By: Kehinde Amusan
On Saturday, 22nd of September, 2018 the Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ibadan inducted newly admitted members who had passed the union’s entrance exercise into her pen pusher fold at the large lecture theatre(LLT), Faculty of the social sciences, University of Ibadan.
The UCJUI president, Mr. John Akinteye gave a warmth opening speech, where he told the inductees that “Campus journalism is a journey; it is left to you to make the journey interesting.” He also added that the common notion among U.I campus journalists is that they will leave U.I with two degrees – one in their academic field of study and the other in campus journalism.
The 2017/2018 induction ceremony welcomed such personalities as Mr. Tijani Mayowa, an alumnus of the union, Mr. Kunle Shittu and Mr. Sola Fagorusi, the guest lecturer. In the didactic lecture of Mr. Sola Fagorusi, who spoke on “the role of the 4th estate in reforming our corrupt society”, he pointed that the 4th estate is not part of the political system. He added that the media serve as watchdog for democracy. He further embolden the audience that “when we talk about he 4th estate, we talk about the fourth power, strength” of the three arms of government which include: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. He also made reference to the social media, the 5th estate, which he probed if it is actually threatening the existence of the fourth estate.
Speaking of the future of journalism, Mr. Sola Fagorusi affirmed that the newsroom of tomorrow will be looking at the flexibility of a journalist in handling media activities as news editor, feature editor, online media editor, among others. He further nurtured the attendees on the purpose of the fourth estate. According to him, ‘a journalist must serve the truth.’ He added that the primary purpose of journalism is ” to inform the audience and not necessarily to entertain.” In serving the public interest, he emphasized that the fourth estate protects the interviewee(source). According to him, “No matter what happens, you must never disclose your sources.”
Mr. Sola Fagorusi in his discourse on corruption enumerated different types of corruption which include – economic, political and moral corruption, among others. He also noted that “average Nigerians pay six bribes per year.” He further said that the presence of corruption is evident in Nigeria, as President Muhammadu Buhari got into power on the premise that he will fight corruption in the country.
However, Mr. Sola Fagorusi discussed the role of the media in fighting corruption. In the light of this, he mentioned the tools for tackling corruption through the media as – “raising ethical standard, improving writing in terms of transparency, fighting corruption through investigative journalism,”among others. He further admonished pressmen that they ” need to begin to think about developing skills in terms of the technology in the newsroom.” He added that pressmen need to know the law and how to observe their environment. He also noted the need for pressmen to learn creative thinking.
Speaking of the state of journalism in the 21st century, Mr. Sola Fagorusi affirmed that “the global newsroom is becoming non-profit organisation.” Thus, he asserted that the conversation in the newsroom is that “the piper no longer plays the tune.” He further advised pressmen to learn about financial literacy, so that they do not become the victims of the problem of corruption they are trying to avoid. He also said that the newsroom should become non-governmental organisation. According to him, “there is a big nexus between media and non-governmental organisation.”
On a final note, he told the attendees that “irrespective of where you find yourselves in the newsroom space, understand the value chain.” “Understanding the role of the 4th estate in tackling corruption will not only count for you, but also for the coming generation.”, he noted.