The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has advised media practitioners to adopt creative use of new technologies to “generate revenue, by employing programmers, data scientists, information and communications technology specialists, as part of the demands of the new normal”.
It has also called on editors to think as marketing officers and develop well researched products that will respond to yearnings of the people across all segments of the economy at all times.
In a communiqué issued yesterday after the 16th annual conference of the NGE, held on Thursday via Zoom, to deliberate on ways and means of sustaining operations of players in the media industry, in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic which has adversely impacted on their survival, the group stressed the need for regular capacity building interventions.
These it said, are necessary to ensure that the knowledge and content provided are relevant and applicable to the needs of the reading public.
The theme of the conference, which was chaired by a Fellow of the Guild and Chairman of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust newspapers, Mr. Kabiru Yusuf, was: “Media, People and Covid-19: How to Create Sustainability in the Digital Era”.
The conference provided opportunity for editors to explore new ways to create contents, with aesthetics and overall values, that would help sustain media as a business in the country.
“Editors expressed the need for media professionals to rethink their roles from just assigning, reviewing, rewriting and processing of words to creating compelling, engaging and impactful contents, in line with the needs of their audiences. This has become necessary, if they are to be relevant and remain in business in the age of digitalisation and global Covid-19 pandemic.
“That media business is about people at all levels, therefore practitioners should be less obsessed with government officials and focus on people-centred¬¬¬ reporting in order to generate the needed resources for the sustainability of media industry,” said the communiqué, which was signed by the President of the NGE, Mr. Mustapha Isa and the General Secretary, Mary Atolagbe.
The communiqué also noted that the conference emphasised that while there are several options for making money through digitalisation of media businesses, it is almost impossible to make a living without a large following.
“Therefore, efforts should be made to connect with the people, improve aspects of readers’ lives and obsess more with the audience through creative contents.
“While identifying huge potential in archiving photographs and offering of transcripts as reliable means of generating new streams of income, it canvassed for fresh air in the media space through the use of creative headlines,” the communiqué added.
The communiqué also recommended periodic engagement with media audiences and communities to find out about their habits and preferences in order to create engaging contents for the consumers.
It called for institution of reward system for audiences, in return for loyalty and enduring relationship.
“Editors remembered and observed a minute silence for members of the Guild who passed away in the last one year. These are: Malam Wada Maida, a former NGE President; Mrs. Ronke Fajemirokun of BCOS, Ibadan; Mr. Diji Akinhanmi, GM, OGBC, Abeokuta; Waheed Bakare, Editor, New Telegraph on Saturday; Malam Musa Ahmed Tijjani, Editor, Triumph Newspapers, Kano and Abba Ado Gwarzo, a retired NTA staff,” the communiqué added.