_Being a Presidential Address delivered by Osuji Chima Francis, on the occasion of the annual Induction Ceremony of the Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ilorin Chapter, at the Press Centre, NUJ Hall of the Kwara State Council Ilorin, on Saturday 19th December, 2017._
You are warmly welcome to this great annual event. I feel very opportune to experience once again, the UCJ induction, not just as a pressman but as the President. It is indeed a great pleasure having all of you here.
I congratulate the inductees as they have proved their burning desire to be a part of the UCJ family based on their innate skills and conviction. For example, I was moved by the account of one of you, who gave up the opportunity of representing her faculty at the Student Union Senate Council in order to join us.
We have made findings on this issue and therefore, we are convinced that her account is largely true.
Same can be said about another inductee who officially renounced his political position in his department based on his conviction that UCJ UNILORIN is where he truly longs to be. There are indeed a lot of things to be said concerning being a member of UCJ UNILORIN. This address is incapable of capturing everything.
It is instructive to state that today’s event is not felicitations alone but to remind you of whom you are as a campus journalist and what is expected of you. In case you do not know or have forgotten, UCJ UNILORIN is aimed at engendering good governance, self-development, law and order on campus. How can you be a part of this activity? How can you add intellectually to effective, transparent, and accurate dissemination of information? How can you also be excellent writers, speakers, investigators and researchers which the Union is aimed at sharpening? All these questions and many more are based on your own actions.
Responsibility is a call to duty and an obligation for all. As pressmen, we owe a responsibility to be responsible to the press. For you toadd value, improve the Union and develop yourselves, you have to act responsibly. How can you be a watchdog when you are not accountable? How can you discover the truth when you are not sincere? How can you be an informer when you are not timely?
Being a campus journalist entails commitment, continuous learning, accountability, allegiance, diligence and timeliness.
As new pressmen, you may be overwhelmed with questions on what and how you will fare as a campus journalist. Being a member of UCJ comes with a lot of incentives though not monetary.
However, there are quite a number of challenges that one would face in the long run. These challenges include tight school work schedule, time management, not knowing how to write or speak well, being timid in the midst of intellectuals and so on.
UCJ is ready to train you in not just being campus journalists but facilitating your aspirations of becoming professional journalists and Public Relations experts. For this to be achieved, we need your corporation. What part are you ready to play? Being responsible entails attending regularly and contributing intellectually during meetings, executing assignments with utmost diligence, paying your dues when due, being a UCJ ambassador in character and in learning, reporting news worthy events and many more.
As a watchdog, mediator, voice of the voiceless, pillar of democracy and fourth estate of the realm; you are required to make the following principles of journalism your watchword: objectivity, accuracy, credibility, balance and developmental journalism. Your passion has given you the advantage of being a member of this noble Union.
However, we expect the highest standard of civil behavior from you as you begin your career as a campus journalist. Be responsible so that together, we can achieve our lofty ideal of championing liberty by our pen.
In view of this, the Union has placed you all on a two-month probation period in order to ascertain your true agenda for joining UCJ UNILORIN. Commitment will be rewarded. Indolence and partisanship shall be dealt with in line with the UCJ Constitution.
Permit me to end with a quote by Bob Dylan which says, a “hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” To that end, I wish you great success in your career pursuits. Thank you, and enjoy the rest of the day.
Written by: OJEBODE, Oluwatomisin Sewueseter (an inductee).