Biodun Kupoluyi needs no introduction in the world of journalism especially in the showbiz beat where he is no doubt the MASTER having put in dedicated decades into his profession; from campus journalism, through Punch Newspaper, through Dove Media and ultimately E24/7 Magazine.
A worthy “OSUN CITIZEN”, Bourdilon as he is fondly called told Dotun Olanibi how the journey started and how it has been so far…
Alot of people got to know Biodun Kupoluyi as that versatile entertainment writer in the old Punch Newspaper; can you tell us how your foray into the world of journalism started from the very scratch?
I have always loved the media and at a apoint in time, it dawned on me that journalism will be my choice and I was inspired by my love for reading and writing. My university days recorded my active participation in campus journalism and I can vividly recall that I rose to edit a virile campus magazine in the former Ogun State University. I can also recall that a couple of my friends, especially a former student from the same varsity, especially Kayode Ajala was making waves as a journalist. I was also reading the late Dele Giwa’s columns, Reuben Abati ‘s incisive columns in The Hints Magazine, my secondary school mate, Yinka Tells was probing in his investigative reports with The News, so naturally, Journalism won my heart.
The showbiz beat where you happen to have spent decades is not an easy beat, save for the glamour attached to it, how have you been coping?
I didn’t come into showbiz or entertainment reporting by accident. I love the life of movie and music stars. I love their works; I love and get thrilled by creative efforts. It gives me happiness when I engage stars in conversations, I want to know their minds, what runs through their thoughts, get up -to- date with gist, gossips on their lifestyles as celebrities.
So when I had the opportunity to work with one of the biggest media brands in Nigeria, The Punch, I embraced it.
My interest in showbiz reporting over the years have been fueled by passion, raw passion even in the face of recession. I love journalism as a career that talks to people in power and influence. Journalists, I believe are influences and they bring insights or fresh and we’ll – researched perspectives to public discourse.
I have been trained and obtained several skill acquisitions to help me excel on the job, thanks to The Punch, Dove Media, First Bank and Google, especially on how to excel in the era of new media.
In addition, I enjoy the support of my amiable wife who knows how much I love reporting and following music and movie stars though I don’t get star-struck.
You are that kind of journalist that act as a “bridge” between your older and younger colleagues, how did you achieve this kind of acceptance?
I owe that to my background and training at the Punch. I don’t pretend that I was thoroughly trained at The Punch. I was there for a decade and one and I went through great editors, especially sub – editors who made me to understand what is ethical. I learnt that all sides must be given a fair hearing in all matters; as a result I became the go-to guy in entertainment reporting. I developed great and reliable sources in the industry and naturally exerting a measure of influence and respect. At a point industry players would see you as a devastatingly powerful ally considering two factors – your platform and your personality. Unfortunately, some journalists loose the respect and relevance as soon as they leave the platform, I will say I’m lucky to be found relevant and serve as a bridge between the old and new generation of journalists because of the level of knowledge and understanding of the industry that I share with everyone.
As an award winning entertainment journalist and entrepreneur and not relenting, what motivates you to do more?
I’m motivated by the emerging creative force, energy in the industry. Daily, new movie and music stars emerge with unique stories to tell on how they have been able to get to relevance and fame. These are inspiring stories of young and dynamic youths using their talents to eke put a living. I’m motivated to use my platforms to help these talents grow and their works exposed to the world. The industry has challenged me to respond to the new digital age by adding more platforms- e247mag.com, Nollywoodnewsnow.com, NollywoodNewsOnRadio WFM, LagosToday.org and fliptvng.com, an online television to support our flagship, E24-7MAGAZINE.
What are the challenges you have faced so far in the discharge of your duties and how have you been able to overcome them?
Quite enormous, especially in the face of recession. Most Nigerians have moved away from buying and reading newspapers or magazines. Though we have responded to the challenges with digital publications but still faced with the criminality of bloggers who lift stories without crediting sources, power generation and most worrisome, the spate of power interruptions and the lack of many qualified, independent hands to work in the newsroom and the studio with less supervision.
As a celebrity journalist, you have become a celebrity yourself, how does this make you feel?
I do not see myself as a celebrity. Yes, I report the lifestyle of celebrities, feed off what is going on in their lives, homes, works and their relationships.