Onanuga, others counsel media on prosperity

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Mr Bayo Onanuga (middle) NAN MD with other members of NGE
Cross section of delegates to NGE confab

By Desmond Ejibas

Mr Bayo Onanuga, Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), has called on media organisations to diversify investments to grow their business.

Onanuga made the call at the on-going 13th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference and Extraordinary Convention in Port Harcourt.

He said that newspaper houses ought to expand their operations by investing in radio and television.

“As a newspaper (house), we should not limit ourselves to just publishing; we are supposed to be multimedia as Ovation magazine has done with ovation television.

“We can do radio; we can do television and invest in other areas as obtainable in days of Daily Times.

“I do not see any division between online news; newspapers and television because there is a convergence in the media industry.

“Newspaper can find itself moving into television because all the media are now together,” he said.

Onanuga urged media houses to be mindful of grammatical errors commonly seen in newspapers.

He said that there was the need to float a company that will be responsible for the distribution of newspaper to readers.

“My concern in Nigeria is that some of us waste a lot of time on matters that are not strictly professional.

“We at same time are concerned about printing; concerned about distribution when there should be companies set up to distribute newspapers.

“In South Africa and Kenya there are companies that are set up to distribute for newspaper houses but in our country it has been difficult.

“We have to fully focus on our business as journalists. We need to practise very good journalism,” he said.

Onanuga said that NAN was fully focussed on expanding its multimedia services and its web-based operations.

Also speaking, Mr Segun Osoba, a veteran journalist and former governor of Ogun state, also called for more cooperation among media organisations and practitioners.

According to him, there is nothing wrong in subscribing to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) photo service rather engaging several photographers for the same picture.

“There is need for us to have more confidence in ourselves,” he said.

In his contribution, Mr Nduka Obaigbena, said that as journalism profession was evolving, so the business climate was changing.

“We need to ask ourselves the nature of our audience and how to respond to the needs of those audiences.

“We can work with NAN and can also offer perspective to news that are available everywhere.

“This is because journalists are critical resource; as they can cover news and also cover perspective,” he noted.

Mr Dele Momodu, Publisher of Ovation Magazine, said that media houses should have a comfortable market for their business to thrive.

He said that publishers and media managers should understand that their product must be paid for, hence the need to be creative.

“You must have a market for your product and don’t bother about what people will say, it is not a charity,” he said.

According to Momodu, proprietors of media concerns must build their brand into something that is easily recognisable.

“Your business must be noticed as a brand and it is the best way to market it,” he said.

The publisher also called for collaboration among media houses and urged them to celebrate themselves.

“We must celebrate ourselves, we must collaborate to grow our business because the kind of partnership Ovation has with DAAR Communications today is what has kept us growing.

“We spend money to produce the content and supply to them, so, instead of playing free music for one hour that makes no sense, we give them one hour product that can also sell their airtime.’’

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