Mass Communication was one of the courses established at the inception of Nnamdi Azikiwe University as a Federal university in 1992. The Mass Communication programme started as a unit in the Department of Sociology in the then Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. It became an autonomous, full-fledged department in 1996 and has since then grown very rapidly. The Department was established to teach courses leading to the award of the B.Sc. degree in Mass Communication and took off in 1992 with 60 pioneer students. It graduated its first set of students in the 1996/97 academic year and new sets have graduated annually ever since. The Department’s painstaking commitment to excellence in teaching and research has given it an edge over other departments offering Mass Communication in Nigeria. In addition to the regular full-time B.Sc. programme, there is the part-time weekend Continuing Education Programme (CEP).
Post-graduate studies commenced in the Department with the introduction of Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) and Master of Science (M.Sc) programmes in the 2000/2001 academic year. A Pre-degree Diploma programme was started in the 2004/2005 academic year. In order to further enhance the growth of the discipline and cater for the workforce needs of its environment, the Department also started the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree programme in 2005.
Over the years, from 1998 specifically, the Department’s training newspaper and magazine (UNIZIK Comet) have been consistently published every year, and have become forces to be reckoned with in the university community and beyond. The Department also has a broadcasting studio for the teaching of practical broadcasting. It received a license from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in 2007 to operate a campus community radio station. UNIZIK 94.1FM has been on air since then and has really been blazing the trail as a campus radio.
The Department also has an electronic resource centre (Newsroom) which students use for their research and news gathering. The Newsroom enables the students to have the practical experience of digital editing of news stories. This also doubles as the E-Library for the students.
The Department also has a Public Relations/Advertising (PRAD) Laboratory and Photojournalism Laboratory.
In terms of growth and development, the Department has become very popular and is among one of the most subscribed departments in the university, with thousands of candidates applying to it annually for enrolment in the different programmes.
CHRONOLOGY OF HEADS OF DEPARTMENT
- A.U. John-Kamen (1996 – 1998)
- Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna (1998 – 2006)
- Prof. Kate Azuka Omenugha (2006 – 2012)
- Dr. Ifeoma Vivian Dunu (2012 – 2014)
- Prof.Chinyere Stella Okunna (2014 – 2017)
- Dr. Uche Victor Ebeze (2017-2019)