Former dean of the school of communications, Lagos state university and President Association of Communication scholars and Professionals(ACSN),Professor Lai Oso has canvassed the need for media houses to increase their content and leverage in improving technology to enable them stay afloat and remain economically viable in the face of global economic crisis further compounded by the Corona virus. He spoke on this and many issues in an online interview with Newdawnngr.com, Tunde Abatan.Excerpts
1. What do you consider to be the immediate challenges and implications of the recently relaxed lockdown on the media industry? Answer: The relaxation of the lockdown would allow free access to sources by journalists.it is also expected to allow better environment for economic activities this may mean more adverts to the media houses and more events to cover.
Question: How could they leverage the challenges for optimization and relevance especially in the face of dwindling purchasing power of readers and public?
Answer: The media organisations must realise that content is king. They must produce content relevant to the average Nigerian to drive circulation or viewership. This will involve them knowing who they are producing for.
Question: With the loss of job and reduction in salaries of major newspapers and electronic media, what is d way out for media practitioners?
Answer: Technology has both enhanced media production and also negatively affects the workforce. In this case the media managers must invest in technology and at the same time build the capacity of their workers. They must show more interest in issue of governance and the management of the nation’s economy.
Question:. What form of content development should be developed by newspapers and broadcast stations to retain readership and viewership? Answer: As noted in 2 above, relevance is quite important. Each media house must find a unique product to offer to the public. In the area of news, ethical standard is paramount.
Question: How best do you think media organisations and practitioners could properly cover the post Covid challenges for optimum advantage to the readers, sustaining market and relevance? Answer: They need to pay more attention to how the citizens can cope with the challenges. Less emphasis on stories that create fear.
Question: Would you say training curriculum of higher institutions is enough to prepare future professionals for the latent challenges?
Answer: The training curriculum will never be adequate changes are coming on regularly basis, so employers must be more interested in training and retraining just as institutions or by their curriculum up to date on regular basis.