By Oladele Bello and Rejoice Samuel
As part of the activities scheduled to mark its 3rd anniversary on campus, the Union of Campus Journalists, Federal University Oye Ekiti chapter on Friday, 23rd of July, 2021, held its press week.
This year’s celebration which was held at the faculty of Arts pavilion, phase 1, and tagged “Making Impact: The Role of Campus Journalists in Tertiary Institutions” had in attendance, notable journalists who shared their experiences and what is expected of Campus Journalists, in a panel discussion.
The event started with a brief talk on fake news which was delivered by the newly sworn-in Editor-in-chief and the managing editor Muktar Balogun and Femi Odunewu.
They asserted that fake news are stories that look like real news but are not.
According to them, fake news typically appears on websites that look professional and they usually have outrageous headlines designed to get people to click.
The plenary session had the current president of the National Union of Campus Journalists, Samuel Ajala; the president of the association of Campus Journalists, Ekiti State University, Nicholas Adeniyi; the immediate past president of UCJ FUOYE Iretomiwa Dele-Yusuff, as its panelists.
In the discussion, Ajala asserted that student journalists are open to opportunities every day. He stressed that the union organizes different webinars on different areas of journalism such as climate change, solution journalism, and all.
Dele-Yusuff mentioned some threats that campus journalists may face during the cause of their duties. She said threat calls may come from anybody even from their fellow students. She however assured that “nothing can happen to any campus journalists, especially if you are right”.
Adeniyi also gave examples of several cases of issues he had faced as a campus journalist. He said, “at Ekiti State University, several attacks were launched on our members from fellow students to the extent of breaking one of our members’ phones, of which the perpetrator was suspended.”
He later admonished campus journalists to uphold the principle of evidence-based journalism.
While speaking on the issues of press freedom, Dele-Yusuff said the total freedom of the press is not guaranteed, because even in developed countries, journalists still face the same issue.
This was also amplified by Adeniyi. He stated that “journalists should publish their stories anonymously if they predict they won’t be safe”.
One of the founding members of the union who was also on the seat, Olagunju Olanrewaju, the president of Education Students Association of Nigeria, FUOYE chapter, gave a brief history of the union before he dissolved the administration of Iretomiwa. Immediately, the new executives were sworn in by the past Content Manager and Webmaster, Olu-Taiwo Ayobami.
While giving her speech, the newly-sworn president, Helena Idiovo assured that the new executives will continue to sustain press freedom on campus.
Prior this event, an essay competition was held in honour of Harry Olufunwa, fondly called “Dr. Harry” by FUOYE students. Dr. Harry is senior lecturer in the department of English and Literary Studies (ELS) under Faculty of Arts, Federal University Oye-Ekiti. Oladipupo Okikiola took the lead by emerging the first position while Abraham Chidinma, and James Mary Eyinju followed with the second and third position, respectively.
One of the participants of this event, Oluwayomi Olamide, a year one student of English and Literary Studies described the event as one that she enjoyed. “I love the panelists and I love how they gave their speeches. I love UCJ FUOYE!” she expressed her excitement, as the event was closing.
Another student who was also around, Ibiyemi Temitope Isaac, from the department of English and Literary Studies said, “the press week was okay. I think more students should also be involved in this.”
The event ended with a vote of thanks which was given by the new Content Manager and Webmaster Sunday Awosoro. “We look forward to your presence in our coming events,” he said as he announced the closure of the event.