In my early days as editor, one day, as I agonised openly over what I had considered was a misreading of my intentions leading, at times, to hostility towards me, my colleague Tony Nzotta, asked me to come over to the newsroom. Nzotta had a penchant for the dramatic. Once we got to the door of the newsroom, he stopped abruptly, halting me in the process. He then re-enacted what he described, was the action of a one-time editor of the New York Times who, faced with similar predicament, had gone to the entrance to the newsroom and, in exasperation howled at nobody in particular: “For crying out loud, why does everybody hate me here?” The reply was instant. One of the personnel who was in a similar position as Tony Nzotta was now occupying, retorted: “Because you are the editor of the New York Times”. Looking straight into my face, Nzotta quipped: “Because you are the editor of The Statesman”. That was in 1988. I was 31 at the time.
Agu, publisher of ZEST TRAVELLER Magazine is a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).
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