Digital threat is real, Ted Iwere warns publishers
The Internet cannot kill newspapers unless the print media choose to commit suicide by not doing the needful.” With these words, the media expert and Managing Director of the Independent Newspapers, Mr. Ted Iwere sounded the warning in Lagos last Thursday at the public lecture-cum-book launch to celebrate the publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka who joined octogenarian club recently.
Mr Iwere who spoke on “Today’s Newsroom, Tomorrow’s Newspaper: How to Survive and Thrive in the Internet Age,” hit the nail on the head warning the print media owners to adopt new and unique approaches facilitated by the Internet, otherwise they may perish.
The question before us is, are Nigerian newspapers in the danger of going out of print, given the pervasive and growing influence of the internet? “Nigerian newspapers today are at the cross roads. Publishers, editors, managers and journalists are all worried.
They are worried about newspapers’ survival and their worries are many because of the present condition and future prospects of newspapers.
They are worried about how to reinvent themselves in order to survive in the presence of alternate sources of news and information that are readily available.”
Iwere is however optimistic that newspapers will survive, if they, their publishers, managers, editors and journalists become internet-compliant. “The internet age newspaper publisher and journalist must develop what one would call a ‘multimedia mindset.’
A prime requirement of this paradigm shift is the combination of hitherto separate newspaper and website set up into a unified newsroom, driven by a new organisation structure and a streamlined copy flow plan.
Modern newspaper houses need a mobile ready newsroom. The managers and journalists must be internet-compliant, mobile-ready, access the website regularly, and report the news with their devices,” he said.
In addition, he suggested that journalists should go beyond breaking the news and add value to their stories via analysis, interpretation and investigative reporting.
The second phase of the occasion was the presentation of the book “Voices From Within: Essays on Nigerian Journalism in Honour of Sam Amuka (2nd edition)”, edited by Mr. Lanre Idowu.
Mr. Idowu, in his remarks, thanked God for making the day possible and also for Uncle Sam for showing up because the celebrant had objected to the celebration because he felt that celebrating when many media organisations find it difficult paying salary is not appropriate.
And the event dovetailed into deluge of tributes for the man who, all believed, has contributed significantly to the growth and survival of the print media in Nigeria.
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