Welcome Message from The Head of Department- Mass Communication
It is with the highest privilege and distinct honour that I welcome all students to the brand new Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media of the University of Calabar. I believe we should all consider ourselves fortunate to be pioneer members of this department because it has been long in the works. Let me, on behalf of the departmental board, express profound gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zana I. Akpagu, for taking steps to ensure that the department is approved by the University Senate and for providing all the materials and personnel required for its eventual take off in the 2017/2018 academic session.
The Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media of the University of Calabar offers students a unique learning experience in an environment that boasts of state-of-the-art facilities. As lucidly stated in the objectives of the department, we are committed to producing competent, research-oriented and professionally endowed young men and women capable of pursuing scholarship in academic careers beyond the undergraduate level. It is our objective also to prepare students for professional careers as journalists, communicators, Broadcasters, Public Relations and Advertising Practitioners, information managers, as well as online media publishers, etc.
The programme you have just enrolled in is very comprehensive and intensive. You are, therefore, expected to be prepared for serious academic work. As a professional course, there is a practical component that is intended to provide hands-on skills to enable you to transit seamlessly to the media and communication industry. To this end, every student MUST of necessity, own a laptop without which it would be practically impossible to participate meaningfully in the programme. The laptop will help students perform tasks such as payment of school charges, registration of courses, assignments, tests and projects via the Internet or Intranet. Besides, since lectures will be delivered through PowerPoint presentation laptops will enable students to download such lectures from the e-learning portal or their emails to their laptops for effective class participation.
To inculcate in students a sense of seriousness and professionalism, the departmental board has recommended a dress code for all students. As indicated in the code of conduct, students are expected to dress corporately either in traditional or foreign attires. No casual dressing such as jeans and T-shirts shall be allowed. Ours is a serious profession and we intend to produce graduates that can stand out anywhere in the world of work. The University of Calabar awards degrees in character and learning. Character is everything. The moral decadence that has beset Nigeria today is a function of the failure of the education system to produce men and women of character. We have laid undue emphasis on academic excellence to the total neglect of sound character development.
It is on this note that students are strictly warned that irresponsible, criminal and corrupt behaviour shall not be tolerated. Any student found to be involved in bribery for marks, for instance, shall be promptly sanctioned according to laid down university regulation regarding such misdemeanour. Nevertheless, let me assure you that the department will similarly not tolerate any victimization of students by staff. In the event of a case involving a student and staff, appropriate steps will be taken to guarantee a fair hearing for all parties and whatever decision reached will reflect universal principles of fairness, justice and equity.
As has been approved by the departmental board, the minimum benchmark for progression to the next class is a cumulative grade point average of 1.5. This calls for a serious commitment to studies on the part of every student who wishes to make it to the final year. I, therefore, urge you all to settle down as quickly as possible and immerse yourselves in your studies which is the reason you are here. While it is important to engage in extra-curricular activities to ensure balanced and well-rounded education, I enjoin you not to be unnecessarily distracted by these activities to the detriment of your primary objective.
Finally, let me on behalf of the department heartily congratulate you on your success at the various tests you wrote that enabled you to gain admission into this programme. On our part, we will do our utmost to provide a level playing field and a conducive atmosphere for you to excel. Your wellbeing is our primary concern because you are the pride of the department. Do not hesitate to approach me or any other member of staff for assistance whenever the need arises.
Once again, a very warm welcome to you all. May God bless you and may God bless the Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media and the University of Calabar.
Dr. Joseph Ekpang
Head of Department
Mission / Vision / Philosophy / Objective
To create a dynamic learning and teaching environment that nurtures contemporary ideas, creativity, research and scholarship for the development of professionals and innovators in the domain of media and mass communication.
The Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media seeks to set global standards for media education, research and training, using state-of-the-art technology for building a knowledge-driven information society that would ultimately engender human development and empowerment especially in the areas of multimedia communications, modern Public Relations/Advertising and public speaking.
The Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media is guided by the critical need to provide students with the opportunity to acquire professional and technical skills needed to communicate in the modern world and prepare them for professional careers as journalists, broadcasters, Public Relations and Advertising practitioners, and the new media. The department’s programme is sensitive to the technological realities and challenges faced by communicators, as well as, an understanding of the complex processes and structures of mass communication practice and scholarship in the twenty-first century. The department recognizes the critical role of mass media not only as potent communication tools for the development of human consciousness and contribution to knowledge through research, but one that has the immense responsibility to inform, survey, protect and enlighten people in a free society. The department faculty, through this programme, aims to develop communication graduates with a strong sense of responsibility in serving the immediate community and Nigerian society at large.
The following constitute the major objectives of the programme:
- To prepare students for professional careers as journalists, communicators, Broadcasters, Public Relations and Advertising Practitioners, as well as in non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- To prepare students with professional and technological efficiency to be able to function adequately at the middle-level cadre of management in an interdisciplinary multimedia society.
- To enable students to acquire skills necessary to function efficiently at the senior management cadre of decision-making in an increasingly complex mass communication industry.
- To produce competent, research-oriented and professionally endowed young men and women capable of pursuing scholarship in academic careers beyond the undergraduate level.
- To progressively innovate and expand the programme to reflect new frontiers in mass communication and information technologies.
- To provide students with the opportunity to acquire communication skills that transcend all disciplines, whether in writing or broadcasting for an online website.
- To help students understand, embrace and have respect for deadlines and the ability to work under pressure.
- To develop ethical professionals who would serve as trustees of the public, are socially responsible and would subscribe to the tenets of accuracy, fairness, balance and objectivity in their reportage of issues and people.
- To produce Nigerian Mass Communicators who will continue to protect the basic principles of the PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KNOW as the fourth branch of government or the Fourth Estate of the Realm.
- It is expected that at the end of the degree programme in Mass Communication, the graduate should be able to differentiate between “Soft news” and “Hard News”, truth from falsehood, and responsible journalism from irresponsible journalism.
- To ensure that graduates of the programme are grounded in the art and science of communication and possess the capacity to establish their Newspapers, Magazines, Public Relations and Advertising Agencies, online news websites, radio and television stations.
The Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media, a brainchild of the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana I. Akpagu, came into being on June 1, 2017, with the appointment of Dr Joseph E. Ekpang as pioneer Acting Head. The process leading to the creation of the department began in February 2016, when the Vice-Chancellor presented a proposal to the University Senate for the establishment of the Department of Communication Arts.
The proposal was duly approved by the Senate. In giving its approval, Senate directed that media and communication courses that were then offered by the departments of Theatre and Media Studies and Linguistics and Communication Studies be excised and brought under the Department of Communication Arts. Senate further directed the Dean of the Faculty of Arts to set up a committee to harmonize the media and communication courses so excised and produce a draft curriculum for the new department.
Consequent upon this, the Dean of Arts, Prof. Oluwagbemi Jacobs, constituted the Curriculum Drafting Committee on June 21, 2016, with Prof. Edde Iji of Theatre and Media Studies as Chairman. Other members of the Committee were Prof. Offiong Ani Offiong and Dr Jacob Agba of Linguistics and Communication Studies, Dr Joseph E. Ekpang and Dr Brenda Akpan (co-opted) of Theatre and Media Studies, while Mr Emmanuel Uddor, Faculty Officer, served as secretary.
One of the most significant actions of the Curriculum Drafting Committee was the change of name of the department from Communication Arts to Mass Communication. The Committee, in arriving at this decision, noted that the term “Communication Arts” was fluid and embraced other arts outside the realm of mass media such as Fine and Applied Arts, Music, Theatre Arts and Literary Arts. On the other hand, the term “Mass Communication” conventionally embraced the broadcast/print media, Internet and its allied new or social media, photography, photography as well as public relations and advertising. The Committee submitted its report on 11th August 2016.
On October 25, 2016, following the receipt of the report of the Curriculum Drafting Committee, the Dean proceeded to set up another committee charged with the responsibility of drawing up a document for the actual establishment of the Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media. Incidentally, members of the Curriculum Drafting Committee were again saddled with the job of producing the policy framework that was to guide the faculty in the establishment of the new department.
As mentioned earlier, the actual take-off of the department followed the appointment of an Ag. Head on June 1, 2017. On assumption of office, the Ag. Head of Department, Dr Joseph E. Ekpang, wrote to the Vice-Chancellor to redeploy the following academic staff from the departments of Theatre and Media and Linguistics and Communication Studies, respectively, to form the initial take-off staff:
- Prof. Edde Iji
- Prof. Offiong Ani Offiong
- Dr Stanislaus Iyorza
- Dr Oshega Abang
- Dr Lawrence Ekwok
- Dr Patrick Ene Okon
- Mr Mathias Oshie
- Mr Osung Ubana
- Mr Eyamba Mensah
- Mrs Ekpe Edemekong
- Mr Steve Nyong
- Mrs Adomi Daniel
- Rev. Fr. Leonard Ojorgu
- Mr Eric Ogri
- Miss Unwana Noah
- Mr George Otakore
- Mr Kalita Aruku
- Mr Peter Ogar Inyali
This crop of pioneer staff was later joined by Mrs Joan Nweke, who had been appointed as an Assistant Lecturer. On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, an inaugural meeting of the Department was convened to ratify the draft curriculum that was forwarded to it by the dean. Another meeting was held on Tuesday, 4th July 2017, to conclude work on and formally approve the curriculum for use by the department. Both these meetings were held in the Board Room of the Department of Linguistics.
However, on Thursday, July 6, 2017, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu, in a bid to enable the young department to be fully on the ground, directed the Physical Planning Director, Mr Simon Ajom, to allocate the building that was originally meant for Physics Laboratory to the Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media. On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the building was effectively occupied when the Head of Department moved into his new office.
Contact UsAddress: Department of Mass Communication, University Of Calabar.