By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
A Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on Media, Tony Nezianya Nezianya, over the weekend, called on sports journalists to endeavour to provide technical, factual and timely information in their reportage.
Speaking at an event to wrap up of the 2020 SWAN WEEK/Award night in Awka, Nezianya explained that in all the groupings, it is the activity of journalists with bias for sports reporting, commentating and analysing, that provides coordination for healthy interactions.
He enjoined sports writers to understand general and specific rules of various sporting events so as to remain experts in their chosen specialisations.
Nezianya, a seasoned sports journalist and former Nigeria Olympic Committee image maker observed that journalism had created convergence for all stakeholders, which include, athletes/players, administrators, financiers, marketers and spectators, noting that a sports journalist needed to be knowledgeable about sports to make sense of it all.
He said, “Now that sporting activities have been professionalized, it is only fitting that the sports journalist must also professionalize his services to benefit the growth and development of humanity.
“As professionals in the field, you must be knowledgeable in the rules and regulations involved in the practice of sports and must be in a position to provide authentic information because there are general rules and regulations and there are also specific rules guiding every game and competition.
“There is need for sports journalists to raise their levels too. ICT has come with many tools for the practice of excellence in sports journalism. If you are a practicing journalist and not ICT-compliant, please look for another job.
“I recommend that all practicing sports journalists must aspire to cover the World Cup and the Olympic Games at least once in their lifetime, while on the job. You must also strive to register as an AIPS member.
“To date, I have covered five Olympic Games. However, to get there you must be a member of SWAN.”
While saying that Sports writing is no longer the job for the never-do-wells from other departments to be dumped in, Nezianya insisted that to report sports at the highest level and be able to belong to relevant affiliate bodies, practitioners must ensure they are technologically savvy.
According to him, ICT has come with many tools for the practice of excellence in sports journalism.
“If you are a practicing journalist and not ICT-compliant, please look for another job.
“I recommend that all practicing sports journalists must aspire to cover the World Cup and the Olympic Games at least once in their lifetime, while on the job”, the retired Director of News Agency of Nigeria added.