UBA and Journalism Clinic host social media summit for Nigerian journalists 

by Oge Okonkwo


Everything Journalism – a group on the professional network, Linkedin.com – and its adjunct, The Journalism Clinic, in collaboration with United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc is hosting a one-day social media summit to boost the capacity of Nigerian journalists to maximally use the social media for news gathering, building online communities and engaging with their audiences.

Tagged  “Functional Social Networking for Nigerian journalists”, it will hold  on Thursday, 20 February, at the Amphitheatre, UBA House, 57 Marina, Lagos.

“We have seen the creative disruption happening in the media space. It is important that Nigerian media professionals get a clear understanding of this process and how to take advantage of it. We hope that by hosting this high profile discussion for the media, a clear path way will be mapped for the Nigerian media industry,” said Phillips Oduoza, MD/CEO UBA Plc while explaining why the bank decided to sponsor and host the event.

Convener, Taiwo Obe, founder and moderator of the EveythingJournalism group and director of The Journalism Clinic, stated that at the end of the summit, not only would journalists “be more social-media friendly and savvy, media owners, a number of whom have indicated their participation at the summit, should also have the zeal to change their mindsets to operate more efficiently, and profitably, in the digital age.”

The four key questions to be answered by a team of media professionals and scholars are: Does One Platform Suit All? What Does It Profit Us?; What Can You Teach Me About Social Media? and Ethics: Why It Matters in Social Networking?

Does One Platform Suit All? will explore which social network is most suitable for news gathering, if such is tenable. This session has as panellists Ms Joke Kujenya, assistant editor, Investigations at The Nation and mentor of young journalists; Tolu Ogunlesi, a blogger and columnist; and  Pelu Awofeso, a travel writer and travel book author. Both Awofeso and Ogunlesi are past winners of the CNN-Multichoice African Journalist of the Year awards in different categories while Kujenya is the 2013 NMMA Power Reporter of the Year. Obe is session moderator.

The panellists for “What Does It Profit Us?” are: Azubuike Ishiekwene, GMD, Leadership Newspapers and team leader of the first initiative by a Nigerian newspaper to charge its online readers; Dr Anderson Ume-Eviegbo, principal, Dymore Vision Consulting, a niche Pan African digital business management consulting firm operating in Nigeria and Kenya and Dotun Oladipo, who runs theeagleonline.com and former online editor of The Sun. This session, which will explore how media organisations can earn more revenues as evolving technologies continue to disrupt their businesses, will be moderated by Gbenga Adefaye, editor-in-chief and General Manager of Vanguard Newspapers which online portal is ranked #1 by global web analytics firm, Alexa.com.

Have the institutions of higher learning in Nigeria offering journalism and mass communication updated their curricula to reflect the evolving technologies or any studies on the web economy? This is what the session on “What Can Teach You Me About Social Media?” will explore. The panellists are: Lekan Otufodunrin, managing editor, online, The Nation; Wale Ajayi, head, department of mass communication, Lagos State Polytechnic and a new media/multimedia journalism specialist and Qasim Akinreti, online journalist with the Voice of Nigeria, author, media trainer and consultant on multimedia platforms will discuss “What can you teach me about social media?” Prof Emevwo Biakolo, dean of faculty of the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, is the moderator.

Unlike the traditional media where there are hordes of gate-keepers whose duty is to keep off unwanted elements from publications and broadcasts, the social media is, more or less, an open field where it seems all you need is access to the Internet. This raises a lot of issues on ethics and standards. Panelists are: Dapo Olorunyomi, CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, the online newspaper and Shina Badaru, founder and editor of Technology Times and Yomi Omogbeja a trained online journalist, web designer and editor of Athletics Africa.

Dr Pius Onobhayedo, an experienced information technology and new media professional and head of New Media Department, School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University will do a round-up of the sessions with a view to recommending action plans for execution by the journalists and media owners. There will also be a presentation on UBA’s plc’s Advancements on e-commerce.
Billed to start at 9 a.m and end at 3:30pm with breakfast and lunch inclusive, the event is open to pre-registered participants.

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