By Abdullahi Ridhwan Adetutu
Publisher of the online news portal, Premium Times, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi has advised the universities Campus journalists to see themselves as capable tools for better changes in the media sector which dovetails to a bid to entrenching the system of government in the country.
Olorunyomi gave the advice in Ilorin yesterday at the public lecture/magazine launching organised by the university of Ilorin chapter of the Union of Campus Journalists, UCJ, as part of the activities layout for this year’s press week celebration in the institution.
According to the publisher who was ably represented by a member of his technical team, Mr Deji Adekunle, campus journalism is the foundation of the effort being put in place towards reforming the media sector which in a long run will translate to total reformation of the country’s system of government.
“A pure democracy is as good as its media. If the media is good; government will be good; if the media is independent and not compromised, government will seat on its feet and do its job. And this is the driving force behind the entire philosophy and efforts being put place to reform the sector which is basically what the PremiumTimes center is set up to do.”
Olorunyomi alluded to how great activists whose names are being heard in the news today began the career with the passion for changes in the society. For this, he charged student journalists to see themselves also as capable, and not too small elements to effect great changes in the society.
“We believe you are the foundation of our efforts. We can look through history, most of the activists people hear their names in the news today are the people who have pulled sensible changes; they started out as campus journalists like you, including Dapo Olorunyomi.
“Femi Falana was his campus editor when he was in the school. These are the people that sat where you are sitting now and they took that passion to continue the agitation for better deal in the society. Students like you have written stories that warranted firm action, strict and clear cut and distinguished impact So you are in good company and I hope you can do better than they have done.
“I do not want to see you as being too small to effect changes, you are capable. Everything you do in your university days is directly represention of what you are good to do when you get out. So if you want to be different, set out your track record, learn to be different. Learn to do things in the right ways and when you conquered here, and go out to the outside challenges, you know you have done it before, and now you can be better.
“Whatever you do as a journalist is what you do to change the face of the society for better. And I believe sky is your limit”, Olorunyomi admonished.
The event also witnessed the presentation of awards of honour to iconic personalities in the world of journalism. Among the awardees were a lecturer in department of Mass Communication from the school, Dr Kadiri Khadija for her striking impact in the cause of facelifting lives. Also awarded was the PremiumTimes publisher, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi for his watermark efforts in the development of journalism from the grassroot. Alhaji Liad Tella in whose honour the public lecture was held was also awarded for his iconic practice of journalism over the years.
Present at the event were the state chairman of the Kwara state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mr AbdulWahab Umar; Mr Lekan Otufodurin who was represented by an associate, Mr Jimoh, amongst many others dignitaries.