The Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) holds its 5th media lecture series on July 31, 2013. The theme of this year’s lecture is The Freedom of Information Act and the Dictatorship of Corruption and Mediocrity.
According to Motunrayo Alaka, the Center Coordinator, the theme was specifically chosen “to draw attention to the need to increase awareness on the Freedom of Information Act to Nigerian citizens and propagate its usefulness as a tool to tackle the now endemic issue of corruption, mediocrity and impunity in the country. The Centre also hopes to highlight the media as a focal institution in ensuring the implementation of the Act.”
The Coordinator said that the guest speaker at the lecture will be Professor Biodun Jeyifo of Harvard’s African American Studies Department. According to Ms Alaka, there will be a strong field of discussants made up of representatives of the Lagos State House of Assembly, academia, civil society in order to “allow for a robust, educative and intellectually stimulating session whose recommendations will thereafter be forwarded to key stakeholders and published.”
The maiden edition of the Lecture series began in 2008, and was designed to periodically examine varying topical issues that have a reverberating effect on the perceived performance of the media on the health of our country, Nigeria, and its democracy.
Previous lectures have featured respected personalities like; Prof.Harry Garuba of the African Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Dr. Olatunji Dare, an Associate Professor of Journalism at Bradley University, Peoria Illinois USA and a former editorial page editor of The Guardian Newspapers and; Professor Bayo Olukoshi of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (UNIDEP),as guest speakers.
Traditionally, the event which started in 2009 is held on July 13, to mark Professor Soyinka’s birthday and this year’s edition is the 79th birthday.