By Abdullahi Ridhwan Adetutu
Rather than “serving sensational reports which does not have much value”, media outlets in Nigeria have been urged to give more attention to humanitarian issues in the society in the cause of their journalistic endeavours.
The recommendation was made in Ilorin on Tuesday by the director of Media Career Development Network, MCDN, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin at a public lecture/magazine launch organised by the University of Ilorin chapter of Union of Campus journalists as part of activities marking this year’s press week in the school.
Otufodunrin who was represented by an associate of his, Mr Jimoh, was amongst others, an invited guest speaker at the event He explored the concept of Humanitarianism in relation to the profession of journalism. This was in tandem with the adopted theme for the lecture, UBUNTU: Exploring Humaniarian Journalism.
According to him, Journalism deals not only with reporting of issues, it goes on to seeking to get the issues especially ones affecting human lives resolved.
“Humaniarian Journalism is part of the efforts to redirect media reporting to critical issues that can improve the standard of lives of the people instead of serving them mainly sensational reports which does not have much value.
“As much as politics, sports and entertainment sell, the media give due attention to issues of reducing the suffering of Nigerians, majority of whom are going through hard times
“More than ever before, the media need to explore humaniarian Journalism that provides factual accounts about crises and issues that affect human welfare. Crisis and welfare issues abound in our country and what is required is for Journalists to accurately report them and see to get them resolved.”, Otufodunrin implored.
He further charged the students Journalists to continue to harp on the issues of welfarism in their respective campuses until necessary steps are taken by the authorities. “On your campus, there are welfare issues which demand urgent attention of the authorities. The campus Journalists should highlight and keep harping on it untill necessary steps are taken. I recently read a report of the deplorable state of the hostels in the University of Nigeria which is common across the country. This should not be the case. I am sure you can think of many other examples of sufferings in your campus which should interest your members as part of your commitment to humaniarian Journalism.”, Otufodunrin charged.
The public lecture being the 23rd of its kind by the unilorin chapter of UCJ was in the honour of icons in the world of journalism. Specifically, this year’s event was in honour of a just retired lecturer from the department Mass Communication in the institution, Alhaji Liad Tella whom the president of the university chapter of UCJ, Mr Azeez FadluLlah described as an icon of journalism in all shades.
Expectedly, the event witnessed presentations of awards to the deserving icons of journalism. The awards recipients were Alhaji Liad Tella, for his watermark achievement in the area of human capacity development in the field of Journalism; Dr (Mrs) Kadiri Kadijat for her impactful exploration in humanitarianism. Also awarded was the publisher of PremiumTimes, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi who was represented by a member of his center, Mr Deji Adekunle.
Distinguished to mention his presence at the event is the current chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mr Abdul Wahab Umar.