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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

EFIWE GISTS: I Came, I Saw And I Didn't Give Up - Alao Abiodun | My Campus Journalism Story @kingbiodun_

By - Alao Abiodun

There's always a reward in the end; Never give up -- if you think I'm lying ask the legendary Kúnlé Adébàjò or the phenomenonal Kanyinsola Olorunnisola or the dexterous Ìyìnolúwa Àjàyí or the ingenious Femi Adesope or the outstanding Haleem Olatunji and a host of other writers - writing/being a campus journalist has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. We’re all different and there are as many reasons for writing as there are people. Some of us hope to win awards/recognition, others want to influence people’s thinking, others hope to teach, to inspire, to motivate, to criticize, to change, to report, to make money, to tell a story -- the list could go on forever and the individual reasons doesn't really matter. The important thing is to discover your own reasons, so you can use them positively.

The experience so far is indeed a long narrative because of the intrigues, intricacies and the peculiarities attached to the journey, but the passion kept me moving. The most important part of it did not really feel like a job at all – even though it could make all the difference on my outlook and personality, I had series of ratiocinations on the basis that at the end of my university life, I'll hopefully have a ton of bylines and experience to take with me. My journey into campus journalism all began upon my admission into the Premier University as a direct entry student in 2015. Prior to this, I've always had flair for journalism because of the constant touch with the society.

After reading through the beautiful compendium, inspirational and well crafted campus journalism story of my seniors of outstanding erudition and profundity -- Kanyinsola Olorunnisola (My Campus Journalism story; I did not come here to play) and Haleem Olatunji - (My Campus Journalism story; what I remember) which was more like a piece to spur the youngsters into action, my subconscious mind didn't let me rest, even some of those who admired me greatly haunted me silently with their great "persperian" skills saying "we want to read yours too, won't you write yours? - atleast the three of you got nominated in the 2017 JCI most outstanding person in student journalism, University of Ìbàdàn." After much conflict of the mind to avoid self-flattery, I had to pen this down for the sake of my esteemed clique of readers.

Upon gaining admission via direct entry in 2015 into University of Ìbàdàn to study Educational Management coupled with the fact that I had the upheaval task to combine with almighty "Economics" as my teaching course - it was not an easy one surviving in the ocean of UI campus journalism hydrosphere filled with big sharks especially with popular cognomens with incredible writing skills, highly cerebral and creatively versatile.

After much appraisal of my dexterity coupled with writing skills as garnered during my secondary school and college education, it sprung me into action in playing an active role in campus journalism. On this journey, I joined the NUESA Press organization in 2015 as an intern under the leadership of Mr. Olugbenga Oyeniran, Miss. Ayoade Oreoluwa and Miss Simi Oduwole - after much drilling, constant publications and other journalistic practices, I got inducted officially, I got certified as a member of the NUESA press organization, due to my unrelenting efforts and constant efforts in ensuring prompt dissemination of information in the area of news report/writing and other areas, I was awarded as "Intern of the year" and "promising pressman of the year". After the official induction into the press, I kept on with regular press activities, the quondam Editor-in-chief, Mr Olugbenga Oyeniran helped me in igniting out a redefinition process of reporting news such that events in our immediate community are reported to the populace. After much tutoring, I delved into the areas of reporting UI news story which spanned through faculties and halls of residence; this quite earned me a widespread popularity in the University community even at some point I felt like a student politician who was going for a post.

In 2016, after one year of meritorious service, I got appointed as the "Deputy Editor-in-chief" I was quite astonished, but nevertheless I knew it was due to my unrelenting and passionate activities. I served as the Deputy Editor-in-chief under the leadership of Mr. Egbe Emmanuel, in a smooth and cordial relationship, we worked together tirelessly coupled with the correspondents to ensure the improvement in the status quo of the press organization. I got awarded as the "Pressman of the year" Faculty of Education on 25th of November 2016; this apparently earned me more accolades from both within and outside the faculty.

Furthermore, when the tenure of my predecessor, Mr. Egbe Emmanuel elapsed, the mantle of leadership fell upon my shoulders after majority of the press correspondents nominated my name for position of the "Editor-in-chief, NUESA Press Organization", it finally dawned on me that this is going to be a huge task transferred to me especially in the area of coordinating the activities of organization, but nevertheless I was not swayed by this because of the resolute mindset that has shaped me all through the journey to be passionate about whatever I do. The journey so far has not been so easy because the populace expect you to ubiquitous; hence they need to be fed with credible, authentic and undiluted information.

I've enjoyed the press activities so far, this apparently sweeps away the idea of regrets -- when you're passionate about what you do, you find yourself looking beyond the regrets. As a popular news reporter/writer who's always on-the-go, it is by nature that one is wonderfully adept at stalking  I mean, finding sources and relevant information for various and sundry stories. Well, the advent of social media has made the process of reporting all the more nuanced, and has served as a vital channel for everything from finding leads to contacting sources to sharing out of the information.

Campus journalism has opened me a lot of doors, led me to different crossroads, it has catapulted me to a journey into the lives of a myriad of people whose influences, both positive and not so positive, have nourished my being in ways unimaginable. What I am today as a student journalist who has explored all areas of journalism such as photojournalism, news-writing/reporting, writing columns, content writer, essayist, poet, social media strategist/influencer, publicist, I can say I owe it to my passionate aspirations and yearnings as regards changing the face of journalism especially in the university which therefore intensified and spurred my writing abilities and prowess, increased my lexical avidity even as a logophile. My beaming and strong reputation earned me a widespread popularity hence the sobriquet "Jega".

Above all, my simple and candid advice to upcoming journalists or those interested in brewing up the passion for campus journalism is that they should never give up - take it upon yourself to improve daily. Your reports and views must be fair, balanced and be truthful in all ramifications. This is what you need to do to be credible and be able to justify whatever you publish even when people think otherwise. Most importantly, as a Campus journalist do not set out to be anti-management, you should always constructively criticize when necessary and commend when there are reasons to.

Alao Abiodun Joshua writes from University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

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