•‘Mass Communication should be renamed Communcation Studies’
EMERITI Professors Abiola Odejide and Festus Adesanoye; and Professor Ebenezer Soola of the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, were last week Tuesday honoured on their 70th birthday in a colloquium organised by the department.
The colloquium, held at Trenchard Hall of the university, emphasised the relevance of language arts skills of writing, reading, speaking and listening in the communication training curriculum of departments in the country.
In his remarks at the colloquium themed, ‘Relevance of Language Arts in the Communication Studies Curriculum’, acting Head of Department of Communication and Language Arts, Dr Ayo Ojebode, emphasized the need to create good communicators in the country, noting that language arts skills remained the vehicle through which communication takes place.
Former Dean of Arts, University of Uyo, Professor Des Wilson, in his speech, urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to consider renaming Mass Communication departments in the country as Communication Studies departments.
Wilson argued that the Mass Communication curriculum actually covers the print and broadcast and does not include the Public Relations, Advertising, Language Arts skills.
He, therefore,canvassed the term ‘Communication Studies’, which covers language arts skills, indigenous communication, modern mass media/traditional mass media, community relations, advertising and marketing communication, new information and communication technologies.
“If we adopt the name ‘Mass Communication’, which is restrictive, then it means we shall lose the beautiful contributions of Public Relations, Advertising, and the arts of communication. But if we must have an all-inclusive name, that name should be ‘Communication Studies’. By their various names, each university programme is buoyed by its vision and mission statement,” Wilson said.
In her speech on ‘An Evaluation of Relevance of Communication Skills to Students Of Mass Communication’, Professor Victoria Ajala of the Department of Mass Communication, Bowen University, Iwo, recommended that language arts skill be taught from junior secondary school, while Nigerian graduates should be ‘soaked’ in high quality communication skill.
In what she termed, ‘catch them young”, she said the foundation for well-rounded individuals should be laid from early child life.
Also, Professor C.E. O Onukaogu, Department of English, Obafemi AwolowoUniversity, Ile-Ife, Osun State, while speaking on ‘The Catalytic Role of Language Art in our National Development’,emphasised that to attain sustainable development with language arts, there should be electoral literacy empowerment.
Onukaogu explained that this will help electorates to make sound choices in voting for their candidates.
He also submitted that for the Language Arts to impact every facet of the National life, there must be inter and intra-disciplinary research to promotethe language arts and what the phenomenon stands for.
The vice chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor IdowuOlayinka, urged the honorees to establish a foundation to ensure that their legacy of diligence, hard work, excellence and collegiality outlives them.
Speakers and honorees lauded the uniqueness of the Department of Communication and Language Arts for its giant strides in moulding remarkable individuals.
Speaking on behalf of the honorees, Professor Ebenezer Soola remarked, “We are proud of our department. It is a wonderful department. It is a unique department. This department will continue to go places.”
Similarly, Professor Festus Adesanoye said, “Communication and Language Arts is more viable than just studying Mass Communication, because we do a more holistic approach to communication. The department prepares students for all kinds of jobs. Students of the department can be teachers, mass communicators, publishers. That is why the department is the most subscribed in the Faculty of Arts. We prepare our students for this kind of life of today where everyone has to fend for himself.”
The event was graced by several academics, eminent individuals and the relatives of the honorees, including Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo; Professor Daniel Sunday Izevbaye; Professor MrsBolanle Awe; Professor Ayo Bamgbose; Professor Stella Odebode; Professor Adigun Agbaje; Professor Francis Egbokhare; Professor T. A. Olufayo and Professor Isaac Oluwale Albert.