A journalist, author, and a newspaper administrator, Steve Ayorinde is one of Nigeria’s best known film and art critics. He has served on the Jury of International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) at major film festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Stockholm, Cairo, and Mumbai International Film Festival and is a foundation juror of AMAA since 2005. He’s the country representative and contributor to the influential International Film Guide (IFG). A multiple award-winning journalist/editor, Steve is the author of Masterpieces: A Critic’s Timeless Report (Spectrum Books, 2008) and Abokede: A Cultural Biography (Artpillar Books, 2011). Steve who reckons that film appreciation is in his DNA is the Managing 1Director/Editor-in-Chief of National Mirror newspapers.
I had the privilege to interview Mr Steve Ayorinde via email as he was unavailable
From: Jokotola Haida Adetunmbi
Date: 7 January 2015 21:19:14 GMT
To: Joko Adetunmbi
Subject: Re: JOKOTOLA HADIZA ADETUNMBI
Good evening sir,
Please can you reply to this interview as I need it by next Monday
Thank you very much
Sent from my iPad
On 31 Dec 2014, at 11:17, Joko Adetunmbi wrote:
Goodmorning Mr Steve Below are the Interview questions,
Your reply can go after each question
Q-Hi Mr. Steve It’s a pleasure having you on this interview
Thank you. The pleasure is mine.
Q-Your career has taken you around the world, what have you been doing lately?
In the last 15 months, I have been working essentially as a Media Consultant, assisting corporate and political clients on media relations, Par and strategy. But I have also kept a weekly column, in Business Day and The Cable online. So I have not stopped writing. And as the Vice President ( West) of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, I have been actively involved in matters that affect media profession and professionals.
Q-How did you begin your career in Journalism?
I have always had a passion for writing. But it was at The Guardian that my professional career began in 1991/1992 as an arts reporter under the tutelage of Mr. Ben Tomoloju. The Guardian was considered as the flagship of journalism in Nigeria then and it was a great thing to have started my career there.
Q-What do you think of journalism in Nigeria?
I think journalism in Nigeria has come of age. We should acknowledge the contribution of journalism to nation building, right from the colonial era when journalists and people with media background led the struggle for independence. Journalists also played a key role in the enthronement of democracy in 1999. They were instrumental in chasing the military out. What this says to me is that we have a vibrant, proactive and responsible media. I also think that in spite of the changes being witnessed, the media in Nigeria has managed to reinvent himself by acknowledging that the future of the profession is digital.
Q-It seems you have always had the passion of film, which led you to being the managing director/Editor-in-chief of national mirror newspaper, before that you were the daily editor and executive director of the paper, briefly can you tell me how you elevated to being the managing director?
Having a passion for film has got nothing to do with becoming the ND of a National Mirror. My background is in the arts. I started as an Arts reporter. I won several awards as a film critic and covered many international film festival. But that happened in the first 10 years of my career. At a The a Guardian and at The Comet. But the second part of my career in the newsroom was largely at the top level. I was a Member of the Editorial Board of a The Punch before being made the Editor of the Daily edition. I would say it’s all those experiences that prepared me for the role of the MD/Editor-in-Chief of National Mirror.
Q-Dr. Ibrahim, OFR in a press release described you as a young, hardworking, loyal and committed journalist in whose hands the vision of making the National Mirror a brand of choice has been placed. Can you tell me what it takes to be a good journalist?
A good journalist must have a passion for the job. He must have a good nose for news and he must be educationally prepared and ethically responsible to function well.
Q-What are your interests?
I’m into the arts and I reckon that I have a secular DNA. I am an avid reader and a news addict. The whole point about living an enjoyable life is to be able to strike a balance among work, family and leisure.
Q-What were your aspirations as a child? And have they changed?
I was hoping to be a lawyer. Not because I thought lawyers were any better but because I knew early in life that I had strong opinions and I do not shy away from intellectually stimulating debates or arguments. But i later realized that journalism could fulfill that yearning for me – the yearning to have a voice, to be heard and to contribute to national discourse. So I’d say I have stayed faithful to my childhood aspirations
Q- Are you currently working on any projects?
Yes. I have a newspaper project that I am working on. A daily online paper, which would also run in print weekly. But as I said earlier, I am also a consultant and I am currently working on a number of Media Relations projects.