Media Scholars Practitioners Urge UCJ UNN Members To Remain Focused On Campus Journalism 

Media Scholars, Practitioners Urge UCJ-UNN Members To Remain Focused On Campus Journalism 

3 weeks ago
3 mins read

By Favour Omeje

 

Media scholars and practitioners have urged students engaged in campus journalism to be committed to what they are doing as it is a learning call and stepping stone to better opportunities ahead.

They made the call during the induction ceremony for new members of the Union of Campus Journalists, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UCJ-UNN) and official launch of the union’s website held at the Faculty of Arts Lecture Hall, UNN on Saturday.

Speaking at the event, director of the University of Nigeria Centre for Business Development (UNCBD), Professor Nnanyelugo Okoro, urged UCJ-UNN members to remain focused and not allow anything distract them from achieving their goals.

Professor Okoro, who was chairman of the occasion themed ‘Empowering Today’s Voices for Impactful Narrative in the 21st Century’, emphasised that journalists are the message.

Media Scholars, Practitioners Urge UCJ-UNN Members To Remain Focused On Campus Journalism 
Prof Nnanyelugo Okoro

Citing Marshall McLuhan’s model of communication, Okoro stressed that the medium represents the message, and if the medium lacks authority, the message will also lack authority.

“If the medium does not have authority, the message will also not have authority; and if the message is careless, that message will be taken for granted,” Okoro, a former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and senior lecturer Mass Communication Department, UNN, stated.

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Similarly, UCJ-UNN’s grand patron, Prof. Michael Ukonu, emphasised that the voice is the central theme, not the technology or medium. He noted that while mass communication has been propelled by technology, the economic use of technology determines outcomes.

Prof. Ukonu, who is also a senior lecturer at the Mass Communication Department, UNN, encouraged the Union to champion truth, integrity, ethics, fairness, and balance, core journalistic standards that technology cannot change.

According to him, “The voices are the central theme, not the technology or medium. Though mass communication has been propelled by technology, technology is not the only direct or prime mover of communication.

“The real determinant of what happens is the economic use of technology. The race for global domination of the political, economic, and cultural space is what has been pushing technology.”

Media Scholars, Practitioners Urge UCJ-UNN Members To Remain Focused On Campus Journalism 
Prof Michael Ukonu

The university don further questioned, “Who uses technology? What is technology used for? That is the narrative that developing countries have not keyed into. Instead of being change agents and beneficiaries of positive change, we have become victims of the impact of media or technology. We have allowed ourselves to be driven by the wind of technological change advanced by others.”

The chairman of the occasion also praised Ms. Ede and her team for their hard work and resilience in pushing the union forward. In his words, “We thank Ndidiamaka and her team for what they have done. She has be resilient in pushing the Union forward. It is time for you people to come up stage and assume what belong to you, and that is communication.

“I want to tell you people that this Union is more than what you can see. It goes beyond the Department of Mass Communication to the entire university community.”

The event witnessed the official launch of the Union’s website, donations, presentation of awards, and issuing of certificates to the immediate past executives of the union.

Guest speakers and prominent personalities at the event included Nnaemeka Eze (Nani Boi), Chinagorom Ugwu of Premium Times, Frances Nwabufoe of Africa Travel Film Festival, Blessings Udeobasi (the pioneering president of UCJ-UNN), and Nnamdi Obanya of Afia TV. They discussed various aspects of mass communication and emphasised the importance of practicing journalism as students.

On his part, chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nsukka Chapel, Comrade Ike Okenyi, was also present. He encouraged the members to be steadfast in their commitment to the organisation’s goals, adding that NUJ Nsukka will officially partner with UCJ-UNN.

UCJ-UNN, a branch of the National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ), serves as an umbrella organisation for journalists and writers across UNN. It provides a platform for students to improve their skills, practice journalism before graduation, build their profiles, contribute to solving societal problems, and prepare for the job market. The union also exposes members to national and international opportunities such as fellowships, training, competitions, and potential job offers.

Media Scholars, Practitioners Urge UCJ-UNN Members To Remain Focused On Campus Journalism 
Ndidiamaka Ede, Outgoing UCJ-UNN President

Over 100 new members were inducted at the event and the guests in attendance promised to support the union.


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