to change – around to the front door, where it was introduced to the wealth-creating portfolios, the emergent industry departments, and the enterprise support programmes. (Hartley, 2005, p. 19)

And, according to a UNESCO document, This mainstreaming of what was once considered a sector of marginal interest, which received limited attention from researchers, has led to a growing body of analysis, statistics and mapping exercises on the relationship between culture, creative industries and economic development to give officials in these countries the raw data they need to make policy (UNESCO, 2006).

But this, of course, is not to unduly reduce the scope of the work done in this field. The study of the creative industries has permitted a certain diversity. Thus, “the creative industries can be understood as an interdisciplinary nexus, bringing multiple voices to consider the question of how creative talent and industrial scale can be organised, combined, and u s e d fo r s o c i a l a n d e c o n o m i c development” (Hartley, 2005, p. 38). Works Cited Galloway, S., & Dunlop, S. (2006). Deconstructing the concept of 'Creative Industries'. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from Galloway,S.,&Dunlop,S.(2007).ACritiqueofDefinitionsof the Cultural and Creative Industries in Public Policy. InternationalJournalofCulturalPolicy,13(1),17-31. Garnham, N. (2005). From Cultural to Creative Industries: An Analysis of the Implications of the "Creative Industries" Approach to Arts and media Policy Making in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Cultural Policy,11(1),15-29. Hartley, J. (2005). Creative Industries. In J. Hartley (Ed.), Creative Industries (pp. 1-40). Malden; Oxford; Carlton: BlackwellPublishing. Hesmondhalgh, D. (2007). The Cultural Industries. Los Angeles; London; New Delhi; Singapore: Sage Publications. Hesmondhalgh, D., & Pratt, A. C. (2005). Cultural Industries and Cultural Policy. International Journal of Cultural Policy,11(1),1-13. Higgs, P., & Cunningham, S. (2008). Creative Industries Mapping: Where Have We Come From And Where Are WeGoing?CreativeIndustriesJournal,1(1). Lobato, R. (2010). Creative Industries and Informal Economies. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 13(4),337-354. Potts, J., & Cunningham, S. (2008). Four Models of the Creative Industries. International Journal of Cultural Policy,14(3),233-247. Roodhouse, S. (2006). The Creative Industries: Definitions, Quantification and Practice. In C. Eisenberg, R. Gerlach, & C. Handke (Eds.), Cultural Industries: The British Experience in International Perspective (pp. 13-31). Online: Humboldt University Berlin, Edoc-Server. Retrieved from ISBN 978-386004-203-8 UNCTAD. (2010, December 15). Creative Economy Report 2010: Creative Economy: A Feasible Development Option. Retrieved August 1, 2011, from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: UNESCO. (2006, February). Understanding Creative Industries: Cultural statistics for public policy-making. Retrieved June 9, 2011, from United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation: 7822788289E0813D7CE385533915A9E27A0100/file name/cultural_stat_EN.pdf

Ikechukwu Obiaya belongs to the faculty of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University.

Smc newsletter june 2013  

An in-house publication of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria

Smc newsletter june 2013  

An in-house publication of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria