When you talk about mass media in Nigeria, there are names that dominate the industry. Such names are brands on their own to the extent that they play major roles in shaping the media brand in Nigeria. What of such names is Reuben Abati. When you read about this man you will understand that he is just an exceptional role model and inspiration to upcoming journalists and other Nigerian who want to pursue a career in the Nigerian Mass Media industry.
Who is Reuben Abati?
Reuben Abati is a Nigerian Journalist, Politician, Television Anchor and Newspaper Columnist born in November 7, 1965. He was the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria between year 2011 and 2015. Reuben Abati was the PDP’s Deputy Governorship candidate in Ogun state for the 2019 Guber Election. He was formerly a Newspaper Columnist and the Chairman of the Editorial board of the Nigerian Newspaper “The Guardian” from 2001 to 2011.
Reuben Abati graduated from the University of Calabar, Nigeria in 1985nwith a first class Honors and as class Valedictorian. He Received the Vice Chancellor’s prize for the student with the Best Overall Academic Performance in the Graduating class. Reuben was also a National Merit Scholar, and later studied at the University of Ibadan as a University Scholar. He holds a PhD in Theartre Arts, specializing in Dramatic Literature, Theory and Criticism from the University of Ibadan (1990), a Bachelors degree in Law from Lagos State University, Lagos (1999), a professional training certificate in Journalism from the College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, United States (1996-1997) and a Certificate in management and leadership from the Business School, University of Oxford in 2015.
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Career in the Media
Abati has an intimidating pedigree in media practice. During his time as chairman Editorial Board and Editorial page Editor of the Guardian Newspapers, for more than ten years and later as a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity and Official Spokesperson in the Nigerian Presidency (2011-2015), and he was responsible for a lot of tasks including articulation and execution of policy, determination of editorial direction, crisis management, media management, communications and team management.
Reuben Abati was a member and co-presenter of the television discussion programme, Patito’s Gang, founded by Professor Pat Utomi between 2000 and 2011. He served as a member of the Governing Council of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state between 2003 and 2oo7 and was a member of the Board of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (2007-2011). Abati is regarded as one of the Nigeria’s leading Public Affairs Commentators and as a Media Professional who has a unique multi-disciplinary background in Drama, Management Journalism and law garnered over the past thirty-two years. He has been writing for the Nigerian press since 1985, serving as contributing Editor, Editor and Columnist to many Publications, covering both the Mainstream media and the Softer genre of Romance and Lifestyle magazines. He is very well known for his book reviews essays and commentaries on national, regional and international affairs. Reuben’s writings have also appeared in both local and international periodicals and academic journals.
Reuben Abati was, from 2000-2011, Chairman of the Editorial Board at the Guardian Newspaper, a privately owned, independent Nigerian Newspaper. He also served at The Guardian as Editorial page Editor, and as a columnist, running two columns per week. He originally started his career as a University Teacher, teaching courses Dramaturgy, Theory and Criticism, Special Author Studies, and the Sociology of Literature at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state, south west Nigeria, before embarking on other fields of interest.
His Time as Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan
In 2011, he was appointed special Adviser Media and Publicity and as official spokesperson to former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria. In this capacity, he was responsible for managing the president’s media office, media relations and leading the presidency’s Public Communications team. After his time in government, Reuben Abati returnrd to Journalism, writing his regular two columns in the Guardian Newspaper (Friday and Sunday). He subsequently moved to ThisDay Newspaper where he now writes a Tuesday Column titled; TuesdayWithReubenAbati and he runs a website: reubenabati.com.ng.
Reuben Abati is a recipient of many prizes for journalistic excellence including; the Hadj Alade Odunewu/Diamond Award for Media excellence prize for informed commentary (4 times), the Cecil King Memorial Prize for Print Journalist of the year (1998), the Fletcher Challenge Common Wealth prize for opinion writing(2000), the freedom peace prize for Journalism (20100.
Membership of Professional bodies and Fellowships
He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, of the Nigerian, Union of Journalist, and the Nigerian Guild of Editors. He is also a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow, a fellow of the 21st century Trust, a fellow of the Nigeria Leadership initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership network. He is an Honorary fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters.