Home FEATURES Mohammed Haruna’s Verdict: Online Media Is Less Reliable Than Offline Media

Mohammed Haruna’s Verdict: Online Media Is Less Reliable Than Offline Media

Sundiata PostA Veteran journalist and one time Managing Director of New Nigerian Newspapers, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, has passed a verdict of the emerging online media being less reliable and immature compared to the conventional media.
In a keynote address titled: “Has Online Journalism Come of Age” at the launching of one of the frontline online medium, Sundiata Post in Abuja today, Mallam Haruna said though that the invention of the Internet had transformed journalism into a truly all-comers’ trade.
He said that there is always an assumption of conflict between online media’s imperative of speed and the old media’s core value of accuracy which he said, is something new and something that the new media should overcome in time.
“This assumption is largely false. Depending on how much in a rush one is, there has always been conflict between accuracy and speed since the emergence of mass media in the 19th century.
“The difference is that the new media, in its rush to be in real time in the news, seems more wired to sacrifice accuracy on the altar of speed than the old media.
“As a result, online journalism tends to be less reliable than the offline journalism and on this ground, it can be argued that online journalism is less mature than the mainstream journalism.”
Also, the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba, described online journalism as a media for the coming generation.
Mba, represented by Awwalu Salihu, the Director of Public Affairs, NBC, also urged online publishers to focus on credibility, accuracy and professionalism so as to meet the needs of the society.
This was even as the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, advised online publishers to ensure credibility in order to secure the future of online media in the country, saying that credibility in online media would ensure that the sector is not flooded by biased publishers.
“There is this saying that bad coins tend to drag good coins out of circulation. So, if we leave online publishing for the bad ones, the good ones cannot make a difference.
“We have the good, the bad and the ugly among online publishers; but when we have more of the good ones, the better for the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Publisher of Sundiata Post Online Newspaper, Max Amuche, said that credibility and professionalism would continue to be the watchword of the platform.
He said that the publishers had set up a unifying body — the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP)– to ensure that the activity of the media is self-regulated.
Speaking at the event, the National Vice Chairman of GOCOP, Musikilu Mojeed, said owners of online media in the country are accomplished professionals some of whom he said had risen to the topmost management positions in some of Nigeria’s leading dailies.
Mr. Mojeed said GOCOP had been busy in the past months training its members on ethics and the latest trend in the media industry.
He hinted that GOCOP members would soon begin to name and shame charlatans passing themselves off as online newspaper publishers.
He also said the organization was partnering relevant Nigerian authorities to descend heavily on thieves plagiarizing the work of its members. [myad]

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