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Stop treating online editions as a poor cousins of the print -NIJ provost warns

Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye has warnef media houses in the country to stop treating their online editions as a poor “cousins of the print edition.”
He also challenged them to effectively adopt digital options to remain in business.

He offered the advice in a paper presented at the 15th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference by the Nigeria Guild of Editors held in Sokoto titled Journalism Education and Shrinking Opportunities.

“ We need a new multimedia newsroom. A newsroom with digital walls to show live statistics and an innovation desk to experiment across all platforms and introduce new products,” Ogunleye, former Editor of The Punch stated.

According to him, opportunities are shrinking in almost every profession with job losses in all sectors and the thing to do is to reinvent journalism practice and the curricula.

Specifically, he warned newspapers to stop treating their online editions as a poor “cousins of the print edition.”

“ In the interim, they should start adopting a policy of digital-first by appointing a senior editor, who is digital savvy as online editor. The editor, who must have a proper newsroom, should be one who commands the respect of his colleagues and one who has the authority to call any erring reporter or line editor to order.

“ All reporters will be instructed to report to him the way they report to the daily editor. As soon as news breaks, the reporters must send the story, the still photograph and the video to the online editor,” Ogunleye said.

To ensure proper convergence in news operations, he called for a seamless working arrangement between the online and print editor.

“The online editor, will tweet the story, post it on the paper’s website and post same immediately on the paper’s Facebook page. The editor of the print version will take over and direct the reporters.”

Eventually, he said there will be need for a radical restructuring of the newsroom to respond effectively to current realities.

“Journalists who are trainable must undergo digital training and those who are untrainable or who are too stuck in the past will be encouraged to jump

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