Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), has stressed the need for rules of engagement for bloggers and online publishers.
In a paper he presented earlier today (Thursday) in Lagos as guest speaker at Guild of Corporate Online Publishers Conference, Onanuga emphasised the need for a code of conduct.
These steps, he said, were necessary to protect the integrity of the cyberspace, just as it was done for publishers and journalists by NUJ, Guild of Editors and NPAN decades ago.
“One of the areas that you need to seriously compare notes is the explosion of hate speeches, hate-filled stories, outright lies, fake news that we read often online or on social media platforms”, he emphasised.
The NAN MD urged the Guild to focus on building capacity for members through seminars and workshops to teach the relevant skills to equip members with the necessary tools and ideas for the practice of Online Journalism.
The theme of the conference “Sustaining Growth through diversification of the economy: The Media experience”, is apt considering the current economic situation. “It is a truism that whenever any economy is under throes of adjustment, the first sector to be affected is the media both in terms of lost advert revenue and copy sales. Conversely, when there is a boom, the media also benefit, he said.
“We are all living witnesses to the misfortune of our industry in the last decade, the massive reduction in both copy and advert sales, and how this led to newspaper closures, downsizing, the emergence of bloggers and online newspapers and the explosion in the social media.”
This is not a development peculiar to our country. It is global.
“It is a remarkable coincidence that your Guild and the Nigerian Government are focusing on the same issue simultaneously,” as exemplified in your theme.
On the part of the government, it has launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020) which is a child of “our recent experience, the economic recession”.
The creative industry would transform and develop the creative industry.
“The change in the NBC code will also compel TV programme producers to produce programmes meant for Nigerian consumption locally, instead of producing them in Dubai or South Africa”.
Mr. Onanuga said that, all the developments in the economy show an uncommon determination by the present administration to ensure that the economy does not experience the brutal recessionary mill the second time.
The change in the NBC code would impact positively on the media business in terms of advert revenue and copy sales.
“Ehen there is a boom, the media also benefit.”
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