Abdulrasheed Akere

Journalists keep journals; journalism is a professional field practiced by journalists. It is only an infant that may not know the essence of journalism, it’s disheartening to realize that some elderly people especially in an academic academia lag if not lack the significance of its activities. In an institution like UDUS, journalism has and still contributes massively to the growth and development of education.

The documentation of the field’s practitioners educate the new generation of what has happened before their existence. If not for journalism, how could students of the fourth republic know that the so-called most peaceful university in Nigeria, or UDUS was established during the second republic (September 1975) alongside some other federal universities by the military government.

Journalists’ publications enhance our knowledge of bevy public figures that Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto has produced, the likes of Executive Governor of Sokoto State; Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State; Atiku Bagudu, the Attorney-General of the Federation; Abubakar Malami, the President of the 74th United Nations General Assembly and Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations; Tijani Muhammad-Bande and the Vice President of the Republic of Gambia; Isatou Touray, amongst others.

It is not hyperbolic if we claim that campus journalism is a blessing to UDUS for its substantiation to make the school arrive at its recent position. Several UDUS campus journalists have attained numerous national and international success stories tagging the name of the university; it gives UDUS mammoth recognition locally and globally. Despite that the university did not have a media related course (Mass Communication) hitherto 2019/2020 session, it has produced countless students that have succeed in journalism.

Unfortunately, the university who benefits immensely from the impact of journalism is treating journalists like trash. Campus journalists faced a lot of intimidation in carrying out their voluntary activities. Regardless of their free service to humanity, they receive harassment in return instead of compliment. We have experienced several cases where our studentships were threatened for journalism, no wonder why some people are quitting from the field. Anyway, the authority should be acquaint that we grasp their intent to scrape UDUS journalism; if campus journalists go extinct, UDUS reputation may also die because we help to rebrand her old heritage.

Frankly, preceding and succeeding Danfodites can not underestimate the influence of journalism in securing their admissions and their safe stay on campus. Many students uptill now reach out to campus journalists for guidance on how to go about the UDUS admission process. Few years ago, a campus journalist investigated scammers who defrauded UDUS aspirants with the claim of helping them with admission. The issue or its relatedness has not occured again after the investigation. Aside from that, campus journalists have helped students to speak to the school management on several occasions which had yielded expected outcomes.

What is Our Offense?

I hope it is not offensive to question the authority of the campus journalists’ offense, which makes them to be treated illegitimately. I don’t think covering school events and live updates is against the rules. It will be advisable for the management to know the ethics of journalism compared to what they dubbed as tarnishing the school image. It is unreasonable for us to stand against the institution that we have her name in our portfolios.

We can point at indefatigable campus journalists that have represented the university in many inter-school and inter-state competitions and returned home with trophies and prizes of millions worth. Should we say it is judicial to treat those students that serve with what they have in a harsh manner.

Should taking pictures at the confirmation hall for live updates be an offense? As claimed by the registration officials, even journalists do take the President’s picture. Journalists guided a multitude of jambitos on how to fill their yellow files before they were pursued out of the confirmation hall like animals. If everything is alright in an institution that awards certificates based on character and learning, there should not be fear for report or broadcasting.

What Everyone Should Know

Everyone, especially those challenging our journalism should know that it is not UDUS that makes our journalism prosper. It is obvious that academic stress doesn’t give a chance for extracurricular activities, we keep doing it with passion and for public interest.

Truth be told, it is not campus based stories that makes us thrive in mainstream journalism. We used campus reports to configure the school figure and create a saint learning atmosphere for fellow students. Distinguished investigations and impact-driven stories reported by our journalists were shortlisted for Alfred Opubor Next-Gen Campus Reporter Awards, none of these stories were covered inside Danfodiyo.

Also, an investigative story of a UDUS campus journalist was shortlisted for an international award — online category of African Prize for Investigative Journalism Award (PAJI) 2023. The shortlisted story exposed an abandoned health project in Sokoto not inside UDUS. Campus journalists did not solicit incentive, but the management offers disincentive, it’s reflective if it is not directive.

We want UDUS to emulate institutions like MAPOLY, University of Ibadan, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba (AAUA) and others who support their campus journalists. This will go a long way to place UDUS in a peak position in national ranking not only among northern universities. We may not be versatile in law, that is why we are law students, but those teaching us law should abide by the law. This piece is not a satire, it aspires to note that we will not be tired to pursue our desire that we admire.

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