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Unizik: Experts train students on journalism practise, media excellence

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By Lawrence Nemo

Media experts have trained mass communication students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, on becoming key players in the media industry. 
The maiden event, tagged, ‘Town and Gown Series’, was aimed at improving the efficiency of journalism and modern media practice, Orient Daily reports. 

The event was held on Thursday and was organized by the mass communication department of the institution in collaboration with a non-governmental organization – Beyond Community Care Foundation, (BCCF), at the ASUU-NAU Secretariat of the university.

The students were drilled on the emerging opportunities and prospects in the media profession by key players and professionals from different media organizations across the country. 

Speaking during the event, Former Managing Director, the Sun Newspapers and former commissioner for Information, Anambra State, Chief Tony Onyima, said the place of mentorship in the media profession cannot be overemphasized, such that it prepares younger generation of media practitioners to surmount many challenges often faced in the practice. 

While he noted that social media convergence had widened the scope of media practices in recent times, he said universities must rise to the occasion and bring to the notice of the students, the emerging realities in the new media ecosystem.
Speaking on the theme of the event, “Exploring  Emerging Opportunities In Media and Communication,” the guest lecturer, Jika  Attoh, urged students to develop sound writing skills to survive in the profession irrespective of platform
Attoh, the Executive Director, West Africa Broadcast & Media Academy, said content creation, copyright, blogging and editing are lucrative areas students could engage to earn income, instead of walking around the streets in search of unseen employment. 

Earlier, the university vice-chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, lauded the department on the initiative and said the programme was in line with the ‘Project 200’ of his administration, aimed at raising quality students to be active players in their industries of attachment.

Simone, represented by the deputy vice-chancellor (Administration), Prof  Joseph Ikechebelu, said the occasion was initiated in the institution to foster a relationship between the academic community and the private industries.

Also speaking, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Uche Nwogwugwu said the programme was intercourse between the students and the professionals where the key players of the industry orient and mentor students on the field they would face after school.

In an address, the Head, Department of Mass Communication, Prof. Chinwe Uzochukwu, said the event was aimed at bringing valuable interface between students in the classroom and industry. She said the maiden edition was made possible by the partnering body, Beyond Community Care Foundation, stating that the partnership was timely when the discipline is being unbundled for greater efficiency of the profession.

Meanwhile, the community leader of Amanuke Kingdom and founder of the non-governmental organization, Chief Dennis Ezebuilo said the partnership with the department was geared towards galvanizing and training students through mentorship to succeed after graduation.
Ezebuilo who was represented by Onuora Aninwobodo said the organization strives to reduce poverty, enhance rural development and ensure the overall national development of the country, through skill acquisition and sound education.
Other speakers including Barr.

Valentine Obienyem, the media adviser to the former Anambra state governor, Mr Peter Obi, MD/CEO of Anambra Broadcasting Service, Nze Uche Nworah, Former MD of Champion Newspapers, Emmanuel Agu, Kasie Abone of Thisday Newspaper, among others, offered words of encouragement to the students, as well as lead them through the important roles journalism plays in the society.

In their separate remarks, the students were full of praise at the maiden event, saying it availed them the opportunity to learn more. They said the success stories of some of the practitioners further encouraged them to contribute their quota in society through journalism.

The LOC chairman, and lecturer at the department, Dr Emeka Odogwu, said the students were encouraged by such gatherings and urged them to make good use of what they learnt to develop themselves.

The high point of the event was the empowerment of indigent students of the department, including persons with disabilities by the foundation, as well as discussions by a panel of discussants, who trilled the students with success stories of their careers in the field.

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