To be the leading and foremost Mass Communication and Journalism training Institution in Africa, “the Centre of Communication Excellence” in the near term.
An Institution dedicated to Mass Communication and Journalism training and retraining through the use of all-round curriculum and state-of-the-art equipment in an environment conducive to critical thinking, learning, sound character, professionalism, ethical standards research and academic productivity.
The Nigerian Institute of Journalism started in 1963 as one of the two experimental schools of Journalism in Africa established by the Zurich-based International Press Institute (IPI) in Lagos and Nairobi, Kenya respectively. Prior to the establishment of the two schools of Journalism, aspiring journalists in Africa had little or no opportunity for formal training. Most of them were forced to learn on the job the basic skills of the profession. Few that had the benefit for formal education obtained that in professional institutions in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom.
The IPI, which is the international professional organization of media executives devoted to the advancement of press freedom and professionalism among practitioners worldwide, saw the absence of formal training opportunity in Africa as a major barrier to the development of the profession on the continent. Consequently, the organization decided, in accordance with its global objectives to establish the two experimental schools in Lagos and Nairobi.
The IPI Lagos experiment (NIJ) suffered a temporary setback shortly after its establishment. The school was forced to close in 1965 because of the political crisis in the country and subsequent Civil War. But four years later, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) spearheaded a move to resuscitate the IPI experiment in Nigeria.
In 1970, NPAN, in collaboration with Nigerian Guild of Editors, appointed a committee of experts to consider the need for establishing an institute of Journalism in Nigeria. The committee recommended the establishment of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism and its report was accepted by the Proprietors and th Guild. At the request of both NPAN and the Guild, the Executive Board of IPI decide to support the project and in particular to provide a Director for the initial years. Thus, NIJ was founded on October 12, 1971.
The philosophy of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism is fashioned in accordance with the guidelines of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the statutory body set up by the Federal Government to manage and control all matters relating to monotechnics and polytechnics. NBTE emphasizes that the national philosophy and objectives on education should be the framework within which all institutions must define their philosophy and general operational objectives.The five main national objectives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which have been endorsed as the necessary foundation for the National Policy on Education (NPE) are:
Since its inception, the institution's main thrust in meeting these broad objectives has been the training of middle-level manpower for the media. Its courses were thus designed to provide necessary skills and professional ethics for those who function in the media. The policy was in consonance with the need in the 60s and 70s to afford aspiring jounalist in Nigeria the opportunity for formal training. Changing manpower need in the growing media industry in Nigeria has compelled an elaboration of the original programme orientation of the institiution. It is in line with this that the institution was upgraded to a full fledge monotechnic.