Journalists should possess excellent communication skills —Prof Akinjobi
A professor of English and Linguistics at the University of Ibadan, Adenike Akinjobi, has said that the relationship between the classroom and the newsroom is mutual and as such, both should benefit from each other’s strengths, especially in the acquisition of communication skills.
She spoke on Friday in Ibadan, on “Newsroom and Classroom: Need for Better Collaboration,” which was a lecture organised by the Nigerian Tribune chapel of the Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to mark the 2018 Nigerian Tribune Press Day.
The don stressed that the newsroom and the classroom have the same basic things in common, making both creative arenas where ideas are expected to be put together by skilled hands in an ingenious manner.
However, she lamented that in the Nigerian context of classroom and newsroom, the facilities incapacitate the user.
She described language as a vital tool for both the classroom and the newsroom.
“At the tertiary level, we teach, using the English language. Likewise, most newspapers use the English language, while some use the native languages.
“However, the blunt truth for both profession is that we are often limited by our level of proficiency in English, being a second language to many of us, so we hardly approximate to standard use,” she said.
According to her, teachers and journalists are counted as models in the right use of spoken and written English.
“This implies that if I hear it in class or in the news or read it in the newspapers, I should be courageous enough to use it without the fear of being wrong,” she said.
However, she lamented that this was not the case in Nigeria where the wrong use of English is common in classrooms, in the media, and that on a daily basis, grammatical and typographical errors are encountered even in newspaper editorials.
She stressed that journalists at the desk should possess excellent communication and writing skills and should also have a good control of the language used by the newspaper in all aspects, ranging from grammar to meaning.
“In addition, journalists should acquire adequate research skills. This is one of the features they share with academics. There is no faster way to destroy a news organisation than the publication of poorly researched news,” she said.
Akinjobi elaborated on how the physical and virtual classrooms could be a source of support to the newsroom through a structured training for those who were not trained in the appropriate departments where skills relating to journalism are taught.
The chairman on the occasion, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, stressed the need for journalists to be objective in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking in a similar vein, the special guest of honour, a former Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune titles, Mr Felix Adenaike, urged members of the pen profession to eschew the brown envelope syndrome and be more proactive in their professional calling.
Also at the event were the Iyaloja of Ibadan, Chief (Mrs) Iswat Ameringun; the Secretary of NUJ, Oyo State chapter, Mr Bola Ogunlayi and chairman of the Nigerian Tribune chapel of the NUJ, Mr Tunde Busari.