by – Seyi Adedokun
Politics has no one food to toy with in the heart of individuals and at every slight repentance, we tend to boomerang to earlier vomit and act perfect to play the hard game where it should not be found. On a clearer note, politics has been made dirty by the filthy partners that only shot the arrow of feigning incorruptibility. In a more heart breaking mood, the involvement of campus journalists in the core politics in this generation is more dreadful and pitiable. Of a truth, no one has a value unless he does what worth the praise.
In campus journalism today, we have extremists, nepotists and personalities of honor rakers. Having neglected the disciplines of journalism, some have bombarded it with their worrisome characters to deform the fourth estate. Unlike the former years, campus journalism has become a home for superiority and a place best called a “gyming” site for bourgeoisies that hide behind the curtain of the ink. There are background stories of the 19s and some in our 20s which we don’t know and are not really needful. It is only pertinent to note that disappointment comes from all sides and the noble estate is not left out. Many have expected this cottage to be as clean as a little more than expected; they have relied on the purity of the name that it will reflect in the lives on those that occupy the four walls and the central. But silently, the eyes of some have bled and they have regretted ever stepping into a more Augean state of existence.
It may be true of their thought, but it is good to listen to the voice that stays a little bit within. Well, many have taken this union with recklessness, maybe because Arowosafe Samuel has made it open as possible as it is or because they feel it is made for a carcajou and thereby act domestically violent on the journey. Many have throbbed into this union to make it as guilty as those it watches. To end with, the union has friends who come to visit it because of the token of the last day when everyone is meant to come and dine with his journalist friend but the end may turn out as envious as a climber to the canopy of a tall tree.
The date of my induction into the noble estate was like a heaven’s journey landing. Almost all of my friends knew I joined the union. In fact, many of them started to ask about their chances of joining and the benefits. To talk about the benefit, just like Pascal Offordum said during a press conference in Sigma club that “you stand to gain nothing”. I will like to thread the path of his lips and slip the words out the same way. Meanwhile, it is only when you lose your mind into such passion that what you stand to gain can be obvious only to you before others.
When I read the oath, I already knew I was into a business that I must defend with all of the little I have. I really do not understand how some people feel so fine when they remain idle on their desks despite the oath they took before assuming. This is a covenant which it would have been better for you to squeeze and throw into bin rather than protect it with your tongue, lay it flat in your file and even append your signature on it. That was when Oredola Ibrahim led the administration of the union. I strolled down to the office the next week and an assignment was given to Ogeroju Opeyemi Rabiat and me to investigate Awo hall water system and the attitude of the hall management to this bad development. Since then, I felt the need to make myself available as if I was the expected Messiah to come. It was a sweet moment and I enjoyed it with new friends. It is a place to be for the tenacity reminds one of the days of descend from heaven (this is not real, you know).
At the assumption of the executives, I was elated that I would work with this class of men. Leadership is not a meat for the infant and it can never be a working stick for the old man. Old men are meant to advice leaders, isn’t it? As they assumed office, I also joined them. The fact that I was not an executive member singled me out, but I almost turned to be the vigilante of the office at suite 14, Students’ union building. Throughout my stay till the suspension of the Students’ union, I got exposed to new things and how to politicize in campus journalism. If you have joined journalism because of your hatred for politics, you have rather made a wrong entrance or walked into trap. Why? This is where you will fall in love with the ornamental glide of politics. Politics exists everywhere and it is not a bad idea to be an ambassador, only that the poison knows no bound.
Inside Suite 14, I got a chance to read my long bought books, meet new people and learn how not to contribute to many matters. The Students’ representative council sitting was a challenge on its own. This is where you will see sweetness in the bad state of youth leadership. You know that moment when the arrow of suspension and impeachment fly like a kite and the speaker begin to ask unexpected questions. You’ve got to urinate on your trouser at times, I bet you. I am talking about the 6th estate led by Rt, Hon. Onifade Abdurrahaman. Asiwaju Ibrahim (the chief whip) is another man of opinion in the chambers. When Asiwaju talks, if he has not hammered the point, he has served the ball to be scored already. To that, I believe that it is the rectitude of the 6th assembly’s speaker that prepared the way.
As the features editor, I got to read many books, buy books for my personal development. I also read articles written by some known writers on campus; people like Kunle Adebajo, the courtroom apart, Amos Adejimi, Kanyinsola Olorunnisola and Ibrahim (I’m a stalker, you know). I learnt how to interpret pictures when I see Jummah Mujeeb’s cartoon and I learnt news writing from Haleem Olatunji. I didn’t give any chance to be negligent about these things because I also want to be referred to as one of the better people, you know now! Many have learnt nothing in writing and one qualm of campus journalists or writers is their neglect of learning and feeling of all-in-all when they are nothing-in-all. These ones struggle in their corners to hatch two hundred words instead of approaching those that are above this stage of struggle. Not everyone will be a journalist and not everyone will be a writer. We are just here generally at the feet of journalism to learn persuasiveness, endurance, aspiration, desperation, construction and adventure.
Motivating fellow pressmen is a bit tougher than writing. Here, you ask yourself if they knew that they were going to join this course. Some people reply that they only joined for the fun of it, but they are still the Editors-in-chief! Some joined to learn how to write; obviously, these ones are there to draw us back in a way (when it is not coaching class). But some have come even to stay and protect its face from strange mask. If your press organization is dead or dying, two things do you need to check_ that particular editor-in-chief that has been very busy more than anyone on earth, and members of the press ignorance. Experience is not enough to be called a veteran, but your wisdom used to carry out an experiment. I can boldly say that a boy of 12 may be experienced than that of 20. It is based on the event that happens and the length of time. Apparently to you, lengths of time may be as fluidly as a line of water drop, but the event might be so viscous that one would wish that the shortest time stretches.
WINING AND DINING WITH THE GUNS
It is a bit tough to be in the same ring with some people. You have no other choice because this is a body that enlightens rather than enslaves one’s ability. I only found my way into their midst without invitation and little by little, I developed bold steps towards issues and my interaction became wild and wide. At times, I get intimidated with their reach ability and I regretted why I didn’t start early. With this same mind, I decided to take their works and read, although my writing style is different from theirs.
I dined with the executives until the speaker of the 6th assembly referred to me as the general secretary of the union in his handing over article titled “BELIEVE THEM BOTH”. Meanwhile, I was just a predator that seeks for information to grind in the mortar of features article. Also, I was always present at almost all times to join the executives with some notable persons, though not much. I tried to give my best with them. You will also agree with me that to dine with these ones is not a stone throw home. They may not be too special because they are our normal day friends, classmates and siblings. But in handling official duties like this, you have to reserve little eon of respect for their efforts. The Union of Campus Journalists can be deserted and killed if there lives nobody in the elms of affairs or if it only contains the living dead.
THE UGLY BEAUTY OF CAMPUS JOURNALISM
Past leaders of the union have envisioned this occurrence of dearth in this practice and as we see, journalism already has jaundice in her eyes, and the symphony it decides to extend to the public has been an ode of panegyric to some classes. What they envisioned led them to ask some serious minded people to contest for an office before the politically minded ones take over. The students’ union is a byspel of this scenario and the leg of this money-carting mind is yet to be erased from these youthful minds. But in campus journalism, popularity, name, titles and recognition are the heads of the platform.
To start with, the mind of reward rate is so alarming in this sphere. Many journalist friends are only around to be called some suiting names and to fly their collars to any extent. Today, the office of the union of campus journalists is also suffering the cause of her brother (staying out of office), and this is where the test of time really exists. Seeking stylistically with merciful-eyes for consideration for awards be-devils, withers, bastardize and change the integrity of journalism. This desperation may seem obscured to many, this is because many have lurked themselves behind the sham of activeness.
Billy Graham said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost”.
There is a part in John C. Maxwell’s leadership theory that “a legacy is created only when a person put his organization into the position to do great things without him”. It may be transparent to many that almost every pressman wants a name for himself which spoils the enthusiasm of many young people in leadership. It is about competition at some points, and it will not do well if local press organizations don’t do well to compete. This is where the activity will impact lives and pass intelligence for public consumption. But while competing, as pressmen, we have forgotten the mantra of this estate. Ordinarily, one is supposed to be passionate of his duty with an artificial catalyst of force. Laziness, ineptitude and ingratiation have turned the table down the aisle of duty.
Also, monetary capitalization is a factor that has to be embalmed into a hot furnace in campus journalism. The first assignment I was given by the Arowosafe-led administration was an errand to Tribune office, Ibadan. I expected to be given a token for transport. Little did I know that I had to train my pocket to pour instead of pocketing. I was happy, though I would suffer the loss. A program at Obafemi Awolowo University which was an International Campus Journalists’ Conference (ICJC) was attended by Ogeroju Rabiat, Bello Abdulrahman and I. The transport fare was funded by each of us. This is a ground of discipline in the union, which makes one to create a strong heart at funding. Some are of the opinion that pressmen should be paid and they stand on it (oh, my God). I could not contain this because of my different view. This is a new generation of this course where you volunteer with your heart and expect no pay, but something worth more than pay will come soon.
Moreover, gathering of news on campus, writing features, stories and caricatures are not supposed to be a problem to the union. The campus has been blessed with these ones that diamond fm does not need to announce this before we can hear, but with almost 500 pressmen on campus, pressboards still surface emptiness, some writers write half of a page to form a feature story, some prefer giving excuses for being absent, even Editors-in-chief. This describes how passive members are in this cocoon.
Furthermore, the act of some pressmen against articles needs to be addressed. It is debris that needs to be flushed out. It takes a pressman his/her effort to put news, entertainment and features together. But for some editors to add their names as part of the writers is an abomination to the body of opportunity. It is gullible for any person to see himself as the most recognized of all journalists. This political act poses no good than harm because it kills the strength and appraisal of other budding journalists. I mentioned appraisal here because it is a thing that is inevitable. Laziness is a thing of the mind which has made many to neglect the fact that news writing on campus cannot be exhausted. Almost every week, some news will come up; the universe will change its uniform and create additional spaces for events to occur. The act of distribution is based on how close and relative pressmen are which is lagging and causes power to be emptied.
As radical as it may be, as truthful as it may stand, campus journalist needs to be restructured. How to bell a cat of trouble must be devised and the mastermind of this key class must be followed up. It must prove itself noble and stand for the truth. As I said earlier, politics is sweet and funny, but your clock which clicks does not turn its hand in. The politics of hard work must be engaged and circulated to the entirety of the union. You may think this politics is about the office to be held, but it is about the integrity, duty and loyalty to the office. It is also not about lobbying for political support, but about lobbying for articles to be written in your name. This article won’t be written if I’ve not seen enough fact. Peace!