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At The Guardian sessions, experts task traditional media on content

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Chief Strategist, Alpha Reach, Japheth Omojuwa  (left); Principal Consultant, NECCI Consulting, Mrs, Nkechi Ali-Balogun; Co-founder, Social Media Week Lagos, Obi Asika and Principal Consultant, ADSTRAT Ltd, Charles O’tudor during the opening day of Social Media Week in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

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Traditional media platforms have been enjoined to push out contents that are qualitative in order not to be pushed aside by the rising profile of Social Media.

This is even as the consolidation of ideas among the traditional media platforms have also been advocated to be able to build powerful news channels.

Gathered, yesterday, at the opening and The Guardian-hosted sessions at the 2018 Social Media Week (SMW), experts submitted that for traditional media to stay afloat in the face of New Media, quality and in-depth reporting would help to drive traffic to the site.

The SMW Lagos, currently in its sixth edition, is themed “Closer”, holds from February 26 to March 2.

At The Guardian sessions, which recorded a full capacity of participants, focused on “The Future of Digital Publishing: How to effect change with the content we produce”, the panelists, led by The Guardian News Editor, Marcel Mbamalu, said the traditional media, must focus on churning out unbiased stories.

He stressed that The Guardian has the tradition of doing investigative stories that have affected the polity positively, adding: “We do factual and not fiction news stories.”

Mbamalu noted that every newspaper has its audiences, adding that traditional media today must have a full grasp of the environment it operates and be able to serve the market effectively.

He pointed out that newspapers must come out with stories that would sell and position the country better, compared to what and how platforms like CNN, among others portray Nigeria.

He disclosed that while The Guardian has the elite as its focus, “we have been able to accommodate the youths. Today, we have platforms, including The Guardian Digital, The Guardian TV, The Guardian Tech and the social media handles that runs on 3D technologies, now used to expand the focus of the newspaper.”

From her perspective, TV Producer and Presenter of God’s Wives, Kemi Lala Akindoju, said traditional media needs to get serious with content creation.

Akindoju, who said agenda setting theory should come to focus in content creation, especially from the traditional media, added that it has become highly important in order to get people thinking.

Participants

At the panel session with the sub theme: “Staying Profitable in The Time of Aggregators,” Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, Bayo Adekambi, advocated for consolidation of ideas among the traditional media platforms, stressing that this would enable them to build powerful news channels.

“Traditional media should be creative to stay afloat, especially now. I am saying this with a passion. As someone who has studied business models, if we really want to make something greater out of what we do, we should begin to explore consolidation of ideas for the business to stay afloat.

“It is also important for us to be mindful of the quality of what we produce, which also can be addressed through consolidation of ideas. We need to prepare for the future as technology disruptions would come, especially with Artificial Intelligence (AI) gaining momentum daily”, he stated.

Earlier at the session with the theme: “Future of Broadcast Media,” the Chairman of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), John Momoh, urged the traditional media to be objective and trustworthy in their news reportage.

Momoh, who is also the Chairman of Channels Media Group, said that it would enable them meet up with the demands of modern day broadcasting and limit fake online stories.

“For every good side, there is a bad side and for one to thrive from the bad side, there should be trustworthiness and objectivity in what one does as media personnel. There is need for us to verify our information and double check, before information is pushed out.

“This does not take the fact that there are people who sits somewhere trying to create mayhem in the industry, but when trust is built, people will be able to decipher right from wrong,’’ he said.

He also explained that for there to be credible news, there was need for proper research, investigation and a deep digging for information, while urging media houses to make sure that the stories posted are well balanced with all sides of the story being published.

He said that with the changes in the industry as regards innovations, AI should be incorporated by media house, to help surpass redundancy that could be used in other areas.

The BON chairman said that AI’s introduction would enhance what people would watch, who watched what, and enable people to be better engaged in their work places.

He also said that there was need to do a lot more as regards content creation and since some best hands come from Nigeria, there was need to channel people’s energy into creating more content.


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