Graduates of Language Important to Efficiency, Effectiveness in Media Industry – Veteran Journalist
The importance of graduates of English and Literary Studies to the success of editorial functions in any newsroom cannot be quantified, hence undergraduates of the programme must brace up for the rigours associated with operations of the media industry.
This was the thrust of a lecture delivered by the guest speaker, Dr. Abiodun Awolaja, at the ‘Town and Gown’ seminar of the Department of Languages, Covenant University, on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.
Speaking on the topic ‘The Media Industry in Nigeria and the Place of Graduates of English,’ the renowned journalist and Editorial Page Editor, The Nigerian Tribune Newspapers, assured students of English and Literary Studies of their relevance in the Nigerian media industry, saying that graduates of languages and literature are in high demand in the newsroom. The award-winning journalist asserted that it was difficult to find any news organisation that is worth its salt today where one of the four key line editors is not a graduate of English.
Dr. Awolaja, who holds a Ph.D. in English Language, averred that graduates of English could perform well on any reportorial assignment in a standard newsroom. According to him, “There is no desk in the newsroom where a graduate of English Language cannot work, whether it is the business, politics, Op-ed, online, news, community, tourism, sports, and aviation. Expect to do a lot of work”.
The veteran media practitioner told the audience that many professional colleagues on different editorial desks would rely on the expertise and knowledge of the English Language graduate to properly contextualise a report for easy reading and understanding of consumers of news materials.
The guest speaker highlighted some benefits of pursuing a career in the media world, which include privilege to meet people, building relationships through column writing, investigating and reporting crimes, and holding government accountable amongst others. He urged students at all levels in the Department of Languages to start acquainting themselves with the business of writing immediately, otherwise all they are being taught would be a waste.
Dr. Awolaja posited that for those who are more concerned with remuneration related issue in the media industry, opportunities abound for them to increase their revenue streams with commission from commercials, freelance services, editing, and doing a review of literary materials. He affirmed that the media couldn’t survive without the graduates of English.
In his welcome remarks, the Head, Department of Languages and General Studies, Dr. Tuesday Owoeye, appreciated the guest speaker for coming to impart industry knowledge on students in the Department and related programmes. He reminded the audience that the reason for the seminar was to give the students opportunities to know what they can do after school with their degrees.
The event attracted faculty, staff, and students from the Languages and General Studies Department and related programmes in the University.