The man widely regarded as the Doyen of Nigerian journalism, Alhaji Babatunde Jose, died on Saturday at the age of 82, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
The report did not say whether he died suddenly or was hospitalised for some time, but said Jose was due to be buried later Saturday in accordance with Muslim rites.
Jose was the first Nigerian Chairman of the country’s oldest surviving newspaper, Daily Times, and a well respected Muslim leader.
He did not attend any tertiary institution, as his formal education ended at the high school level (he attended Yaba Methodist School and St. Saviour’s High School, both in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos).
Despite this, he made tremendous contributions to the development of Nigerian journalism, and most notable practitioners of the profession are products of his tutelage.
Jose joined the Daily Times Group as a technical trainee in 1941 at the age of 16, and through hard work and unwavering dedication to journalism rose through the ranks to become a reporter and later news editor in 1957.
By 1962, he had reached the peak, when he was appointed Managing Director, Chairman/Chief Executive, a position he held till 1976.
In recognition of his contributions to the development of journalism, he was honoured with an annual lecture – the Ismail Babatunde Jose Lecture – on the media and the society.
Jose, also an author, bagged many honours in his lifetime, including the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic in October 1965, the Pope Pius Medal for promoting religious understanding in Nigeria in 1973 and a honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Benin, Benin City, in Midwestern Nigeria in 1978. Panapress .