Yinka Fabowale, one of Nigeria’s most accomplished and award-winning journalists, has presented the world with a book detailing the typical experiences and challenges of an African journalist rising from rookie to veteran in the face of daily risks to life and career.
The book, A Reporter and His Beat, tells the story of a Nigerian journalist on duty in the military and democratic eras. It offers unique and realistic lessons to reporters, journalists and scholars as it points out the differences between journalism in theory and practice.
The new book, according to Mike Awoyinfa, a former MD/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing, is “a tapestry of captivating stories, pedagogy, moral treatise.”
“This book is worthy of admittance to the growing corpus of sublime literature and will definitely enrich the perspectives of policymakers, scholars of communication and journalism, development studies experts and anyone interested in the range of subjects it covers,” Awoyinfa adds.
Abiodun Adeniyi, a Professor of Communication at the Baze University, Abuja, says that by writing A Reporter and His Beat, Yinka Fabowale, has scored the goal of a true professional.
“The professional needs some detouring to document travails, travels, tests, and triumphs, not just for the younger practitioners, students, researchers, neutral readers, and much else, but also to relieve the self of the inner burden to give back, by sharing life’s lessons from a personal prism,” he says.
Giving an inkling into the kind of accounts readers should expect, Dare Babarinsa, co-founder of TELL weekly news magazine in the Foreword to the book, said Fabowale “was on the beat when General Sani Abacha and his goons were on the prowl and journalism became one of Nigeria’s most dangerous professions. Now that Nigeria is enjoying civil rule, Fabowale is reminding Nigerians about those heroes and heroines who paid the price so that our country can enjoy freedom from military rule and dictatorship. This is a book of history, of journalism, and a testament about courage and determination. The style is mellifluous and accessible, flowing with the milk of humanness and the penetrating surefootedness of a seasoned athlete.”
Ahead of the book’s presentation in Lagos, Fabowale’s former colleagues and bosses in the Sun Newspaper, The Guardian, Tell Magazine and friends in the media, have continued to express hearty views about the book, betting that the book will be gold in the readers’ hands.
Tony Onyima, a former Managing Director of The Sun Newspaper, where Fabowale worked as Assistant Editor/Bureau Chief (Southwest), says that besides being an indigenous contribution to journalism knowledge, the new book “is a first-hand recollection by an infantryman whose exploits on the beat are legendary.”
On the book’s writing style, Lola Fabowale-Male, a Canada-based policy analyst, said: “Yinka Fabowale frankly, humorously, and humbly reveals both the glittering side and the seedy underbelly of Nigeria’s Fourth Estate.”
Lade Bonuola, former Managing Director, The Guardian, expressed delight at the Author’s picturesque renditions of accounts, which comes with the accustomed enrapturing prose Fabowale is known for.
Reehoeing the views of other colleagues, Femi Adesina, former Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Newspapers and now Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, described Fabowale as a dyed-in-the-wool reporter/writer.
“He uncannily combines the nose for news of a natural reporter, with the aplomb of a creative writer,”he said.
Muda Ganiyu, former Editor of Nigerian Tribune, recommends the book to all journalists, journalism teachers and students, and the general public because “it’s entertaining, enthralling, and educative.”
On what readers should expect, Shola Oshunkeye, the book reviewer and former MD/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Newspapers in Ghana, and President, The Crest Publishing Limited, said the world is about to receive a “riveting memoir of an extraordinary journalist.”
“The book is worth its weight in diamond and makes a compelling reading,” Oshunkeye added.
One of those who cannot wait to get their hands on the book is Barrister Yemi Giwa, former Abuja Bureau Chief of the Nigerian Tribune. In a message to the author, Giwa said: “I can’t wait to buy, masticate and digest the book. Its aroma is overwhelmingly tantalizing. More inspiration and power to your wrist. Way back in the early 80s Yinka was one of the best among us at the Department of Language Arts, University of lbadan. You have beautifully demonstrated one of such arts- Good writing in this work of Arts. It is an understatement that you are our worthy Ambassador. I keep on relishing your juicy articles in our Magazine “The Lark,” when I was the Vice president of our treasured Language Arts Club.”