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Osoba, UNILAG VC, others seek vibrant press, re-training of journalists

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Media practitioners, communication scholars and editors, yesterday, at the World Journalism Education Council (WJEC) roundtable, re-emphasised the need for training and re-training of journalists to bridge the gap between the newsroom and the classroom.

At the event, convened by Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye and hosted by Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos (UNILAG), the participants also expressed concern over the quality of students studying journalism in recent times compared to what it was in time past.

The participants concluded that the imperative of capacity building could not be over-emphasised to bridge the gap between the town and gown.

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Former Governor of Ogun State and Chairman of the event, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who stressed that there is the need for adjunct lecturers to come to classroom to lecture the students, added that Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) should be more active and register bloggers to check the excesses of social media users.

He expressed concern over the damage caused by social media users with the spread of fake news, saying that he had been a victim, describing them as cheap blackmailers.

Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, advised media practitioners to reduce negative stories but concentrate more on reporting good stories about Nigeria.

Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and General Manager, Vanguard Media Limited, Gbenga Adefaye, said that journalism had changed greatly from what it used to be, adding that today’s journalists must be tech savvy.

He also insisted that the NUJ and Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) should get involved in the capacity development of journalists.

RELATEDLY, former Acting Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Armstrong Idachaba, while fielding questions from newsmen, agreed that training and retraining were key to ensure professionalism in the industry.

Also, Vice Chairman of Troyka Holdings, Jimi Awosika, who was the special guest of honour, representing the Chairman, Biodun Shobanjo, stressed the need to develop new tech capabilities to drive future innovation.

ALSO, in his welcome address, the convener and Africa Representative, WJEC, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, identified challenges in the Ivory Towers as over-population of students of Mass Communication and poorly-equipped laboratories, among others.

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