Media owners and proprietors in Nigeria have been urged to pay a more serious and focused attention to their digital and online platforms.
The Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Gbemiga Ogunleye who gave this warning challenged the media houses to stop treating their online editions as poor “cousins of the print edition.”
Ogunleye stated this on Thursday in Sokoto while presenting a paper presented at the 15th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference.
The conference themed: “A Distressed Media: Impact on Government, Governance,” was organised by the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE).
Ogunleye who spoke on “Journalism, Education and Shrinking Opportunities,” charged them to effectively adopt digital options to remain in business.
While noting that opportunities are shrinking in almost every profession with job losses in all sectors, Ogunleye urged media leaders to reinvent journalism practice and the curricula.
He added that there will be need for a radical restructuring of the newsroom to respond effectively to current realities.
“In the interim, they should start adopting a policy of digital-first by appointing a senior editor, who is digital savvy as online editor.
“The editor, who must have a proper newsroom, should be one who commands the respect of his colleagues and one who has the authority to call any erring reporter or line editor to order.
“All reporters will be instructed to report to him the way they report to the daily editor. As soon as news breaks, the reporters must send the story, the still photograph and the video to the online editor.
“We need a new multimedia newsroom. A newsroom with digital walls to show live statistics and an innovation desk to experiment across all platforms and introduce new products.
“The online editor, will tweet the story, post it on the paper’s website and post same immediately on the paper’s Facebook page. The editor of the print version will take over and direct the reporters.
“Journalists who are trainable must undergo digital training and those who are untrainable or who are too stuck in the past will be encouraged to jump.”