Nigeria’s media landscape is expanding at a fast pace. Once dominated by print, radio, and television, it is experiencing a disruption by digital platforms and young people’s interest in gaining their own voice. In this western African country, home to more than 210 million people, the world of communication is receiving interest from locals and foreigners who want to bring their own ideas and innovate by using new technologies and formats.
The Nigerian youth is especially involved in this process and is seeking education in the area of communication and journalism in universities such as Veritas University Abuja. This University, founded by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, counts with a Mass Communication Department where students can receive the tools they need to excel as the journalists of tomorrow. One of the most attractive aspects of this Department is that it has an outstanding and modern communications center that offers the students hands-on experience in radio broadcasting, tv production, news writing, photojournalism, editing, publishing, media production, environmental reporting, and much more. The creation of this communications center, which is looking to expand soon, was accompanied by the expertise and technical support of SIGNIS Services Rome. SSR developed the project and assisted in finding the necessary funds to equip the center.
Fr. Valentine Onwunjiogu, lecturer at Veritas University and Project Operations Officer, shared with SSR that “thanks to these studios, the students are now able to produce radio content, tv content and they are very happy [and] excited to have the practical aspect of their studies. Indeed, Mass Communication senior student Lovet Anaeme shared during a live interview on SIGNIS With You Live that the studios “help out into practice what we’re being taught in class. Having the studios right there has made it a wonderful experience that has helped me grow in my confidence and develop skills I didn’t even know I had, making me feel confident to put myself out there and push my name”. This is exceptionally achieved by what Dr. Cyril Ole, lecturer of Mass Communication at the University and the producer/host of the program Veritas Half Hour describes as the goal of the faculty: “students come here and leave as specialists in one or two areas, not just communication graduates”, adding that they teach students how to be confident, engage with the media and society and that it is their responsibility to report on important issues, injustices and do all it is in their power to give a voice to the voiceless.
The passion of the lecturers, that is passed on to the students, is evident in seeing how excited they are when they produce different materials; some of which is available for the world to see on YouTube and also on Nigerian local television via Lumen Christi and the Catholic Television of Nigeria. The students are clearly eager to enter the labor market and show everyone how their experience at Veritas University and its state-of-the-art communication center has prepared them to be effective communicators and professionals.