Media professionals have been urged to promote convergence that promotes a thriving media industry.
The advice was contained in a presentation by Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, at the Biennial Nigeria Guild of Editors Conference 2019 held recently in Lagos.
According her, in Nigeria, most media houses are yet to understand this truth, hence the retrenchment of staff, poor remuneration, shallow content production as well as failure to perform its watchdog function.
She said this has made it imperative to note that surviving media houses today are those that have found a way of ensuring that they get acquainted with the latest trends and remodeled their strategy towards making the best out of these trends.
“With seven months left to hitting the 160-year-mark since the inception of Iwe Irohin fun awon Egba ati Yoruba in Abeokuta by Rev. Henry Townsend, of the Church Missionary Society, the Nigerian media industry has come of age for a new course to be set”, she says.
She advises that newsmen must conceptually mean that through convergence, the media space with the advancement in technology, culture and economy continually alters the relationship between media consumers and producers.
“In this day and age, former consumers (fan community, readership base, followers of news) have become powerful to the extent that they are fellow purveyors of information. Much more, these fellow producers have become participants in this media space”, she says.
In today’s hyper-connected ecology, she says that many are always caught in the web of looking down at their gadgets, gleaning numerous tonnes of information than even paying attention to the neighbour sitting next to them.
According to her, Digital natives are upwardly-mobile and can only be targeted with the digital mind-set; hence, journalists must leave the filter bubble they have built around themselves and be willing to evolve.
She explains that there is a need to understand the operation of these platform capitalists who have become digital intermediaries between publishers and their target audience. This is the naked truth. Journalism in the Era of Digital Intermediaries.