As the election for the National Union of Campus Journalists holds today, Ibrahim Olarotimi, an NUCJ President hopeful, who is an investigative campus journalist, a freelance reporter with SaharaReporters, and the African regional Correspondent for Commonwealth Students’ Association rolls out his manifesto:
The statement reads:
*NUCJ’S HOPE: THE NINE POWER POINT PLANS (NPPP)*
_It is the saying of this writer that when the wrong person is put in the right place, the right will become the wrong and the wrong will become the right.
_To avoid the aforesaid, we, at our own ends have decided to render our selfless services to ensure that the hijacked glory of NUCJ is brought back to the limelight. And thus, we present to you our plans of actions: NUCJ’S HOPE. Each word in the title of this presentation stands for each of our Nine Power Point Plans (NPPP) for the National Union of Campus Journalists, Nigeria._
Journalism and politics though go parri passu, the duo are two parallel things; we practice journalism to hold government accountable and responsible. It’s thus, our plan to neutralise the union from any possible political influence and affiliation. By ‘Nationalism’, we mean making the union free of discrimination for any reason. This means that, campus journalists across the country shall be given fair concerns and considerations at all time.
Currently, NUCJ is a union without unionism let alone unity. By ‘unionism’, we mean the principle or policy of forming or adhering to a union and its both conventional and constitutional policies. This, can only be achieved by having a strong unity among the unionists, especially the executives and chapter presidents.
*C- CAPACITY/ CREDIBILITY BUILDING*
It is an odd but not old truth that what we have in our institutions across the country are campus journalists without adequate capacities. And, a journalist without capacity will lack both capability and credibility. It’s a key plan to organise programmes that will enhance the capacities of our campus journalists across the nation. The arts and acts of news writing and reporting are things every campus journalist must perfect. This will automatically make our works professional and thus credibility comes in.
*J- JOURNALISM CANVAS*
Journalism Canvas is a career building plan to help campus journalists realise their story ideas. Many campus journalists have good story ideas but do not know where, when and how to make the stories done. Many other journalists who know how to do the stories also lack the fund, especially for investigative story ideas. It’s our plan to create a platform where campus reporters would be able to explore and realise their story ideas.
The stability of the union is as important as its existence; any union without stability will die as soon as it is created. It is in our plan to raise funds to register the union properly so as to gain more ground. Also, it is our plan to make NUCJ more credible and stable even than NANS and NUNS. Achieving this is simple: If campus journalists are made to write change making stories about our campuses and Nigeria at large, the union will become more stable and recognized.
*H- HOOK UP (WITH A MENTOR)*
This is a platform for campus journalists, whose preferred professions even after school is journalism. Such journalists who have shown interest and seriousness would be hooked up with a like-mind mainstream journalist for proper mentorship. This means, a campus journalist interested in investigative journalism would be hooked up with a renowned investigative journalist in the mainstream media and, anyone interested in broadcast journalism will also be given such opportunity and so on.
Any higher institution without active campus journalists is incomplete. It’s for this reason we’ve planned to originate strong campus journalism bodies (NUCJ chapters) in schools where campus journalism has not seen the light of the day and get them under the mother Association.
It is quite not easy to have a successful administration in NUCJ without having to partner with print, broadcast and online media platforms in Nigeria. By partnership we intend to have a relationship that will be of great benefits to both sides. Thus, student journalists will be able to have good internship opportunities and even well paid job opportunities for serious campus journalists after graduation.
*E- EDU-TRACK/ ENCOURAGEMENT*
Edu-track is intended to be a way campus journalists can contribute to the development of Nigeria’s poor education system. How? By simply focusing on how managements of tertiary institutions utilise the allocated funds given to them by Federal Government. By studying the budgeting of many schools and doing physical checking and procurement follow up, many secrets shall be exposed on how professorial individuals who enjoyed standard education are distablising ours. So, campus journalists shall anonymously write compelling investigative stories about maladministrations in our institutions.
Also, encouragements for outstanding campus journalists is vehemently considered as part of what should be to foster more good campus journalism. It is our plan to organise encouraging events for campus journalists.
_It’s important to note that all the above proposed plans of actions are subjected to modifications. Afterwards, further plans on campaign and logistics shall be unveiled. Thanks.