Two practising journalists present a valuable guide to online journalism
practice in Nigeria in a well-researched manual
By ADEBAYO SOWEMIMO
In this fast-changing world of digitalisation, no profession can afford to be left behind, nor could any serious practitioner ignore the importance of the Internet. The future of any profession therefore depends on how fast it can adapt to the new world and how vast it can extend its knowledge in maximising the use of modern tools and skills to improve the practice of that profession.
It is in this respect that Secrets of Online & Multimedia Journalism, a manual for online and multimedia journalism practice in Africa has come to provide journalists, students, teachers of journalism and regulators with requisite information, tools, knowledge and solutions to the practice of online and multimedia journalism.
Arguably a pioneering private effort by highly professional authors, the book will help in training future journalists, equip current practitioners and serve as resource material to assist the industry in achieving the objectives of digitalisation of the broadcast industry in Nigeria by 2012. It would also assist the print media in exploiting the opportunities derivable from online and multimedia tools in news-gathering, processing and dissemination to meet the yearnings of their highly mobile readers who have caught up with the openings provided by the Internet.
The authors, Mudathir Ganiyu, veteran journalist, teacher and former editor, Nigerian Tribune; and Qasim Akinreti, principal news online editor and online journalist with Voice of Nigeria, make the book unique by amplifying the foundational topics of online journalism in a well-arranged framework, starting with the abstract issue of convergence, ethics of online journalism, basic questions of news sourcing, researching and news reporting, and necessary tools required for the multimedia and online practice. They provide definitions, practical examples with clear explanation and clarifications of all topics discussed.
The authors devote two chapters to writing for the web in general, editing of online stories, as well as creation and management of website. Showing in-depth knowledge and mastery of the subject matter, they deal, in quick succession, with three related topics of blogging, using social media and citizen journalism/media; all very vital to the practice of online journalism. Also related to these issues are the importance of media law to online journalism, challenges of online and multimedia journalism in Nigeria as well as multimedia and regulatory authorities and the challenges of online journalism. The authors present these topics purely from a professional angle, displaying their wealth of experience and vast knowledge of the practice.
Without doubt, the authors identify critical problems in the practice of modern-day journalism and its challenges in Secrets of Online & Multimedia Journalism by providing this ground-breaking text to assist practitioners, students and teachers of journalism, bringing the classrooms closer to the newsrooms, in meeting present-day trends in the industry. The book equips the 21st century journalist with practically everything he needs to update and upgrade his skills to overcome the challenges of the new media order.
Written in easy-to-understand language, the authors put together knowledge and experience as practitioners and teachers in this well-researched, painstakingly packaged, all-important manual, dedicated to two outstanding doyens of Nigerian journalism – Babatunde Jose, first indigenous managing director of Daily Times of Nigeria; and Lateef Jakande, founder, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, former editor Nigerian Tribune and first executive governor of Lagos State.
Students of journalism will find this book not only engaging, but also instructive as the authors make use of practical easy-to-relate-with examples from Nigerian newspapers and broadcast stations with summary and/or assignments at the end of each chapter.