Danjuma, Fashola, Adebanjo, others honour Olatunji Dare at 70

Mr. Dare is a celebrated satirist and respected newspaper columnist.

Nigeria’s former Defence Minister, Theophilus Danjuma; the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola; a leading member of the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, and other leading politicians, scholars, and media chiefs will gather at the Muson Center, Lagos on Thursday, July 17, to celebrate one of Nigeria’s leading media figures, journalism professor and former Chairman and Editorial Page Editor of The Guardian, Olatunji Dare, as he clocks 70.

The birthday celebration, which according to the organisers, will be chaired by Mr. Danjuma, will witness a lecture by a media scholar, Kwame Karikari of the University of Ghana, Legon, on Memories of Censorship: Struggling for Press Freedom in Africa.

A book edited by Wale Adebanwi titled, Public Intellectuals, the Public Sphere and the Public Spirit: Essays in Honour of Olatunji Dare, will also be presented at the event.

The contributors to the book include scholars, media chiefs and activists such as the famous poet, Niyi Osundare; a University of Swaziland don, Adidi Uyo; a former Daily Times editor, Ndaeyo Uko, now of Monash University, Australia; a former Concord MD, Doyin Abiola; former Punch Chairman, Ajibola Ogunshola; famous poet, Odia Ofeimun; Editor-In-Chief of PEMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi; Executive Editor of The NEWS, Kunle Ajibade; Lai Oso; Segun Ayobolu; Ogaga Ifowodo; Ebenezer Obadare; Olakunle Abimbola; Akin Adesokan, and Sina Odugbemi.

Olatunji Dare, who is currently a professor of communication at the Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, United States, is Nigeria’s most celebrated satirist and one of the most respected newspaper columnists. Currently, a columnist for the Nation newspaper, Mr. Dare has been described as one who “remains a glittering advertisement for patriotic and conscientious journalism.”
Mr. Osundare, states that “In Olatunji Dare’s writing, we encounter a productive marriage of the gravitas of content and the felicity of style.”

Mr. Dare studied mass communication at the University of Lagos, graduating with First Class Honours. He subsequently earned a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York, and a doctorate in communication research from Indiana University, Bloomington, with specialisations in international communication and public policy analysis.

He taught at the University of Lagos from 1984 until 1988, when he was appointed a columnist and editorial page editor of The Guardian, which was Nigeria’s most influential newspaper.

Two years later he became chair of the Editorial Board. As a correspondent for The Guardian, Professor Dare filed stories from more than a dozen countries on three continents, including reporting from The White House. He joined the Bradley faculty in 1997. He has served as an editorial writer for The Seattle Times, on a fellowship from the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

He has also served as a consultant to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development of the U.K. Foreign Office. Professor Dare’s awards includes The Robert A. Curry Prize in Editorial Writing from Columbia University, The Nieman Foundation’s Louis M. Lyons Prize for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism, and the Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching Excellence from the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts at Bradley.

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