Sunday, 1 November 2015

Campus Journalists Across Nigeria Hold Summit In OAU

By David Adetula

Campus Journalists from various tertiary institutions across the Nigeria were gathered at Obafemi Awolowo University for a 2-day Campus Editors’ Summit (CES) which discussed the possibility of a common ground for politics and journalism in Nigeria.

The event which had several campus journalists including editors and reporters of different campus media outlets from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), University of Ibadan (UI), University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), University of Science and Statistics (USS) and other institutions in attendance started out with a Pre-Summit Conference and hang out at Best Friend Hotel in Ile-Ife where the aspiring professional journalists had the opportunity of meeting one another and exchanging contacts in preparation for the later which held on Saturday, October 31st at the Pit Theatre of the institution.

Guest Speakers at the event included Mr Richard Mammah, the Editor-in-Chief of the Pan-African Newspaper and Mr Tunde Dairo, the media aide to Senator Babajide Omoworare and also a former Public Relations Officer of the OAU Students’ Union. The speakers in their different speeches acknowledged the important role being played by journalism to the social development and sharpening of the society which is directly governed by politicians.

Richard Mammah in his lecture delivery rode on the horse of history down to the periods of colonial era when the media was a strong tool used by the prominent Nigerians and activists then to agitate for a politically-free state of Nigeria which yielded. He however did not give a yes or no answer if journalism and politics should tangle.

“Friends, colleagues, can the media be separate from the politics of the era? Again I say yes and no. As a variable part of that society and culture, it is an integral part of, it is automatically embedded, but as a profession and vocation that is beholden to objectively chronicling, dissecting and critiquing the same social, political and cultural currents of the day, it is expected to rise above the fray, and in the manner of Caeser’s wife, come to equity with clean hands.

“Thus, while the media cannot be just distant and aloof, it also cannot be abrasively partisan. It is a vocation of good sense, integrity and forthrightness; and the moderator for it when it then decides to jump into the arena is then to ensure that it is absolutely beholden to serving the larger interests of the greater good of the greater numbers of the people of the South West and Nigeria.” Mammah said.

Senator Omoworare’s aide who was represented by Mr Kingley Ogunne aka Osemele substantiated that though the morals of Journalism and Politics are not the same in this part of the world, nonetheless, they can never be two parallel lines.

“The morals of journalism are not the morals of politics in this part of the world. Some politician are not absolutely truthful in their action, when a journalist make any report in error, admittance and correction with a corrigendum may not be a difficult measure to adopt but a politician may find it absolutely difficult to do same.

“When you criticise management or student leadership for any ill or wrong, it is not just for the fun of it but to force them to effect change or the entire system is changed. Is this not a political result?

“Ideal politics and practice of ideal journalism are of no serious deference, while one is service to the people, the other is a social barometer to gauge and monitor societal developments. Will it not the be save to conclude that it is best to bring the virtues, morals and standard of journalistic practice on board our political engagements if we intend to rectify the ill?

“Politics and journalism can never be two parallel lines, they can never do without meeting, and they are not separable in the real sense of it.” Tunde Dairo submitted.

The 2015 edition is the maiden edition of the Campus Editors’ Summit and first of its kind in the Nigerian tertiary education sphere. The summit was hosted by Association of Campus Journalists, Obafemi Awolowo University.
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