Friday Omosola, a student of the Mass Communication Department, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, who recently graduated from the 2022 Millennium Campus Network Fellowship (MCN), has been appointed as the President of the Nigerian Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) and simultaneously the Editor-in-chief of Echo media — a long serving media outlet in AAUA.

Millennium Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program to widen students’ social impact capability and improve their leadership skills.

MCN fellowship was launched in 2013 to convene, challenge and celebrate student leaders for social impact and since its establishment, more than 5,500 young leaders from 300 universities have participated in the program to date.

The 2022 MCN fellowship program which started in September 2022, and ended in January 2023 featured students across tertiary institutions in the world.

After he graduated from the fellowship as the first AAUA Campus Director (CD) for the first cohort, Omosola was appointed to lead both NUCJ President and Echo Media for the 2021/2022 academic session.

In an exclusive interview with this Reporter, Omosola affirmed that he has learned a lot of leadership qualities from the program (MCN).

While mentioning his experience in the semester-long program, Omosola noted that the fellowship has contributed to his leadership skills, which will in turn shape the smooth running of his new leadership roles.

He said, “My experiences at Millennium Fellowship were topnotch, starting from networking, connection, and building of my leadership skill, which I had wanted. I had a dream of learning and building my leadership skill under an international organization and boom, Millennium Fellowship came on board. I had to apply as a Campus Director and I was selected.

“The program has contributed in a lot of ways to my leadership roles because during the program, I apply for a Local Government Youths Parliament in my state, and seeing the name on the documents I submitted, the screening committee was so surprised which made them believe I can lead and make laws that will better the lives of my local government youths.”

Omosola added that his experience in MCN Fellowship will help him in different aspects, stating that the program has taught him ways to lead without forcing things on the followers.

“In school, I have seen many Student Union leaders trying to force or demand respect from people [students] they are leading but MCN made it clear that those are not characteristics of a good leader because leaders do not force or demand respect but earn it from what they have done.

“It came as a surprise but at the same time, I was elated not because I am about to write my name as one of the past NUCJ President or Editor-in-chief but because I am confident I will impact lives positively.

“The two roles are demanding but I trust in God. He will help me and I will lead the people to their promised land because journalism is one thing I love, it’s my passion and I can sacrifice anything for it.”

He further stated, “I believe in teamwork and I am quite sure my executives will give me their full support needed to push journalism forward.”

“I have learned to listen to others, collaborate, and ask for directions which I will thread on during my administration. I led MCN fellows in my school and it was a success and I will be reciprocating the same as NUCJ President and Editor-in-chief.”

When asked how he was going to make a change in the practice of journalism at AAUA, he said, “I will collaborate with media experts and media houses to ensure our members are trained by veterans who have been in the system for years, which we equip us with our expectations as campus journalists and how to thrived in the industry after our four years.”

He assured that former NUCJ presidents — Editors-in-chief will come on board to enlighten the newbies and share experiences on how they can triumph as campus journalists.

“I will work with my executives to make sure we encourage campus journalists in AAUA to work and get their articles published in newspapers and blogs outside the campus,” he added.

He further stated that training and workshops will be held for all campus journalists in AAUA to equip them with needed skills.

In his remarks about the challenges campus journalists face, he said lack of training and workshops has impeded some of them.

“Threat, lack of training, workshops, and personal development. As campus Journalists, once we balance our stories, definitely we’re free from threat. Can you now see the importance of balancing stories and why we should not be biased?

“Truthfulness and more. We can not use our pen to fight the school management because they are our fathers, and mentors and know more than we do because without them, no NUCJ, and no press outlets on campus among others. We will ensure our members only report what is bad that needs to be corrected without attacking any parties.”

In his admonition to campus journalists, he asserted that there are opportunities in the media industry and only the consistent ones can benefit from them.

He said, “My advice for campus journalists should be, do not be biased, balance your stories, avoid using your stories to cause conflicts, and more.

“To become veterans, we must attend training and workshops on our own as what we learn today will stick and remain ours forever.

“We have media houses that train journalists every weekend and so on. Let’s use our data to learn instead of wasting it on something not necessary.

“I will also implore people to join media outlets on campus to learn, not today but because of tomorrow and their Curriculum Vitae, (CV) as the Labor market remains competitive.

“For active campus journalists, keep pushing. One day, you will smile because there are opportunities out there for them to compete for, such as grants, and fellowship, among others.

“And for the upcoming ones, write, read, learn, attend training, and have a mentor. One day, you will become a veteran and a great journalist. It starts from somewhere. A drop of water turns into a mighty ocean.

“Take bold steps to learn. Learning is a process. Journalism is sweet. Journalists are respectable people in society. You will meet powerful people and talk to them.”

Boluwatife Adedokun is a passionate journalist, who writes to ameliorate societal ills. As a young journalist, she aims to have a society devoid of corruptions by righting the wrongs with the power of pen. Her enthusiasm towards speaking for the masses has engendered her publication in different national dailies and she wish to be more impactful through her stories.

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