The Post Graduate Diploma students of the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) Owerri study centre last Saturday 7th of October 2017 had their graduation ceremony at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre along Port Harcourt road Owerri, Imo state.
In the address presented by the PGD Course Representative Nkama Chioma Joy She appreciated the lecturers and the school authorities for impacting positively in them the skills and mastery of journalism practice. She promised that they shall be worthy journalists and will uphold the 10 commandments of journalism.
She however pointed out some areas that should be ameliorated to better the school study conditions which the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists Imo state chapter (NUJ) Sir Innocent Igwe while making his remark promised to partner with the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) to improve the system of the school especially the environment for effective learning. He advised the graduands to gird up their lions and face life squarely knowing that life is hard and is getting worse by the day. He encouraged them to uphold the golden tenets of journalism which are not a cake walk especially as beginners.
The coordinator of the International Institute of Journalism Owerri study centre, Chief Dr. Ndudi Nnadi in his speech made known his desires and efforts to take the school to greater heights, promising to work in synergy with the mother school to improve the school system. He advised the graduands to live by the examples they have learnt from the school considering the importance of the press as the eyes and ears of the masses. “The masses trust the press more than any office holder”. The media which he said have affiliation with the nature of the dog ought to bark and bark against some abnormalities in the society. “The press must come out hard on government officials and agencies that fail in their duties. Journalists should not be given brown envelope before they play the role of watchdogs”, he added.
The guest speaker of the day Dr. Sharon Ohaka, a Medical Practitioner defined journalism as the art of gathering, accessing, creating and presenting information. He said that journalism is a vocation, a calling and a purpose and not just occupation. He likened a journalist to an evangelist, a change agent, a marketer of good views and policies, a barber who beautifies the ugly, a cook, a tailor, a policeman and a lay minister who serves as a mediator between the masses and the masters.
Mr. Tony Ibeh, a lecturer at the school spoke on the impacts of the school. “This school has produced many Imo state Press Secretaries, Publishers and Editors of newspapers, media consultants and many personalities. He said that the environment of a school cannot limit a student who wants to learn. “Years ago people learned under trees yet they emerged great legends because they cherished education”.