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SMC brief

July 2013

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


new beginning. This is the expression that came to my mind as I considered the stories lined up for this month’s issue of the newsletter. The underlying theme in most of the stories is that of making fresh starts. In our lead story, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu encourages journalists to embrace the new media while indicating the need for newspapers to evolve in order to adapt to the changing times. This is matched by our story on a workshop that sought to plot new lines of action for improving the financial and legal situation of the Nigerian film industry. In the Research Notes section, our new member of faculty, Mr. Michael Chidubem, describes a new beginning for the SMC as it sets out down the road of animation. In that same section, Mr. Robert Anikwe, a graduate of the SMC’s master’s programme, calls for a change of approach, on the part of the M.Sc. students, towards the planning and writing of the dissertation. All these various calls for change and new beginnings are matched by the fact that this edition of the newsletter coincides with the beginning of a new session. The faculty workshop that is mentioned in the SMC Update section was held as a preparatory step for welcoming the new members of the SMC community. We hope that the increased fruits of this semester will attest to the usefulness of that exercise. Life is full of such new beginnings, and I daresay that each one of us can also attest to personal new beginnings. New beginnings oftentimes demand a lot of effort and perseverance if they are to succeed. But beyond the guarantee of success, what is more important is the readiness to always begin again regardless of past failures. So, I wish you all luck and perseverance as you undertake once more your new beginnings. Ikechukwu Obiaya

(L-R) Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu and Mr. Gbenga Adefaye

Don’t Fear the New Media


igerian journalists have been urged not to see the new m e d i a a s a t h r e a t fo r newspapers. The real and greater threat is the government's effort to censor the press through the Press Council. Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu, the publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, stated this while speaking at the Editors and Media forum organized by the Centre for Leadership in Journalism (CLeJ) of the SMC. The forum, which took place on the 5th of July, 2013, had as its theme 'Media in Transition: New Media in Focus.' It was also intended to honour Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, the Editor-in-Chief and General Manager (Publications) of Vanguard Newspaper and immediate past president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, for his contributions to the development of journalism in Nigeria. According to Mr. Amuka-Pemu, who was the chairman of the occasion, the Nigerian press enjoys enormous freedom, which editors must continue to fight to preserve. He noted that “the newspaper is where the community meets, and if the government is allowed to censor the press, we'll all be the worse for it.” I n re s p o n s e to t h e w i d e l y

expressed fears that the online media would lead to the demise of the n e w s p a p e r, M r A m u k a - P e m u expressed the certainty that the newspapers would survive. He stressed that it is important to realise that the newspaper is in the first place a business and, like any other business, its reaction has to be to evolve and adapt to change. Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Dean of SMC, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, spoke of the project of the School to promote a union between the town and the gown. It is important, he said, to bridge the gap, which is not a necessary one and which, in fact, exists only in the mind since both in reality are connected. Prof. Biakolo pointed to CLeJ as a manifestation of this union, noting that the initiative for the Centre came from the industry. On his part, the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina, spoke on the importance of the theme of the forum. He noted the need to key into the new technology since the media cannot avoid it. The presentations at the forum were made by members of the pioneer group of the Leadership & Governance in Media and Communication course.

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Charting a Way Forward for the Film Industry production. O t h e r speakers at the workshop included Mr. H o p e Yo n go ( Te c h n i c a l Adviser to the Managing Director/Chief (L-R) Mr. Hope Yongo, Mr. Soji Osunsedo, and Mr. Diekola Onaolapo Executive Officer, NEXIM) and Mr Diekola Onaolapo (MD, Eczellon workshop organized by the Capital). The former spoke about the GTBank Nollywood Studies modalities for accessing funds under the Centre took place on Thursday, government's project ACT while the 12th of July, 2013, at the School of Media latter spoke, from a venture capitalist's and Communication (SMC). The theme perspective, of the possible sources of of the workshop was “Charting the Legal funding for filmmakers. Barrister Rudolf and Financial Way Forward for the Ezeani then explained the legal Nigerian Film Industry”. structures involved in filmmaking. This Mr. Bond Emerua, a film director and was followed by the presentation of producer, introduced the workshop with an overview of the problems faced by the industry, such as the unwillingness of banks to lend to the industry due to the risks. He pointed to the need for insurance companies that would be willing to invest and provide the necessary safeguards for


Barrister Chris Nkwocha, a representative of the National Copyright Commission, who spoke on the 'Effective Promotion and Administration of Copyright.' Other speakers included Mr. Peddie Okao, the MD/CEO of Prolens Movies, who spoke about the distributor as a source of film funding under the distribution framework of the National Film and Video Censors Board, and Mr. Fidelis Duker, the Festival Director of the Abuja International Film & Video Festival, who spoke about film festivals as a means of film promotion and monetisation. Participants of the workshop included notable filmmakers and stakeholders in the Nigerian Film Industry such as Mr. Zeb Ejiro, Mr. Mamoud Ali-Balogun, Mr. Bayo Awala, Mr. Charles Novia, Mr Lancelot Imaseun and Mr. Alex Eyengho.

LGMC 1 and AWARES 12 Receive Certificates

Zeb Ejiro in SMC



he GTBank Nollywood Studies Centre has held the July edition of its Filmmakers' Forum. The Forum featured Mr. Zeb Ejiro who spoke on “Underground Film Making: Production/Distribution/Marketing. Domitilla as a Case Study.” Mr. Ejiro indicated the challenges that he faced both in terms of accessing funds for making Domitilla and, later, in obtaining exhibition space in the face of the scepticism of the cinema owners. But such challenges, he noted, should lead one to seek creative solutions. He went on to describe his solutions for marketing and distributing the film, which made it high grossing.

he graduation ceremony of the professional programmes of the PanAtlantic University, for the first half of 2013, has taken place. The ceremony held on Saturday, July 20, 2013, on the Lagos Business School premises, Lekki-Ajah. Certificates were handed out to over 300 persons drawn from different programmes of the schools and centre of the University. Included in this group were the pioneer set of the Leadership in Governance in Media and Communication course (LGMC 1) and members of the 12th edition of the Advanced Writing and Reporting Skills programme (AWARES 12), both programmes of the School of Media and Communication.

The Enterprise Development Centre graduated five sets of students from the Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management course organized in Lagos and Abuja. And the Lagos Business School graduated two sets of the Senior Management Programme. Following the awards of certificates, representatives of the different classes made brief responses to the Vice Chancellor and members of the audience. In their responses, the presidents of the LGMC 1 and AWARES 12 classes both made pledges to the SMC on behalf of their respective groups. The graduates were then i n d u c te d i nto t h e a l u m n i association of the respective schools and centre.

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SMC Update Mr. Victor Akhidenor (M.Sc. FT5) has published his first book. Our Daily Mask, a collection of poems, is based on the author's experience. Victor, a sports journalist with Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports and i-Soccer newspapers, is working on his second book, Journalists are like Mosquitoes…, a collection of quotes and notes on Nigerian football. Mr. Michael Chidubem has joined the faculty of the School of Media and Communication. Mr. Chidubem, who has a master's degree in Interaction Design from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa, is a creative artist and has received a formal education in graphic design, painting and illustration, 2D and 3D animation, electronic music production, and film production. We offer him a warm welcome. Mr. Fred Oriunuebho (PGD1 Community Relations) and his wife, Adaghe Oriunuebho, have had a new baby boy. The child, Odianosen Justin Oriunuebho, was born on July 2, 2013. Our hearty

congratulations go to the family of Fred and Adaghe. A media briefing on the African Film and Entertainment Investment Summit, coming up in December 2013, has taken place at the School of Media and Communication (SMC), Pan-Atlantic University. The summit is designed to provide an annual forum for financiers, foreign and local investors, film and other content producers, studio executives and media experts to work towards securing financing, expertise and technology for Pan African film, television, music and entertainment content, infrastructure and capacity development. The summit is being organised by the SMC, Trend Media City and the Federation of Pan-African Filmmakers (FEPACI) A two-day workshop has been held for members of the faculty of the School of Media and Communication. The workshop, which was a means of preparing for the new session, featured, among others, presentations on the Mentoring Relationship and Teaching Methods.

On the Benefits of Organisational Research

A Project Management Approach... Continued from page 4

Prof. Bill Puplampu and a guest


here is a danger across Africa that "our organizations will be subverted and our industries will be overrun by the influx of Chinese, owning establishments and investing in Africa. In a few years to come, if Africans fail to leverage on traditional systems for use in modern environments, we would be at a great loss." The Dean of the Central Business School, Ghana, Prof. Bill Puplampu, stated this while speaking at a forum on

organisational research organised by the GfK Centre of the School of Media and Communication. The forum which was titled, "Benefits of Organizational Research for Corporate Africa," took place on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, at the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University. "The difference between Africa and the developing world,” Prof. Puplampu went on to note, “is the tendency to use empirical data to make decisions." He gave insights on the benefits of organisational research in the African market and concluded by emphasising the long term benefits of managing and using sound data in an organization. The benefits, he stated, outweigh the costs of setting up such functions.

it possible for all of the learned skills to be put together in a final document called the Take Home Long Essay Exam. I consider this essay as the most important deliverable for any student who wishes to complete the second semester dissertation on schedule. In writing the long essay exam, I benefitted a lot from consulting widely, especially among the faculty with specialisation in my area of research interest, to ensure that what I submitted as my essay captured the first three chapters of my final dissertation. My advice to incoming students would be to approach the writing of the Take Home Long Essay Exam with the diligence that it deserves; it empowers one to cope with the competing demands of writing (including the internship programme) and ensures that the Dissertation Project is finished on time. Robert Ogbuagu Anikwe is of the M.Sc. FT3 class.

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Research Notes:

Raising the Bar


t is common knowledge that the primary objective of the School of Media and Communication (SMC) is t h e “ fo r m a t i o n o f m e d i a a n d communication professionals, to enable them pursue their calling of service to human cultures with a sense of creativity, skill, knowledge and values.” To this end, SMC continues to explore new frontiers aimed at achieving this primary objective. One of the recent landmarks is the introduction of Computer Animation and Visual Effects in the already rich curriculum of SMC. Animation can be defined as the rapid display of a sequence of static images or objects in order to create an illusion of movement. Computer animation or Computer Generated Images (CGI) is the process used for generating animated images by using computer graphics. On the other hand, Visual Effects, usually abbreviated as VFX, are processes used to manipulate imagery in most digital post-production projects. In more advanced creative environments, VFX have taken over in the creation of the kinds of imagery that were once dominated by the process of

special effects (or SFX), which are effects either created on the set or within the camera. Both VFX and SFX are usually employed in a creative trajectory called digital compositing , taking full advantage of technology to make visual expressions that are impossible to find in the real world or far too difficult, dangerous, or expensive to achieve. With this development, students of the Design and New Media Department at SMC will be exposed to advanced tools as well as modern creative techniques and processes through which breath-taking visual innovations can be attained in both still and motion picture practices. Since there are hardly any top-rated movies produced in developed countries where animation and visual effects are not employed, SMC believes that these courses are integral parts of learning that will eventually raise the bar in Nollywood's quest to constantly remain an industry to be reckoned with worldwide. The full animation course starts in Januar y 2014, but preparator y workshops and seminars are expected to commence in October this year.

Among other things, students who study this course at SMC are expected to be grounded in 2D and 3D animation, Visual Effects, Motion tracking, Stop Motion animation, Digital Composition and Motion Graphics. Feel free to view SMC's animation and Visual Effects teasers on, YouTube channel or on our Facebook page.

Michael Chidubem belongs to the faculty of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University.

A Project Management Approach to Writing the M.Sc. Dissertation


he Internship period (at the SMC) exerts pressure on dissertation writing … This was one of my concluding remarks in an internship report that I submitted to the SMC in August 2011. In retrospect, most of us students could have done much better in concluding our dissertations on time if we had paid attention to some basic project management (PM) principles that we were taught in the first semester. A 'project' is defined as a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service. In the PM profession, projects are completed through the management of five processes which include initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing. In managing these processes, the project manager integrates factors such as scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communication, risks, and procurements for each project to achieve success. In the final student

project, these factors also determine the quality and grade that a student dissertation attracts. Although SMC does not teach project management as a course, the School's curriculum gives students the PM tools to deal with the ever competing demands of project scope, time, cost, risks and quality. From my experience at the SMC, these competing demands can be resolved by a serious student in the first semester. Regrettably, less than 20 percent do the needful; the majority end up in a writing frenzy that is often characterized by several revisions, cancellations or rewrites, and some that eventually receive poor to average grades. How to do it? Planning is the key. The SMC first semester is packed with courses and workshops that help the alert student plan and determine early on the scope, schedule, budget, human resources and risks involved in writing the dissertation. It is however easy to

derail as most of these helpful courses and workshops are not so obvious to the fresh student. There is a tendency to focus attention only on COM 603 (the Advanced Communication Research Methods course) in order to prepare for the final project. Equally important, if not more so, are the following: the Self Management Presentation which equips students with the skills to manage their time; COM 602 which can enable a serious student determine a research area of interest in the First Semester; Com 601 which gives the student an opportunity to determine a theoretical framework for the project; and COM 604 which sharpens the student's grasp of intellectual concepts and ideas. In particular, COM 602 – the way it was structured and taught to us at the time – was a hidden gem. It helped students determine and focus on a given research area, exposed ethical minefields to run away from, and made Continued on page 3

The smc newsletter july 2013  

A monthly publication of the School of Media and Communication, Pant-Atlantic University, Lagos