The advent of cutting edge technology in media broadcasting has enhanced the processes of news gathering, processing and presentation and for any media organization to remain competitive, it must redefine it’s operational dynamics to align to this present day reality. Apart from technological process, it must exhibit pluralism and diversity, integrity, accountability, public service and high level profession standards. The media landscape in Nigeria is the most vibrant in Africa as can be attested to by it’s robust and influential character in shaping the country's political, social and economic environment.
The public own media like the Nigerian Television Authority occupies a very strategic place in shaping events in Nigeria, promoting national consciousness and enhancing peace and unity in the country. The traditional and constitutional obligations of monitoring governance, serving as watchdog of society and promoting democratic tenets must at all times be the cardinal objectives of the media and NTA under the current board has performed very well in this regard.
The Mallam Usman Magawata- led Board of The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has exhibited uncommon commitment in promoting efficiency, credibility, innovation in news broadcasting and programming with the aim of providing viewers more choices of quality programming and credible news. This is made possible with the introduction of four new channels namely: NTA Channel 24, NTA Entertainment, NTA Knowledge and NTA Sports which are currently showing on Startimes TV. Also the current Board has added the latest broadcasting techniques with the introduction of Wonder Cube which is a broadcast automation system consisting of six channels which makes it possible for the six channels to play simultaneously completely unmanned, full automation of the operation of NTA Channel 24 and the introduction of 120 terabyte capacity blue ray archiving system. This system enhances permanent archiving of video materials and can maintain the integrity of archived video for over a hundred years.
It is a known fact that NTA under the current leadership introduced the first digital terrestrial television network in Nigeria through the joint venture company, NTA-STAR TV which is currently transmitting in six states of the federation with over 600,000 subscribers. In 2009, 40 VSAT were installed in all the state capitals across Nigeria, this is to enhance connectivity and news contribution from any part of the country. This has greatly facilitated the timely transmission of breaking news from any part of Nigeria. It is also worthy to note that in a bid to transmit stories of Nigeria interest across the world, news bureaus have been established in Cairo, Accra, London, Washington and Ottawa to tell African stories from the African perspective .
In the area of manpower development, the Mallam Usman Magawata-led NTA has embarked on periodic training of staff to enhance their capacity and performance and has also ensured that staff are promoted as at when due. This has helped to boost staff morals as many staff who have been stagnated over the years have been promoted.
It is heart warming to note the non-partisan posture of the Nigerian Television Authority during the 2011 general elections. Political parties were offered equal opportunities to present their manifesto to the people. During the election, about 16 set of streaming equipment were purchased, which greatly enhanced the coverage of the elections.
I believe strongly that for NTA to continue to maintain it’s record of patriotic service, it’s leadership must be committed to innovative practices, pursuit of excellence and I can say unequivocally that Mallam Usman Magawata is a square peg in a square hole.
— Ivoke wrote in from Abuja