Introducing Akin Jimoh’s Style of Journalism
In the ever-evolving world of journalism, it is rare to find individuals who embody the essence of the profession with unwavering dedication and unshakable integrity. Akin Jimoh, a distinguished journalist and communication expert, and Chief Editor of Nature Africa journal, is one such remarkable figure. On the occasion of Akin’s 60th birthday, Wale Adedayo took to Facebook to share a heartfelt tribute to a man whose influence and values have left an indelible mark on the world of journalism.
Mr Adedayo said Moira Tresize, a seasoned educator in the field of Public Relations at Cardiff University, Wales, UK, unknowingly played a pivotal role in unveiling Akin’s unique perspective on journalism. During one of her classes, Moira tasked her students with listing the essentials required to organise a press conference. As the students diligently recited everything they had learned from her, Wale Adedayo, a fellow student, remained hesitant.
It was at this moment that Akin Jimoh’s distinct approach to journalism emerged. Wale, recognising that the list was incomplete, insisted on adding a couple of crucial items. The first was paper for writing the names of journalists who would attend the press conference, and the second was a budget allocation for these attending journalists. Moira was taken aback by these unexpected suggestions, challenging the traditional norms of her teaching.
Taking Care of Journalists
In Nigeria, Akin’s home country, it is common practice to allocate resources to journalists who attend events like press conferences. Often this happened as a result of poor working conditions of journalists, which include poor pay, lack of insurance, and near absence of work tools. This cultural difference became the catalyst for an enlightening discussion that offered a unique perspective on journalism. Akin’s stance on this matter may have seemed unorthodox to some, but it revealed his commitment to thorough and honest journalism.
Though coming from a background of medical physiology and health promotion/education, Akin Jimoh’s professional journey was marked by his unwavering dedication to the core values of journalism. He demonstrated his commitment by choosing the challenging path of health journalism, an area he excelled in while working for The Guardian. His colleagues remember him as a mentor who pushed them to be the best, advocating that journalists who compromised their integrity for monetary gain would eventually have to answer to their conscience and to a higher power.
However, Akin’s ideals often ran counter to the ethos of some news organisations, where quick and easy stories often took precedence over truth and integrity. The Guardian, for instance, had a motto that emphasised the importance of truth, but Akin’s commitment to quality journalism sometimes clashed with some of the prevailing culture.
Tributes to Akin Jimoh
Responding to Mr Adedayo’s post, heartfelt birthday wishes and tributes poured in from Akin’s peers, mentees and colleagues. John Alechenu, a thoroughbred journalist of The Punch newspaper stable reminisced about the early days when he first crossed paths with Akin. He described Akin as a dependable teacher, boss, brother, friend, and mentor. Akin and his wife, Iwalola, had hosted John and his wife during their honeymoon, leaving an indelible mark on their memories.
Quoting Mr John Alechenu: “Happy birthday Egbon! Our paths first crossed in Kaduna around ‘97/ ‘98 when he and then fiancée came around to administer questionnaires for a project. Fast forward to 2005, Madam and I stopped over at his Surulere abode on our way back from our honeymoon in Cotonou. Uncle Akin and Auntie Iwalola were such perfect hosts! They both gave us a treat we remember till this day. Happy birthday to a dependable teacher, boss, brother, friend, and mentor. May the years ahead be long and joyous.”
Chido Nwakanma, a veteran communication consultant, extended his birthday wishes and commended Akin Jimoh’s positive influence in the field of journalism.
Another expert, Akolawole Abimisinuola, wrote: “Happy birthday to a jolly good fellow, Akin Jimoh. May God bless your new age and grant you many more fruitful years ahead. Sixty looks good on you. He helped with many great features articles on Health for us at the Features Desk then and a darling of my Editor, Ms. Harriet Lawrence…. Congratulations Akin, the ever smiling gentleman.”
Akin Jimoh’s legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of unwavering integrity and dedication in the realm of journalism. His unique perspective on the profession and his commitment to mentorship have left an enduring mark on all those fortunate enough to know him.
Development Communications (DevComs) Network founded in 2002 by Akin Jimoh, is Nigeria’s leading media development organisation training journalists and NGO workers in science, public health and social sector advocacy through the media. Akin also served as a Media and Advocacy Specialist for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria Country Office. He was a Knight Fellow at MIT in Science Journalism (1999/2000) and Bell Fellow in Population and Development Studies at Harvard School of Public Health (1995/96). He recently received an award for his contribution to the field of development communication from the Institute of Strategic and Development Communication (ISDEVCOM) at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria. Since 2021, he has served as Chief Editor of Nature Africa, a digital magazine from the stables of Springer Nature covering scientific research and policy across Africa.
As he celebrates his 60th birthday, AkweyaTV deems it fitting to editorialise and acknowledge the profound impact Akin has had on the field of journalism in Nigeria and beyond. Happy birthday, Akin, and may your legacy continue to inspire the next generation of journalists.