The Board of Directors of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust newspapers, has announced the appointment of Naziru Mikailu Abubakar as the new Editor-in-Chief/Executive Director of the company. He is taking over from Mannir Dan-Ali who has served in that capacity since October 2007.
A statement from the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mannir Dan Ali, says Mikailu’s appointment is part of the company’s succession planning that will see the complete exit of owners/managers and enable more digitally attuned journalists to build on the strong Daily Trust brand and strengthen its position as a credible media platform.
Naziru Mikailu brings a wealth of editorial and management experience from his decade-long career at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service where he held different positions in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
The 37-year-old journalist, who begins his new role on January 6, was the editor of BBC’s Abuja Bureau and Editorial Project Manager at the BBC’s West Africa Bureau in Lagos where he played a key role in setting up Igbo, Pidgin and Yoruba services.
Speaking on the new Editor-in-Chief, the company’s CEO said: “We are very delighted to have Naziru to lead our editorial team. His track record, professionalism and understanding of digital media and innovation as well as the Nigerian market will be a valuable addition to our newsroom.”
Reacting to his appointment, Naziru said: “I look forward to leading this wonderful and trusted news organisation in the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
“Over the last two decades, Media Trust has redefined and transformed journalism in Nigeria, becoming the envy of many within and outside the country. I will make sure that we continue to provide unrivalled content to our audience through whatever platform they choose to consume it.”
The new Editor-in Chief will assume duty a few days after the retirement of the Associate Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Mahmud Jega, from day-to-day functions. Mahmud served two terms of three years each as Associate Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief. The well-known columnist and former Editor of the Daily Trust retires from his post at the end of 2019, but will continue to serve as Chairman of the Daily Trust Editorial Board and columnist, among other duties. Before joining Media Trust in 2006, the outgoing Associate Director was editor in the New Nigerian newspapers, Sentinel Magazine and Citizen Magazine.
Detailed profile of the new Editor-in-Chief
The new Editor-in-Chief of Media Trust is a recipient of the 2018 World Journalist Fellowship at the New York University where he recently earned an MA in digital media and innovation.
Before joining NYU, Naziru Mika’ilu had obtained an MA in New Media and Society at the University of Leicester in England and a BA in Mass Communication at Bayero University, Kano.
He was a product of Gwani Dan Zarga Islamic Primary and Secondary School where he memorised the Holy Qur’an at the age of 14.
While studying in the US, he developed a working document on an Augmented Reality news app for Voice of America. He also worked with an American news site, Axios, to help segment its audience and develop some new products.
Naziru started his journalism career as an intern with the Triumph newspaper in his Kano hometown before moving to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to work with the defunct Standard Voice newspaper.
He joined the BBC World Service in 2009 as a multimedia broadcast journalist. Stationed in Nigeria and the UK, he covered global and regional news before becoming the BBC’s Nigeria Bureau Editor in 2016, leading the organisation’s teams in Nigeria, Niger, Ghana and Cameroon.
His management skills and understanding of Nigeria’s media market earned him the appointment of the Editorial Project Manager for the BBC’s West Africa bureau in Lagos where he recruited about 40 staffers to help set up the BBC Nigeria’s digital-only services in Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin.
While in London from 2012 to 2016, he worked with several BBC outlets including Focus on Africa Radio, Hausa Service, News Online and BBC Africa digital video. He was the first person from the African language team to work with the main BBC News website-bbcnews.com.
His published works include several international news stories, features, analysis and explainers on politics, current affairs and economy on radio, TV and digital, including the 2016 exclusive interview with Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari.
Other highlights of his career at the BBC include the planning and coverage of major elections in Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, and Kenya; the 18th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and the burial of Nelson Mandela.
The new Editor-in-Chief has attended several editorial, technical, senior management and leadership courses at the BBC’s Academy in the UK. He is a member of the Online News Association and the National Association of Black Journalists in the United States.