A sense of fulfilment and excitement pervaded the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos on Wednesday, December 12, at the 16th matriculation ceremony of the institution.
A breakdown of the 229 students who matricuated revealed that 115 are for the National Diploma, 62 offered admission for Higher National Diploma and 92 for Postgraduate Diploma.
The provost, Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye, in his address on behalf of the Chairman, Governing Council of the institution, Mallam Ismaila Isa, called for the upliftment of the profession through certification, welfare, ethics and professionalism in the practice of journalism.
Ogunleye said many people venture into the profession without getting certification, arguing that anyone who desire to practice the profession just like other professions in the country must be certified before practicing journalism as this has made the profession look like a job for all comers where anybody can just practice, that should be addressed.
He said most journalist who are certified have value for the profession and that they ventured into the profession based on passion for the job, stating anyone that is looking for money can not practice journalism.
“Most media organisations solely depend on advert and copy sales to generate income for their media outfit and this is making media organisations struggle, especially with the welfare of staff which is a major challenge, because running a media organisation require a lot of money to maintain’’, he added.
Ogunleye advised media organisations to venture into other areas where they can generate income for their organisation apart from the normal way of sourcing for fund.
He noted “They can take a leap from developed world where media organisations have created other avenue of generating income. This is an area that media organisations in Nigeria has not really exploit.
“There are various storms confronting our educational system as a nation and the world over such as moral storms which is affecting the quality of education, question mark on the integrity of professionals, technocrats and the general products of institutions across the globe.”
Ogunleye told the newly 229 admitted students that the matriculation ceremony confers on them the right to every privilege and opportunity on campus but reminded them to face their study and shun social vices.
“Matriculation is an important rung in the academic career ladder of a student. In fact, no student may claim to be one until such a student has passed through the process of matriculation.’’
He explained that the institution will stay within the approved admission quota by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), noting ‘’the implication of this is that we do not have over-crowded classrooms or lecture sessions. Our practical classes are reasonably small for every student to have a true practical experience while in school.
The provost urged the new students to understand that in the pursuit of rigorous journalism, they must have passion and value the profession, stressing that it take passion to do the job.
“Although, we are in the era of social media, what we call new journalism which is on the rise, you should developed ideas and make used of professionalism in your study’’. He added, “Journalism is a much more rigorous affair, with layers of reporters, supervisors and editors who are tutored in both the canons of professional practice and ethical imperatives.”
Ogunleye said the institute will encourage the students to become bloggers and have website because it is digital journalism era. He urged the students to stay on the side of truth and help to represent the gold standard in journalism,’’said he.
“There is a lot of fake news and falsehood in the social media. There is also a lot of useful information. Stay on the side of the truth, facts and verified figures correctly. Help to pursue the holy grail of truth and do not circulate falsehood because it can hurt your career and your country.”
He encouraged the students to make use of what they will taught and also utilise the opportunity by applying every details as instruments of work.
‘’Whether you are in broadcasting, print journalism, public relations, advertising or marketing communications, you must realise that there is a sea of change in the way our industry is arranged which has also affected the way journalism is practise today.’’
Ogunleye stated that the mainstream media have the social media to compete with and that the social media have changed the communications dynamics.
While advising the students to address the challenges facing journalism and the nation, Ogunleye urged them ‘’to make use of the opportunity and go into the world and make the necessary impact with the knowledge gained.
“There must be a paradigm shift in our profession. You are young and energetic. So, think of creative ways of addressing the challenges of our profession and the nation.”