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Cable Foundation advocates political awareness among campus journalists

Cable Foundation advocates political awareness among campus journalists
November 26
20:24 2021

The importance of campus journalism as a tool for deepening democratic consciousness and active participation of youth in politics has been emphasised.

This was the crux of the town hall meeting organised by Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation (CNJF).

The event, which took place on Thursday in Lagos, had students from various higher institutions across the country in attendance.

The town hall meeting was implemented under the Campus Civic Media Campaign (CCMC) of the CNJF, with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

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Olufemi Atoyebi, programme officer, CCMC, said the aim of the event is to examine the role of campus journalists and youths in democracy, especially with the momentum for the 2023 general election gathering pace.

“The town hall meeting is also designed to examine the youths’ understanding of issues bedevilling Nigeria’s democracy and to assess the performance of new media in democracy,” he said.

Addressing participants at the town hall meeting, Cynthia Mbamalu, programme manager, Yiaga Africa, encouraged youths to engage in formal political processes and have a say in formulating policies.

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She noted that 51.1 percent of registered voters in the 2019 elections are young people within the ages of 18 and 35, adding that the number has the potential to increase by 2023.

The panelists at the town hall meeting included Steve Ayorinde, former commissioner for tourism, arts and culture, Lagos state; Muyiwa Popoola, dean, faculty of communication & media studies, Ajayi Crowther University; and Kareem Itunnu, president, Association of Campus Journalists, Lagos State University (LASU).

Femi Owolabi,  head of investigations at CNJF, moderated the panel discussion.

The discussion centred around the 2020 Lekki tollgate shooting as well as safeguarding press freedom in perilous times.

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Samuel Olowookere, a participant from the University of Lagos, said the conversation helped him to gain a deeper understanding of the role of the media in promoting transparency and good governance.

“I have learnt things I can hold on to for the next 10 years of my career as a journalist. Real-world learning is different from the classroom experience,” he added.

On her part, Odimfe Favour of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism described Mbamalu’s session as “exciting and insightful”.

She said the Yiaga Africa programme manager shared insight on the power of youths to change the country by voting in elections.

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