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Students Celebrate World Press Freedom Day

The University of Maiduguri’s Mass Communication Department joined other media professionals and stakeholders around the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day.

World Press Freedom Day is an annual event celebrated every 3rd of May to commend journalists around the world as they carry out the daunting task of reporting the news accurately in their various society.

This year’s event, put together by the Mass Communication Students Association (MACOSSA), in line with this year’s theme “Information As A Public Good,” was held at the University’s Elkanemi Hall. In attendance was the dean Faculty of Social Science Prof. Danjuma Gambo, The head of Department Mass Communication Dr Nuhu Diraso Gapsiso, lecturers and students from Mass Communication and other Faculties.

Media organisations within Maiduguri Metropolis who joined in the celebration at the University includes Representative of Daily Trust Newspaper, Al-Ansar Radio, Peace FM and NTA.

The Head of Department Mass Communication, who made the opening remarks, said: “[The] 3rd [of] May is an important day for all journalists globally. Today, we commemorate the freedom of the press as well as remember journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty.” He also stated that: “It is a day to develop meaningful initiatives in view of press freedom globally.”

Also speaking at the event was Professor Danjuma Gambo who is the Director of UniMaid Radio. In his speech, Professor Gambo highlighted the need for the University community to continually embrace the idea of contributing intellectually, adding that “For us in the university system, this is what we are supposed to do, to address issues of national and international concern as intellectuals. That is the difference we make in society. We are not farmers, we are not welders, but we are intellectuals, we have to intellectualise our contributions to National and International Development.”

Professor Gambo also lamented over the rising number of incidents against journalists around the world.

Presenting a paper centring on the 2021 theme, Professor Abubakar Muazu of the Department of Mass Communication outlined some of the challenges and progress made so far in the struggle for a free press. This year’s commemoration marks the 30th since the United Nations General Assembly announced May 3 as World Press Freedom Day. A declaration was made as a result of the 1991 Windhoek Conference in Namibia.

Highlights of the event include the presentation of articles, poems and spoken word poetry by students, dance and musical performances by the Mass Communication Department theatrics group.

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