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ACJ OAU Celebrates 50 Years of Impactful Campus Journalism

The Association of Campus Journalists (ACJ), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), celebrated its 50th anniversary with an International Campus Journalism Conference on Saturday, 6 May 2023, at the Ajose Lecture Theatre, OAU.

The anniversary began with association members visiting Urban Day Secondary School, Mayfair, Ile-Ife, to enlighten and educate the students on media literacy and digitalisation. They also educated them on the need to curb the spread of fake news in society.

Michelle Adeyanju, one of the members who took a session, urged the students to use the media to learn and positively impact their lives.

She also advised them to set a solid password for their accounts to prevent hackers from invading their privacy.

Books written and donated by Olukorode Yishua, a Nigerian author and journalist, were distributed to the students at the end of the outreach.

The second activity to mark the anniversary was themed “Clean Up OAU” in partnership with Plogging Nigeria Club, a non-governmental organisation on a mission to promote a culture of responsible waste handling and physical fitness in OAU. The Clean-Up OAU team had ACJOAU and Plogging Nigeria Club members in attendance. They moved around several blocks in the school, picking up trash.

The founder of Plogging Nigeria Club, Mayokun Iyaomolere and the President of the Association of Campus Journalists, Faith Alofe, thanked those present and charged them to be good citizens on responsible waste handling as it is a vital part of our environment.

The icing on the cake for the anniversary was the International Campus Journalism Conference on Saturday, 6 May 2023, a reunion of notable alumni and the sensitisation of prospective campus journalists.

The event was packaged to recognise the tireless effort of the association’s past and immediate members in promoting investigative journalism and ensuring ideal content is generated for audience consumption. Students and campus journalists from the University of Ilorin, Osun State University and Fountain University were in attendance.

The 2023 International Campus Journalism Conference was tagged “Media Literacy and Digitalization: Past, Present, and Future” to reflect the state of the media space in the country and the future in the years to come.

The keynote speaker, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, represented by Mojeed Alabi of Premium Times, expressed his delight for being given the privilege to speak at the event and appreciated the effort of ACJ OAU in the University journalism space.

Mr Alabi, in his speech, started by reflecting on the ethics that guided the conduct of journalism during his stay on campus. He said, “Before your content was published, it would have gone through a lot of scrutiny and fact-checks, unlike today where one can just independently generate an idea and make it a public consumption within minutes with little data from the comfort of one’s home”.

Mr Alabi recalled the 90s when media outlets fawned themselves as the only authorised channel through which genuine sources could be tendered for publication or airing. However, this has been relegated with the emergence of technology.

“There were limitations to false content because of the ethics guiding journalism, unlike now that technology has made it possible for anyone to create a blog or reel to disseminate false news without restrictions”, he said.

According to him, “there are three fundamental responsibilities of journalism, which is, firstly, being a watchdog to government, secondly, setting agenda for government by gauging the disparity and discontentment of the citizens and influencing through which government decision is influenced. Lastly, providing citizens access to air their views on government activities.”

Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, who spoke via a recorded video, congratulated the association for achieving this remarkable feat and implored them never to relent as OAU is known to be a solid foundation for notable journalists outside there.

The panel session with Lekan Otufodunrin, the Executive Director of Media Career Development Network, Olufisoye Adeniran, a journalist at Radio Nigeria and Kabir Adejumo, Assistant Investigations Editor at HumAngle Media and an alumnus of ACJ OAU, was moderated by Asamu Mutmainat from Fountain University, Osogbo. They discussed campus journalism and the ways students can hone their journalism skills.

The guest speaker, Ebuka Ogbodo, spoke about how students can learn more when they are still in the University and that they should be more attentive and detailed with anything they are learning, especially in the area of co-curricular activities as these activities might be what they will become in future after school.

As the conference ended, the association applauded notable alumni and guests for honouring its invitation.

Mr Adejumo presented certificates of participation and prizes to the winners of the maiden edition of the ACJ OAU Adejumo Kabir Essay Contest.

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