MR. ISRAEL UMOH [PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF]
ISRAEL UMOH is an experienced journalist of 31 years and a tested public administrator. He started as a budding writer picking and using broomstick to write on leaves. At his formative years, he coveted grammatical correctness and fine writings spiced with vocabulary. Journalism is in his blood and he does not joke about journalism ethos that advocates a corrupt-free society, meaningful development and well-being for all people irrespective of their status, tribe and religion. Even now, he has not deviated from his innate vocation.
He abhors bad governance and ineffective leadership at all levels of the society. He does not believe in transactional leadership that is common to most African and Nigerian leaders, but is a firm believer in transformational leadership that brings about development and socio-economic changes in the society. He believes in human beings and more so on human capacity building through formal education which people can use to change themselves and consequently the society they live in. His passion for Development Journalism has stirred his enthusiasm and deep desire to float an online newspaper to add value to the development of rural communities and give voice to the voiceless.
To him, newspaper as a medium of mass communication is a potent instrument the people can use to influence decisions and change anti-people policies and programmes of the government. His foray into this publication is borne out of his determination to change the perception of blackmail, hate, vendetta and sycophancy portrayed by some of the professionals. His focus is to use this online newspaper christened StraightNews to diffuse these vices and to douse doubt and confusion shrouding the profession. He is a stickler for excellence, apostle of truth, a crusader of justice, a firm believer of equality and fair play, a respecter of sound ideas, an arbiter of community development and an inspirer of hope and talents hunt/development. God is his first love, family follows and journalism, his divine call.
He had served as Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council; Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, State Information Chapel; Chairman, 2003 Press Week Planning Committee, Akwa Ibom; Chairman, 2001 Information Chapel Mass Transit Scheme and Secretary. In the higher institutions, he served as Public Relations Officer, Association of Mass Communications Students (AMASCOS), The Polytechnic, Calabar, and was a member of Board of Directors, DAWN newspaper, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State.
He had occupied the positions of Managing Editor, The Encounter Times magazine; Associate Editor, Ibom Now magazine; Associate Editor, Milestone magazine; Associate Editor, Landmarks magazine; Editor, Ministry of Information and Communication Weekly News; editorial consultant, Unity magazine; contributor to Finance News; contributor to The Impact magazine and a columnist, The Courier. He was Secretary, Editorial Board, Sensor newspaper. As a freelance journalist then, he has more than 50 published features articles both in regional and national dailies. Above all, he is a member of Nigeria Union of Journalists and Associate member, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
Umoh attended the prestigious The Polytechnic, Calabar, Cross River State where he obtained Ordinary National Diploma (OND), Mass Communications, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State where he bagged Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communications; University of Calabar, Cross River State where he got Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Public Administration and the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State where he obtained Master of Public Administration (MPA).
To further sharpen his professional nous, he had attended many courses and obtained Certificate in Computer Literacy, Certificate in Effective Communication, Certificate in Refresher courses and Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility. He had also attended workshop on Information and Communication Technology, Partnering With the Media in the Development of Niger Delta and a workshop on Challenges of the Media Industry in Nigeria, among others.
He is a recipient of 2003 NUJ/Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited, Port Harcourt, Ambassador of Peace by UNESCO, 2004 Jerusalem Pilgrim as well as excellence awards from Akwa Ibom Youth Movement and Youth Empowerment and Detribalised Leadership. Married with five children, Umoh has had a working tour of several countries including Israel, Egypt and Cyprus.
REV. FR. THOMAS S. EBONG [EDITORIAL ADVISER]
THOMAS S. EBONG is a priest in good standing with the Church from the Catholic Diocese of Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State. He is a twin and was born in 1952. He studied Philosophy, Theology at Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, an Urban Affiliate, Rome, with Diploma and B.D. respectively. He did his Postgraduate Diploma in Education at The University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1983. While he taught in the secondary schools and Science College in Abak, he became a scriptwriter and a broadcaster for the popular programme “LIVING THOUGHTS” for the AKBC Radio, Abak with 101 broadcasted programmes (airings ?). During this time, the Ministry of Education gave him permission to go for basics of Radio training at the Catholic Media Center in Kaduna. Using the free weekends of these three months, he used Kaduna as his base to travel around the whole of Nigeria, in his words, “to know my country better”.
He left for studies in the US in 1989. He studied with the Jesuits at Loyola University in Chicago in the department of Communications and was awarded a B.A. degree in Radio/ Television and Film. He went to another Jesuit institution, the Loyola Marymount University in California, to study for Master’s in Television Production followed by a terminal degree, MFA in the same course in 1995, with many of his lecturers and professors from the Hollywood Industry and backgrounds. He went on to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and bagged his Ph. D. in Communications (Radio/Television and Film) in 2002. He was a Research Assistant for the Department of Communication at Wayne State University during his doctorate programme. He went on to teach Black Film Studies in the department of Humanities at the University of Michigan, Dearborn Campus in 2001. He used his time too to have input at meetings with the Universal Peace Federation and Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace working for lasting solutions between Israel and Palestine and was awarded a framed certificate of AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE in 2007 by the same group.
He has written many journal articles, presented conference papers, participated at many workshops for Movie directors and artists in Nigeria, USA and Canada, Television discussions, many Radio programmes published many poems and was inducted into the HALL of FAME of POETRY in 1995. He has been a wonderful Resource person for the Nigerian Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for over eight years.
He had been a strong proponent for the recognition of the importance of Theory and Practice as the two necessary wings that can help the Nigerian Education to fly. He therefore argued in 2013 before the Nigerian Press Council in Kaduna and at public presentations with articles for Polytechnic HND graduates to have same recognition and sometimes, better, with their University counterparts holding first degrees. He is also an advocate for the award of degree programmes for Polytechnic graduates which has now been favored by the Nigerian Federal Government. He was one of the Twelve Resource Persons chosen by NBTE to draft the 2014 National Curriculum for Mass Communication for Polytechnics in Nigeria.
He had been the HOD for Mass Communications from 2008 to 2011 and the Director of the School of Communication Arts from 2012 before becoming the Dean of the School of Communication Arts, Akwa Ibom Polytechnic from 2014 to 2017. While holding these posts, he was teaching at various times: Radio/TV Production Techniques, Broadcast Productions, Critical Writing, Editorial Writing, TV Productions and Video Editing as well as leading students to final year TV Productions and Final Projects, one of whom he supervised and is making history for being the first to produce a movie, the Duet, which he too, has made a cameo as Mr. Alabi. He is also a part-time lecturer in English and Communications at the St. Joseph Major Seminary, Ikot Ekpene. He has consulted for two major magazines and organized workshops on how to write and edit articles.
DR. ANIETIE UDO UMOREN [CONTRIBUTING EDITOR]
ANIETIE UDO UMOREN is a son of teachers. His parents taught many children and imparted knowledge to many who have made impressive marks in their different fields of endeavor. They, in turn, inculcated in their third son sound knowledge and moral values. In his formative age, he exhibited immense intellectual virtuoso through reading and writing. In his secondary school days, he belonged to a writing club.
Born August 31, 1964, Umoren, graduated from the University of Benin in September 1987 with Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) . As a trained medical doctor, he loves creative writings and creatively and concisely he writes. Medicine is his first love, but writing/reading, his second vocation.
In the public service, he has an intimidating profile. Umoren had served as Executive Director, Special Projects Coordinator, Simtech Construction and Merchandise Nigeria Ltd; Senior Special Assistant to National Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in coordinating appointments, meetings and policy development.
He also served as Project Development Specialist and Consultant to Idem Marine Ltd, Lagos – A Maritime Technology Development Company, Medical Advisor/Local Project Manager in CLR LTD/BAILEY Automation Plc UK Consortium for the rehabilitation of Savannah Sugar Company, Numan, Adamawa State, Medical Advisor/Assistant General Manager (Project) at Carbon Energie Nig. Ltd Lagos for the Materials procurement for start-up of Ajaokuta Steel Company as well as Medical Advisor at Carbonex Nig. Ltd for the Environmental Project for the use of Coal as Cooking Fuel to Stem Deforestation in Sahel Savannah Region of Nigeria.
Moreover, he was Medical Advisor to Eagle Mining Company Ltd. the Operators of the Onyeama Coal Mine in Enugu, Medical Officer at Nigerian Telecommunication (NITEL) Medical Centre, North West Zone Headquarters, Kaduna on National Youth Service Corps and Housemanship at St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua – Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
His interests lie largely on Volley Ball, Reading, Human Development and Emancipation. He would bring his vast experience in politics and human capacity development to add value to the growth of the online newspaper. A lover of progress, strategic planner/thinker, policy formulator and political strategist, he has a lot in public life to offer in shooting the newspaper to a dizzying height.
MR. NSEMEKE UDOAKPAN [ASSOCIATE EDITOR]
NSEMEKE UDOAKPAN has various experiences that cut across the print and electronic media, and the field of Public Relations.
He is a Member of the Education Committee of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations( NIPR). He also served the Akwa Ibom state Chapter of NIPR as Chapter Secretary from 2014 to 2016.
A graduate of Communication Arts, he has several awards of excellence in Communication and in Public Relations. He is married with children.
MR. AKANIMO SAMPSON [EDITOR-AT-LARGE]
AKANIMO SAMPSON is a notable print journalist, having worked for most of Nigeria’s major publications, including The Punch, Champion Newspapers, Daily Independent , The Nation, just to mention a few.
Over the years, he has also received enormous training from the BBC and US-based media organisations on Conflict, Political and Economic reporting. His stories especially on the oil struggles in the Niger Delta are widely syndicated in many online platforms both locally and internationally.
Sampson’s career spans about three decades, and within this period has been instrumental in shaping and inspiring many young journalists across the country. He practices undiluted and creative journalism founded on bare truth, and also believes that the average practitioner should be able to ply his trade with the utmost ethical standards.
A 1987 graduate of History from the University of Uyo where he was a student activist.
MR. GABRIEL EFO [STAFF WRITER]
GABRIEL EFO is a content writer at StraighNews. He is a graduate with a degree in Mass Communication and has worked as a reporter with The Sun Publishing Limited for four years. He has also worked as an editor with a local newspaper.
His interests are music, writing and reading inspirational contents.
Reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org