The Rise of Arise TV


 The growth and expansion of independent broadcasting in Nigeria took root and was consolidated in the initial period of its existence after the sector was initiated during the tenure of the military presidency of General Ibrahim Babangida. It is ironic that when that regime announced the commencement of a parley to discuss the issue the then Minister of Information, the brilliant former editor of the Daily Times, Barrister Tony Momoh, had publicly announced that he believed Nigeria was not ready for independent broadcasting.

However, after the conference ended he turned out to be the official who was entrusted with the historic task of implementing the innovative policy. As a result, that government gave the members of the Nigerian public an instrument that was to empower their democratic impulses with unprecedented reach and independence of opinion.

Although the pioneering radio and television stations were relatively new during the abortive election of 1993 observers have recorded that the outspokenness of participants when that exercise was truncated was given remarkable relevance and credibility because the independent media was available for ordinary citizens to use to comment and to express dissent
Since then the space for public expression of independent non-official views during periods of political contest and discourse has been greatly modified and expanded.

This is nowhere more obvious than on the independent television channels in Nigeria and the performance of one of the newest of these, ARISE NEWS, has been especially dynamic and exciting during the latest season of political contestation. ARISE NEWS came into being ten years ago and so it has been charged with celebrating its first decade while covering the most iconic public eventualities to confront its national headquarters Nigeria. It has met the challenge with extraordinary professionalism and stylish aplomb.

The inauguration of ARISE NEWS Presidential Town Hall meetings was an effective and widely popular innovation and one that influenced and affected the conduct of public affairs in the nation considerably. The controversy that arose when one of the major candidates declined to participate was an impressive newsworthy event especially since the candidate owns a rival television station. The crisis arising therefrom also raised serious ethical questions since it made the audience realise in concrete terms why ARISE is a more attractive channel than most of its rivals.

Over the short span of its broadcasting life it has cultivated a style of communication that is driven by the intellectual rigour and strong personalities of its main commentators and leading presenters, such as Charles Aniagolu and Dr. Reuben Abati. In turning its full attention to coverage of the highly competitive elections ARISE NEWS actually surpassed its promise and rose to the pinnacle of its potential. This has won it praise not only from regular viewers but also from international critics. The broadcasting style of ARISE NEWS channel is very adventurous, which should surprise no one who has scrutinised the career path of its founder,who is Nigeria’s most dynamic media mogul Prince Nduka Obaigbena.

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