By Okunade Adekunle
The Provost of Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, has appealed to the National Assembly to include private tertiary institutions as beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
Ogunleye, who made this appeal, at the 5th Convocation Ceremony held in the institution’s premises at Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, said there must be a paradigm shift in the practise of journalism profession in the country.
He said journalists should see themselves as professionals whose job is to hold government accountable to the people.
The NIJ Provost said: “This is an institution that most successful practising journalists pass through. The institution frequently send their lecturers on training to meet up the current standard. We are currently pursuing the registration and approval of the radio station of the institution.”
In his comment, a new NIJ fellowship awardee and Publisher of Premiumtimes, an online news platform, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, said that Nigeria journalism was in serious crisis, pointing out that if the challenges of the profession were not well managed it would affect its purpose.
Olorunyomi said: “Nigeria journalism is in serious crisis. It is faced with the challenge of ethics, revenue and sustainability. The future will continue to be very blink. We need to do something fast to safe the profession and the Nigeria democracy as professional journalists.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of NIJ Governing Council, Mallam Ismail Isa Funtua, represented by the former Publisher of defunct NewsWatch Magazine, Mr. Ray Ekpu, challenged the graduands to be good Ambassadors of the institution, saying that they should be ready to face the challenges ahead of them.
Isa pointed out that the institution has produced notable journalists with pedigrees , advising the graduands to follow the principles and ethics of the profession.
“NIJ has a good reputation of producing many fine and dutiful journalists in the Nigeria Media Industry,” said Isa Funtua.
He, however, urged them to add value to the democratic system through the practise of the profession ethically.
Part of the attendees were, the Publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Sam Amuka, the National President of PRCAN, Dr Rotimi Oladele, Dr.(Mrs) Doyin Abiola, and the Chairman, Governing Council of APCON, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi.
The total number of the graduands are 1,341.
By Okunade Adekunle