The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, through its Research and Capacity Development Program Manager, Adedeji Adekunle, has advised Campus Journalists to see themselves as tools for change in the media sector.
The Centre relayed this message in Ilorin at the 23rd Public Lecture and Magazine Launch organised by the University of Ilorin’s Union of Campus Journalists, as part of the activities laid out for this year’s Press Week celebration in the institution.
According to Mr Adekunle, campus journalism is a foundation of the efforts being put in place towards reforming the media sector which, in the long run, will hopefully translate to a total reformation of the country’s system of government.
“A pure democracy is as good as its media. If the media is good, the government will be good. If the media is independent and not compromised, the government will stand on its feet and do its job. And this is the driving force behind the entire philosophy and efforts being put in place to reform the sector which is basically what the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism is set up to do.”
Mr Adekunle alluded to how great activists, whose names are heard in the news today, began the career with the passion for change in the society. For this, he charged student journalists to see themselves as capable enough to effect great changes in society.
“We believe you are the foundation of our efforts. We can look through history, most of the activists[you hear of in the news today] are the people who have pulled sensible changes. They started out as campus journalists like you, including Dapo Olorunyomi.
“Femi Falana was his campus editor when he was in school. These are the people that sat where you are sitting now and they took that passion to continue the agitation for better deals in the society. Students like you have written stories that warranted firm action, strict and clear cut and distinguished impact So you are in good company and I hope you can do better than they have done.
“I do not want to see you as being too small to effect changes, you are capable. Everything you do in your university days is a direct representation of what you are going to do when you get out. So if you want to be different, set out your track record, learn to be different. Learn to do things in the right ways and when you conquered here and go out to the outside challenges, you know you have done it before and now you can be better.
“Whatever you do as a journalist is what you do to change the face of society for the better. And I believe the sky is your limit,” Adekunle admonished.
The event also witnessed the presentation of awards of honour to iconic personalities in the world of journalism. Among the awardees was a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Dr Kadiri Khadija, for her striking impact in changing lives. Also awarded was the Premium Times Executive Publisher, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, for his watermark efforts in the development of journalism from the grassroots. Alhaji Liad Tella, in whose honour the public lecture was held, was also awarded for his iconic practice of journalism over the years.
Present at the event was the state chairman of the Kwara state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mr AbdulWahab Umar, Mr Lekan Otufodurin (who was represented by an associate) Mr Jimoh, amongst other dignitaries.
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