Department of Mass Communication holds Seminar
It was quite an educative and interactive session as faculty and students of the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University assembled at the College of Business and Social Sciences Conference Room on Thursday, August 28, 2014 for a special seminar on “The Role of Media in Democracy”.
The Guest Speaker, who is an International news editor with the French Television France24 and a Media Consultant, Mr. Eduardo Cue, stated that there can’t be democracy without a free press. Mr. Cue noted that the media is to point out mistakes and errors so that there can be resolution. “Media should analyse and present points of view” he said.
He highlighted the key functions of media in a democratic society. These, according to him, include offering impartial and complete information, offering a coherent frame work to help citizens understand the complexity of the modern world, and being understanding and compassionate towards the poor and disadvantaged, among others.
He urged the students to shun political involvement, if it compromise journalistic integrity and as journalists, they should be interested in defending the interest of the public.
Mr. Cue emphasised that reporters are not to make moral judgement or judge other people. He also advised correspondents to be intellectually honest and not become frivolous and trembling echoes of their masters.
In another presentation titled “Journalism Ethics”, Mr. Cue defined ethics as a branch of philosophy that deals with the general nature of morals as well as moral choices that people must make in their relationship with others.
He stated that it is quite unfortunate that journalists have neglected ethics and are concerned with personal interest. He, therefore, encouraged reporters to embrace honesty, integrity, accountability, respect and excellence. He said these are the values journalists impose on others and not on themselves.
Mr. Cue stated further that reporters should provide account of events and issues to change people’s life, because in journalism, public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. He urged journalists to tell the stories of diversity and magnitude of human experiences boldly even when it is unpopular to do so.
During an interactive session, Professor Cecil Blake, a Former Minister of Information, Republic of Sierra Leone, Professor, University of Pittsburgh, USA, and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication lauded the guest speaker for his presentation and opined that the challenges in Africa is the lack of absolute historical facts on the Continent.
Also, the immediate past Head, Department of Mass Communication, Professor Idowu Sobowale added that, journalists must start to define news in the light of African occurrences, perspectives and benefits. He also appreciated the guest speaker for his immense contribution to the knowledge of Journalism.
Also present at the seminar were the Head of Department, Mass Communication, Dr. Oladokun Omojola, Director, Media and Corporate Affairs, Dr. Lanre Amodu, Dr. Ada Sonia Peter and other faculty as well as staff and students of the department.