Professor Joseph Sule Rishante has described the recent unbundling of the Department of Mass Communication by National Universities Commission (NUC) as a laudable development, even though it is belated.
The don stated this in a recent interview with our correspondents in Jalingo.
Rishante, who is one of the pioneer Professors in the Taraba State University as well as one of the brains behind the setting up of the Department of Mass Commutation, also served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics of the school.
Expounding on the topic, the Professor applauded the development, pointing out that it should have been implemented a long time ago because it is a vast field of study that cannot be contained in one department.
He noted that back in the 50’s and early 60’s, Mass Communication was based on newspaper journalism and radio broadcasting (penmanship) but it is now more reportorial than critical due to the nature of government policies. This has equally tampered with the function of the media as watchdogs of the society.
The Professor noted that knowledge had grown in the last three decades due to the internet which has brought about globalization and both are driven by communication.
“Communication had traced its arm into why and how development succeeds and why it fails” he said.
The unbundling according to him explores the different areas of mass communication with a call for specialization in each area. He went further to outline these areas as, Advertising, Multi media studies, Animation, Public Relations among others.
The Don however noted that there are challenges that accompany the unbundling which include absence of a front end analysis which will give a very detailed procedure and guideline for this unbundling and also infrastructure, funding and manpower. “Without these things in place the implementation of this development will be haphazard” he said.
Professor Rishante said the government needs to help with the funding, while the school on its part should develop some strategies that will generate internal revenue. This responsibility, he said, spread across all levels ranging from, management, departments as well as students. He encouraged students to come up with ideas that will put money in their pockets and also generate revenue for their various departments through making jingles and producing other items that will generate revenue.
“If everyone puts their shoulders to the wheel, the institution can grow to become self-reliant and students will graduate as employers not employees” he explained.
Report by Christiana Babayo and Sesugh Abaya