The Media Blog: Dapo Olorunyomi steps (just a bit) aside at Premium Times

This didn’t make as much of a splash as it should have. Understandable sha – it’s Nigeria after all, where the present has very little knowledge of its provenance.

Dapo Olorunyomi is one of Nigerian journalism’s true greats. Almost every important milestone of the past 20 years has his footprints all over it – until this very day.

He was a co-founder of TheNEWS and TEMPO, which terrorized Sani Abacha and enabled our return to democracy. He joined Nuhu Ribadu at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission building the myth that helped the man shatter covens of corruption and get some robbers arrested and jailed.

Then he moved on to NEXT, where he led the Enterprise and broke many of the country’s most important stories including the revelation that Diezani Alison Madueke is an (alleged) thief, and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was a brain-dead president.

Then he consulted here and there and then again for media leaders including TV Continental. And finally launched Premium Times, which for the past four years has been the undisputed leader for online news – shaking politicians, unseating government officials and keeping audiences excited.

Ahead of it coming fifth anniversary, the legendary investigative journalist who set up what they call Nigeria’s first not-for-profit news platform, has decided to step aside.

There are personal reasons that have necessitated that which need not be shared because they are unimportant to the story of this impressive icon, but the big deal is he has moved to the non-executive role of publisher for the online newspaper and left the task of mapping its future to his 7-year comrades, Musikilu Mojeed and Idris Akinbajo.

Mojeed, whose greatest hits include exposing Philip Emeagwali as a fraud, is the new Managing Editor and Chief Operating Officer.

Idris Akinbajo, a long-time collaborator with Musikilu on several big stories from the days of NEXT, including a six-part series back in 2011 that exposed the dealings of then Petroleum Minister Diezani Madueke, is the new Managing Editor of the paper.

Ini Ekott, former associate editor, has been moved up to become Assistant Managing Editor for News. In 2013, he was named Nigeria’s Investigative Journalist of the Year by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Essentially, the investigative journalism arm of NEXT spun off and became Premium Times, and remains the gift that keeps on giving, covering the important stories that Nigeria’s media houses is either ill-equipped or unmotivated to handle, for a number of reasons.

In doing so, Premium Times have spoken truth to power on many occasions, and even though NEXT is long gone, their ethos lives on.

There is a broader context here, though. This is the latest set of vertical moves by Nigerians in media houses that started in the last 5 years. This blog has already covered such moves at Pulse and Big Cabal Media.

And we have a feeling we will be covering more to soon come.

PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, op-eds etc) send us a mail on [email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!

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