LASU Masters class students visit Oriwu Sun; want to know secret behind 35 years success story

Postgraduate students of the Lagos State University, from the Master’s class of Mass Communication Department, 2018/2019 session, made an academic excursion to Oriwu Sun house.

The academic visit which took place on November 16, 2020 was preceded by a formal letter from the graduate students and their course professor. 

It was few minutes past noon when the team of nine research students filed into the Oriwu Sun mansion at Sabo Ikorodu. They kept strictly to time like they wrote in their previous letter.

The publisher of Oriwu Sun, was very impressed by the student’s sense of timeliness as they showed up just on time.  He received them into his executive office and made them relaxed. After some few minutes, the publisher introduced the mature students to members of his staff and opene the floor for discussion.

The nine advanced students, led by Mr. Ayodeji Oluwaafemi, introduced themselves as;  Mr. Kalejaiye Tomisin Joseph, Mr. Gregory Obi, Miss Ayotunde Oluwatoyin, Miss Bolanle Williams, Mr. Bayo Wahab, Mr. Charles Alom, Mr. Ayodeji Oluwafemi, Omobitan Olumide and Mr. Godwin Osaghae.

They were the group of graduate students who opted for elective course in community journalism and were mandated by their professor to visit the most viable community newspaper in Nigeria, the Oriwu Sun. part of their objectives for embarking on field study was made know by the team lead and spokesperson of the visiting team, Mr. Ayodeji Oluwafemi.

The group of students were as organised as they planned and apportioned tasks to group members. The students who introduced the group was different from the student who explained why they visited. Other students took turn asking questions from prepared lists.

They were prepared to explore and learn secrets and trends of community journalism in the twenty first century. 

The first question directed to the publisher by Mr. Bayo Wahab, was how did he start Oriwu Sun and what motivated him to settle for community journalism. In response to the question from the erudite student, Chief Monzor Olowosago narrated his experience in the United Kingdom and how he conceived the idea of starting a community newspaper when he return to Nigeria.

Impressed by the publisher’s mesmerizing narrative, one of the students asked if the publisher regret starting the paper, if he would have chosen another course. Chief Monzor reaffirmed that starting the Oriwu Sun newspaper is the best decision he has ever made. This was followed by another probing question, the student asked how the publisher had sustained the local paper over the years. The publisher explained how he had made fortune through advertisement and that the government is the biggest patron in terms of placing adverts with Oriwu Sun.  The visiting students were also curious to know how Oriwu Sun maintained its editorial independence and how the media community press observe the principle of objectivity in the community. 

Mr. Godwin Osaghae was interested in knowing how the publisher source for advertisements and observed that there was lots of congratulatory messages in the copy of the Oriwu Sun given to them. Mr. Gregory Obi was curious on how the publisher maintain objectivity on stories covered in the community newspaper with government placing adverts with the Oriwu Sun.

In response, the publisher reiterated his stance on serving first, the community and will always say the truth because that’s where the people build trust in the media.

After taking questions, the publisher took the group of students to the production room to show them the machines and explain the process. The Deputy Publisher, Hadji Kazim Ganiu-

Sanni who was busy when they enter the production room, halted his work and demonstrated some design page for the students to see. Some of the students who know about printing machines discussed and suggest latest printers the media house could buy for ease of production.

Speaking with our reporters, Mr. Gregory Obi said the visit was very insightful, according to him, “The visit helped us to understand the viability, possibilities and relevance of community newspaper in our community.

We are exposed to the challenges and prospects and how these factors can be surmounted. I gathered from this visit how many opportunities abounds to community journalists and how they can help bring development to the local communities.”

After almost two hours of questioning and answering, Mr. Ayodeji Oluwafemi gave the vote of thanks and appreciated the publisher for hosting them and for taking their questions. The publisher Chief Monzor Olowosago presented copies of Oriwu Sun newspaper to each of the visiting students and led them to a convenient place where they posed with him for the camera.  Joined in the photograph were Deputy Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Hadji Kazim Ganiu-Sanni and the Editor, Mr. Miftah Jimoh.

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