Ika Voice, a community tabloid based
in Ika land last weekend celebrated one year on the newsstand. The event which
was chaired by the publisher, Warri Voice Newspaper, Comrade Femi Odoneta
was  attended by known publishers in the
state, Mr. Andrew Egonte, Chief Dr. F.A Onyekpeze, Ogbueshi Osita Biosa,
Leonard Idegbekwu, Augustine Onwubuya, Barr. Albert Usiagwu, Ikechukwu Eouh
members of Progressive Women Circle, DPP women, among others.

Odometa in his speech  congratulated  the publisher, Ika Voice and the entire
management for recording one full year of objective journalism, even as he
described the newspaper as one of the best community newspapers in Delta State.

his part, Ogbuefi Osita Biosa, former chairman, Newspapers Proprietors in Delta
State scored Ika Voice newspaper high, saying that newspaper business is
capital intensive and any publisher who is able to remain in business despite
the challenges should be commended. He said community newspapers play great
roles by informing government of the 
problems affecting the society. He pointed out that newspapers companies
will not grow without patronage from the people either through adverts
placement or writing of articles. He therefore appealed to residents of  Ika land to support community newspapers for
the overall development of the area.

a paper he titled “the Role of Community Newspaper in the Rural Development,”
Chief Dr. F.A Onyekpeze said that early Nigerian journalism was conceived
within the frame work of colonial enlightenment,  pointing out that no society can effectively
develop without a vibrant press because of its strategic role as a mobilizer of
resources, educator, informer and entertainer of the public.

to Chief Dr. Onyekpeze, “in Nigeria, as in the rest of the developing  world, the role of the press, already
amplified assumes an even wider dimension.

hold this view given the peculiarity of the reality of our present situation.
For example, it is without doubt that post independence Nigeria could hardly
have been without the strategic role of the press in  mobilizing the public for the independence
struggle. The nationalist, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir
Herbert Macauley, Chief Dennis Osadebe and others, could hardly have made any
significant impact without the strategic support of the news media. Like
education, the press was aimed at civilizing the native population.

elder statesman however concluded by saying that the Nigerian press has to be
adequately motivated for it to remain efficient.”

in his address, the publisher, Ika Voice newspaper, Mr. Joe Onyibe welcomed all
the persons that saying that the 
establishment  of Ika Voice
was  aimed at encouraging readership in
the first place and making the ultimate beneficiaries know the importance of
the community newspaper in showcasing the socio-economic and political
relevance of the people and how best to use the media in passing their feelings
to the powers that be, and for them to know what the Government is doing on
their behalf.

said community newspaper is faced  with
the problem of  circulation, lack of
patronage in the area of advert placement, lack of awareness and poor reading
culture within the rural communities.

in the same vein, Mr. Onyibe disclosed that N25 million Professional Education
Fund as planned by the newspaper is meant to train and retrain graduates who do
not specialize in a single profession to enable them  fend for themselves by being self employed,
adding that it is also aimed at training or retraining job seekers or employees
who may have gained employment but find it difficult to perform the jobs
assigned to them.

however appealed to all and sundry to generously contribute to the Professional
Education Fund as a committee will be appointed within and outside the
management of Ika Voice to manage the fund in order to achieve the purpose for
which it is intended.

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