MACOSA WEEK: UNIMAID journalism students host media stakeholders to discuss profession



Maiduguri, Nigeria - Students of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri, under the leadership of Miss Patience Gonsis, on Wednesday, hosted media stakeholders to have ‘frank talk’ over career, media literacy and general journalism practice.

The event, which was held at the Nur Alkali Hall, Muhammadu Buhari Business School, was to commemorate students' week in the department, as well as the Media and Information Literacy Day 2023 themed ‘ Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces: A Collective Global Agenda’.

In a lecture. Nuhu Gapsiso, a professor of communication in the department, said that the day is marked to review and celebrate the progress made in the media.

He charged students, as emerging communication professionals, to take up the challenge of sanitizing the digital space, which is now replete with disinformation, hate messaging, and other forms of irresponsible dissemination of information.

‘The digital space, especially the social media, has become a breeding ground for all sorts of misinformation and disinformation. It is incumbent on you, as future journalists, to be at the forefront of sanitizing the digital space,’ Gapsiso said.

Another speaker, Abdulhamid Al-Gazali, the editor-in-chief of YEN NG, spoke on career, where he urged the students to be prepared to raise their game in the face of the new demands of the modern media industry.

‘The media industry has changed a lot. It is now more demanding than ever before. You have to be prepared to raise the standards. You have to be highly creative, credible, and hardworking. You can't bring the averageness I see around nowadays and expect to succeed,’ Al-Gazali said.

Al-Gazali also urged the students to consider setting up their own media companies, citing the example of how he set up YEN NG.

‘The media industry is no longer a nine-to-five job. It is a 24/7 job. You have to be prepared to work hard. And rather than finding a job in an existing media company, consider setting up your own. There are many opportunities out there for young people who are willing to work hard and be creative,’ he said.

Other speakers at the event included Mr. Dauda Iliya, chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Borno State and a product of the department; Miss Zainab Yetunde, a freelancer; and Dr. Sharafa Dauda, a lecturer in the department.

Mr. Iliya advised the students to be prepared to learn and put in more hard work. He said that in his days, he ‘combined both studies and practice and the pay was just N6, 000.’

‘I was just a casual staff but I was dumped with all sorts of work. I never complained because it was an opportunity to learn.

‘So if you want to excel, be humble and always ready to learn.’

Miss Yetunde introduced students and participants to a digital platform, IJNet, where they can access several training, grants and fellowship opportunities.

Dr. Dauda harped on continuous learning as one of the surest ways to excel in the industry.

The guests and speakers were appreciated on behalf of the student by Dr. Rahila Jibrin, a lecturer in the department and the adviser to the students' union.

MACOSA Week is an annual event where students in the department line up several activities to learn, interact and entertain themselves for a period of one week.

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