Philip Isakpa, CEO of Nigeria’s Leading Online Business Newspaper, Businessamlive

The digital world we live in today, with its instantaneous access to information, click-bait culture and citizen journalism, has seriously impeded the prevalence of quality journalists and professional news platforms. Few journalists in Nigeria still possess qualities that can inspire anyone to take up journalism as a profession. Their honesty, grit, and perseverance are rare virtues that stand them out in Nigeria’s media landscape. Among them is Philip Isakpa, Executive Editor/CEO Business a.m.

Who is Philip Isakpa?

Philip Isakpa is one of the most influential business journalists in Nigeria, having an enviable pedigree that has made him a role model for up-coming reporters. When you talk about top journalists in Nigeria’s business journalism landscape, Isakpa is among the very best the sector has seen. He is among very few Nigerian journalists equally skilled and hard-working as they are virtuous and ethical.

Educational Background

Isakpa’s educational background reflects traces of depth and quality in terms of knowledge and content. He attended the prestigious Kings College Lagos after which he proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) where he bagged a degree in Mass Communication in 1995 as the best graduating student in his class. He then proceeded to Liverpool John Moores University where he got his Masters Degree.

Career in Journalism

Isakpa had always had a flare for writing and an innate passion for journalism even before enrolling into the university for his First Degree. He was a freelance journalist for a while before joining the Business Day Newspapers where his input shot his name to limelight in Nigeria’s media Landscape. He rose to the rank of Editor in BusinessDay and his exceptional contributions positioned the publications as one of the leading business dailies in West Africa. Isakpa was ultimately promoted for his giant strides in the establishment as the Executive Management of BusinessDay Media Limited announced his elevation to the position of Executive Director, in June 2014, with July 1 as the effective date for the appointment.

Media Ownership

Isakpa’s inborn passion for journalism took him to the next level in the profession which is media ownership category. He is the Executive Editor/CEO Business a.m., one of Nigeria’s leading business dailies. The online version of the publication, Businessamlive.com, came out ‘fast and furious’, taking the business journalism community by storm with consistent show of professionalism and dogged coverage of the business world. Businessamlive quickly became a household name in Nigeria and is gradually pushing across Africa with contents that appeal to business community in the continent. Isakpa’s understanding of the disturbing challenge posed by the digital world and numerous surface-based click-and bait news media existing today, stigmatizing the journalism profession spurred him into ensuring that Business a.m. and Businessamlive are platforms that reflect vintage professionalism in terms of content and outlook, as a result of which these newspapers are among the most sought-after in Nigeria’s business/financial sector. After showcasing outstanding work at BusinessDay, Isakpa’s Business a.m. is simply a reflection of class from the master himself with cutting-age business news and analysis about the business/financial sector not just in Nigeria but across the globe.

About Business A.M.

Business A.M was founded in 2014. Its online presence is huge, with subscribers across the globe. The publication provides up-to-date finance, commodity, technology, business news round-the-clock. Businessamlive.com is an updated daily global online, digital edition of the print version of Business a.m., a newspaper owned and published by Businessnewscorp in Lagos, the financial and business capital of Nigeria.

Business a.m. provides unmatched coverage and insight of the issues in the financial sector and the markets in an exciting depth and with more revealing breadth than most other trade publications. The publication has a trusted and impressive eye on what’s on the agenda for key sectors such as banking and finance, investment banking, fund management, trading and technology, fund management, alternatives, markets, commodities, companies, securities, including private equity, as well as business activity and the economy from a markets perspective in Nigeria, Africa and the World. It proves to be one of the leading sources of coverage for the finance sector and general business in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa. The contents of this publication represent the interest of the financial markets and business to those not best informed or less interested in the financial markets and business matters, a major reason why it has become a household name in Nigeria.

Views on Professionalism

Isakpa is an ardent believer in professionalism aimed at protecting and upholding the watchdog role of journalism in the society. While featuring as a guest speaker at an interactive session held in Lagos in August 2019, Isakpa expressed concern that “Nigerian journalism has taken a step backwards from what it should be doing.” He spoke specifically regarding the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which had suffered several setbacks. He advised journalists to join forces to sensitise the citizenry, the lawmakers and members of the executive on the need to make the Bill become law. According to him;

“There is need to collaborate. You cannot work in isolation. Since we are part of the society we live in, whatever happens in the society we live in is of concern to us. We must attain a position of an advocate or an agenda setter in the case of the PIB.” He advised journalists to expose forces working against the passage of the PIB, which aims to increase Nigeria’s earnings from the oil and gas sector, so that Nigerians can know them.

“We (journalists) have a responsibility to make sure that we have an understanding of that industry and that it works for the betterment of the world that we live in. Journalists do themselves a lot of harm because we act as if the economy does not matter to us. For instance, we tend to unconsciously support the labour unions who when pushing their agenda say ‘no to subsidy removal for instance,’ but we should think what it would mean to me, my family and the society.

“The reforms are tied to the functioning of the economy. As journalists, our immediate constituency is the society that we live in, so, anything that will put pin in the balloon, we should prevent it. We must be interested in the core, which is the economy. It is impacting our lives.”

This advice reflects the image of a complete professional whose interest is to protect the basic tenets of journalism in the face of challenges. Isakpa is a brand in Nigeria’s business journalism sector that could make many upcoming graduates of media and communication in Nigeria decide to take up journalism as a career.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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