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Ressmann, at The Guardian, seeks sustainable business model for Nigerian print media


Editor, The Guardian, Abraham Ogbodo (left); Executive Director, Europe and Africa, World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), Ralf Ressmann and member, Editorial Board of the newspaper, Martins Oloja during Ressmann’s courtesy visit to the Rutam House headquarters of the organisation in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

The Executive Director of World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) for Africa and Europe, Ralf Ressmann, yesterday advised print media organisations to adopt sustainable business models, digital journalism and press freedom to secure their future.

He stated this during his visit to The Guardian’s Rutam House in Lagos. WAN-IFRA, which comprises an advisory board of publishers from Africa, provides press freedom and media development programmes across the world.

His words: “We support the media industry in the digital transformation process because we strongly believe that without sustainable business model, digital journalism, and press freedom newspaper business cannot survive.


“We have a Digital Africa Media Conference, being part of a series we do worldwide. We are on our way to growing the board by having representative publishers in Nigeria. We discuss the future opportunities for the industry and this was how the conference came about last year.”

Ressmann added that his visit was to get firsthand information on some of the challenges facing the print media in the country and advised that media in Nigeria should adopt the digital platform, as the world was gradually moving towards that direction.

He also noted that media revenue was dwindling due to challenges of social media and other sources like Google, which does more than search engine to actually broadcasting news and Facebook.Speaking, Executive Editor of The Guardian, Abraham Ogbodo, said the company was in partnership with Ventra Media, a digital media platform, to tackle some of the challenges confronting the industry.

“We try to create a balance between the digital and traditional media, as they both appeal to different age groups. The issue of press freedom is universal,” he said.

Sustainability of print media across the globe, Ressmann said, was being threatened because most media outfits recorded losses in their print circulation as experienced in his organisation.

“And that is why we try to support them. We cannot get the same revenue online as it used to be in print and on mobile. It’s even getting worse in Europe.

“We see the word Frienemies as regards Google and Facebook in our conferences very often because they have a faster and wider reach. “On the other hand, 90 per cent of the yearly growth in digital advertising is taken away by Google and Facebook. The whole digital transformation system is going slowly, but steadily,” he added.

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