Opinion

Finding equilibrium between New Media and Traditional media In Nigeria By Taiwo Okanlawon

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Finding equilibrium between New Media and Traditional media In Nigeria By Taiwo Okanlawon

Earlier this week, I attended one of the most educative Workshops at Kakanfo Inn and Conference Center, Ibadan Oyo state. The three-days workshop was organized by United Nations Development Program, UNDP in Nigeria, tagged “Capacity Building Workshop for Journalists and Media Groups on Conflict Sensitive Reportage ahead of the Gubernatorial Election in Osun State”.
At the training, one of our works as participants was to analyze, in groups, the impacts of New media/Social media including blogging on Elections in Nigeria.
Less I forget, at the workshop, participants were drawn from western part of the country, especially, journalists from Osun state or those that will be covering the gubernatorial election in the state, mostly from traditional media outlets. Miraculously, I find myself amongst them.
During the group work, participants were divided into four groups, and appointed a group leader that will present the outcome of their various assignments. We worked and came up with presentations.
Unfortunately, as a young journalist and a new media strategist, I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome of what my group’s presentation as well as other groups’s works. Yes, they laid emphasis on the same points.
Really, journalists did hate bloggers and digital media influencers. My hypothesis about why this might be is negative impacts the participants highlighted at the workshop. People don’t really know what blogging is. It seems like an easy cop-out instead of having a real job, but the truth is, blogging is really hard.
These are set of people who have spent over 10 to 20 years in traditional media both electronics and print media. These people were quick to iron out bunch of negative impacts of New media/Social media including blogging on Elections in Nigeria.
The impacts both negative and positive apply to all issues in Nigeria and other developing climes and affect them similar, these in going to state below.
The positive impacts mentioned are that, new media/social media disseminate information faster. Liberalizing the process of gathering news. It turns the world into global village. It allows interconnectivity. There’s instant feedback. And the last one I can link to the election process, says it reduces rigging, because quickly get notified of happening around them.
Negative Impacts of New Media/Social Media and Blogging as stated by some Nigerian journalists.
Now, let’s come down to negative impacts that were mentioned, I can only deduce from the points that these veterans are not making use of opportunities created by advancement of technology.
They posited that there’s no room for verification and allows fake news, in short, it’s not reliable. It’s easy to manipulate and illiterate can’t get information from the medium.
The participants were also quick to pointed out that bloggers have no formal training and personal opinion could be promoted. The funniest point to me was when an editor said with N200 data you can run a social media or blog.
To say that the media landscape has “changed” isn’t probably the best way to put it. Over the last few decades it has moreover “evolved” into what it is now because it must keep up with the everyday advances in today’s technology.
Digital media is still such a new field that not many people are sure what careers in this field involve. They sure don’t know what blogging is, among other points.
As a student of communication and internet savvy, I am writing this not to condemn traditional media journalists but to educate them and encourage them to navigate their way, while they also know how important to focus on maximizing social media.
Those that have started need to continue transition and transform by leveraging digital, mobile and social platforms. This is a must to remain relevant and compete with colossal social media mainstays
No doubt, social media has metamorphosed from what it’s creators had intended. It is no more just about taking a photo and sharing on walls for friends to see and make comments. Rather, it is fast becoming a most efficient news channel with breaking news appearing on blogs and social media pages in the minutes of its occurence.
Take for instance, the last time you learnt about breaking news, how did it happen? Was it in the newspaper or Radio or Television? Did you visit the homepage of your favorite news site or did you notice it while scrolling through your social media feed while lying in bed with your smartphone?
According to a study by Pew Research Center, “75 percent of online news consumers say they get news forwarded through email or posts on social networking sites while 52 percent say they share links to news with others via those means.”
Traditional media (print, radio and TV) are becoming second-tier commodities in favor of new and “improved” ways of consuming the news such as social platforms, blogs and apps.
Some sites have mastered the platform-specific approach to media, and the onset of brand journalism has completely changed what it takes for us to “trust” a source.
Today’s models of success are more complex. Media outlets are no longer relying on one or two metrics to drive their businesses, but several. For example, many new-media entities are focusing on platform-specific metrics such as social shares, how long someone watches a video, and reader dialogue.
Instead of “teasing” the content on social-media platforms, aiming to drive the reader back to a publication’s main site, newer media companies like Refinery29 publish their content where their readers are already spending their time.
New-media companies place more emphasis on community building. There are many new journalism roles that focus on community development: Growth Editor, Audience Development Manager and Distributed Content Editor are just a few.
What they all have in common is that they open up opportunities for building long-term loyalty among readers. New-media companies take a lot of pride in the characteristics of their communities, especially when the general vibe is positive.
Personally, there isn’t a winner or loser in the old-media-versus-new-media debate. Think of it, rather, as an evolution driven by technology and today’s highly niched online communities. Where we consume news has shifted, how we interact with the media has changed, and the publications that embrace the new digital landscape are the ones that will be excited about the future not disheartened by it.
Many people think that technology is just for millennials, but we have seen many successful influencers and bloggers who didn’t grow up with the internet.
The fundamental principles of success, business and marketing don’t change. Audiences primarily want to connect with others like themselves. They want to hear a story, to have help for the things that matter to them, to feel connected to something bigger.
And that’s where journalists, bloggers and influencers all overlap. They’re all in the business of connecting with audiences, and they are not even in direct competition with one another. I think journalism still has to catch up, because it has to contend with business models better suited to print media.
Journalists also need to band together to fight corruption in their industry. Only by standing up to bullying and blatant profit-seeking can journalism regain its rightful reputation of serving the public with real news.
Still, the future is digital, and there’s no point in resisting. It would be like sobbing over the loss of the first printing press, the record player, or the first aeroplanes. It’s sad when things change, but principles remain the same.
People are increasingly consuming traditional media via popular social, mobile and digital platforms. But this is not a mutually exclusive phenomenon, especially for older generations.

1 Comment

  1. josh

    August 12, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    You just hit the nail on its head. The new media have come to stay; proponents of the mainstream ones just have to accept that fact and adopt them to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. Thanks for the great job Taiwo

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