A Professor of Political Economy, Pat Utomi, says the Media have a critical role in healing the nation of many wounds that currently defile its existence through the agenda-setting function.
Professor Utomi stated this at the Eleventh Jackson Annual Lecture of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria Nsukka held at Princess Alexanderia Auditorium.
Speaking on the theme, “The Media and the Development Challenge in Nigeria at a Time of Crisis,” Professor Pat Utomi advised media professionals in the country to deploy their influence into building a stronger nation.
He explained that part of the challenges in Nigeria was that people see problems and talk about them, without proffering solution. He challenged media professionals in the country to use their gate-keeping function to set agenda for the nation.
Professor Utomi encouraged journalists to do more of development and investigative reporting and advocated improved welfare packages for media workers to enhance their performance.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Professor Charles Igwe, said the University was committed to furthering the study of journalism, media participation and practice in the country.
The Chairman of the occasion, Professor Ike Ndolo, advised the media to use their watchdog function to promote issues that would advance development.
The Dean Faculty of Arts, Prof. Christian Onyeji, noted that the annual lecture was to enable the students draw inspiration from graduates of the university that were doing well in the society.
Also, the Acting Head of the Department,Dr. Luke Ifeanyichukwu Anorue, while introducing the theme of the Conference, enjoined the students to take after the examplary alumnus in the person of Prof. Utomi, who had remarkable feats since leaving the institution.
The Local Organizing Committee Chairman, Dr. Michael Ukonu, said that the media in the country was challenged with the responsibility of stabilizing the society especially now the country was experiencing many crises.
In their responses, two students, Emmanuel Steve Sunny and Chukwuma Emenike Wilfred described the conference as worthwhile.
The 11th Jackson lecture which witnessed the presence of several dignitaries in the field of Mass Communication in Nigeria and beyond provided opportunity for interaction between the students and experts in the media industry.