Home Tech @ Work Simon Kolawole, TheCable CEO, wants Nigeria’s news industry to check ‘online theft’

Simon Kolawole, TheCable CEO, wants Nigeria’s news industry to check ‘online theft’

Simon Kolawole, TheCable CEO, wants Nigeria’s news industry to check ‘online theft’
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Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable has told Technology Times that key stakeholders need to take firmer measures against online theft of news content to safeguard the future of the Nigerian media industry.

The CEO of TheCable, who said this when he was fielding questions during an interview session for Tech@Work, a special Technology Times focus on people using technology to disrupt their industry.

He told Technology Times in an exclusive interview Monday at the Lagos corporate headquarters of the fast-rising Nigerian online newspaper that “theft of media content” on the Internet has now become a major issue for the local media industry.

Without mincing words, TheCable CEO called for “concerted efforts” by media industry stakeholders like the Newspaper Proprietor Association of Nigeria (NPAN); Nigeria Guild of Editors and others to address incessant infringement of intellectual property rights of media industry players on the Internet.

”I think that is still neither here nor there. I have not seen any serious effort being made in that regard. A lot of websites are stealing content. In fact, they live on stealing content” Kolawole says.

Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable, the Nigerian online newspaper.
We are also affected: Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable, says the Nigerian online newspaper is a serial victim of online plagiarism              Photo: Kehinde Shonola of Technology Times

Kolawole , a respected player in the Nigerian media industry believes that, “the issue is not being addressed currently. I’ve not seen any effort whatsoever, apart from a few complaints here and there. You just grumble and say these people are using our story.”[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]According to the CEO of TheCable, ”I’ve not seen any concerted effort to address this issue serious effort should be made by Guild of Editors, Newspaper Proprietors, Online Publishers Association, Corporate Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, it is something that they have to initiate.”[/quote]

According to him, ”some will not even have the decency of attributing the story to the original source. So, content stealing is rampant but nobody is doing anything about it to the best of my knowledge; apart from grumbling.”

Asked if TheCable.ng, the Internet hub for the online newspaper has encountered online infringement of its intellectual property, TheCable CEO confirmed to Technology Times that ”we are regular victims. At a stage, we were very angry. You know, the staff would see such things, they would be very angry because they are working day and night and somebody would just take the story.”

TheCable Delivered: Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable, says the Nigerian online newspaper has exceeded projections on several counts including top industry rankings
TheCable Delivered: Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable, says the Nigerian online newspaper has exceeded projections on several counts including top industry rankings.      Photo: Kehinde Shonola of Technology Times

But Kolawole believes that ”we have to move from that mentality so that the laws can be enforced. So, that is the next stage we have to face.”

According to TheCable CEO, ”I’ve not seen any concerted effort to address this issue. Serious effort should be made by Guild of Editors, Newspaper Proprietors, Online Publishers Association and Corporate Online Publishers Association of Nigeria. It is something that they have to initiate.”

It has not been a gloomy story at TheCable, which Kolawole founded and will be marking its second year of market entry later this month.

Within less than two years of Nigeria market entry, Kolawole’s TheCable, has made a mark in the Nigerian media industry as the online destination of choice for breaking news cutting across politics, business, sport, entertainment. In a marketplace bustling with several news blogs, the Founder of TheCable, says the vision was to create a respected media organisation that will be the “online newspaper of choice” for credible information delivered to the Internet community across Nigeria, Africa and beyond.

Looking in the rear view mirror of TheCable drive towards the founding vision to be the best online newspaper out of Africa, Kolawole says that the online newspaper has exceeded even the five-year target within less than two years of market entry into the competitive online news media sector.

Commenting on the stellar achievements of TheCable, Kolawole says that ”when we launched on April 29, 2014, we had a vision and our vision is to become the most respected online newspaper out of Africa. Now, to do this, we had a mandate, and that is to deliver knowledge-based journalism from the angle of quality information, quality analyses and quality news.”

 

According to him, “we want to be respected on the basis of our content. We want to be respected on the basis of our professionalism. Now, have we achieved the vision?  No. We are just going to be two years at the end of April 2016. Have we made significant progress? Yes. We have made significant progress.”

TheCable CEO confirms that industry-standard ranking show that also as ”even talking generally, for instance, in terms of ranking, where we thought we would be in five years, we have already surpassed it in less than two years. The statistics in terms of page views, generally about reader engagement or user engagement, we have surpassed our expectations: when you look at the bounce rate, when you look at the page view per user and the time spent.

”So, to that extent, I would say we are moving aggressively towards achieving our goal. We set out to influence policy, that’s why we want to be respected. We set out to influence public policy because we want to deliver knowledge-driven journalism in pursuit of Nigeria’s progress.”

For Kolawole, journalism is one of the several niche areas that the online newspaper has set out to play. It is also on course of leveraging its respected brand equity to also promote thought leadership conversations and debates that advances the course of socio-economic development in Nigeria.

”We held TheCable Colloquium, the first that we did in February on the Exchange Rate. We brought together a team of experts who discussed extensively. And for us, that’s also an area of influence. So we are moving towards it”, Kolawole adds.

”We have surpassed certain targets, but we are still far away from the vision. And the vision is to be the most respected online newspaper out of Africa. But we are pursuing it with every resource that we have, human, material, and financial”, TheCable Founder says with a gaze into the uncharted future.

TheCable Delivered: Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable, says the Nigerian online newspaper has exceeded projections on several counts including top industry rankings
Gazing into the uncharted frontier: Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable, says the Nigerian online newspaper is investing resources to ensure that its founding vision is achieved

Editor’s Note:

Mr Simon Kolawole, CEO of TheCable, the Nigerian online newspaper, has traversed the media industry before founding the self-styled online newspaper to deliver news on the Internet.

Within less than two years of the entry of TheCable Nigeria’s congested online media space, the online newspaper has carved a niche for itself for breaking news, viewpoints and on course to be a leading platform for thought leadership.

TheCable, has met and exceeded its five-year plan but the vision is far from being realised, Kolawole, a respected voice and columnists among several firsts told Technology Times in an exclusive interview that chronicled yesterday, today and tomorrow for the thriving TheCable…and the full interview will be published on the Technology Times Hub and the May issue of iSpace, the full-gloss monthly Technology Business and Lifestyle Magazine by Technology Times. 

 

 

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Kolade Akinola Technology Journalist at Technology Times Mobile: + 234 (0) 807 401 6027

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