Functional Social Networking for Nigerian journalists, Lagos – Live Blog

Journalist interviewing someone

The United Bank for Africa, Everything Journalism, and The Journalism Clinic are hosting a one-day social media summit tagged ‘Functional Social Networking for Nigerian journalists’ in Lagos.

The training aims at boosting the capacity of Nigerian journalists to maximize the use of social media for news gathering, building online communities, and engaging with their visitors.

We would be giving a live update as the events unfold.


The 4th session began with Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of PREMIUM TIMES; Shina Badaru, Publisher of Technology Times; Kayode Ketefe, Head of Judiciary Desk at National Mirror.

The moderator was Yomi Omogbega, Editor of Athletics Africa.

Mr. Olorunyomi said that the media is at a watershed of the old and the new. “The question of ethics is something people are doing in every corner of the world.

“The consumer has become a collaborator in the production of news.”

In his speech, Mr. Badaru said that plagiarism was at the heart of the problems in the Nigerian media. “Intellectual content must be safeguarded.”

Mr. Ketefe, a lawyer, said that journalism is an unregulated profession. “A lot of charlatans have made in-roads into journalism.” He also said that copyright infringement in the media has become so rampant that it has been taken as the norm.

The session ended with a question and answer session.


The third session ‘What Can You Tell Me About Social Media?’ began with panellists Lekan Otufodunrin, Managing Editor of The Nation Online; Wale Ajayi, Head of Department of Mass Communication, Lagos State Polytechnic; and Quasim Akinreti, Online Journalist at Voice of Nigeria.

The moderator was Emevwo Biakolo, Dean of School of Media Communication at the Pan Atlantic University.

Mr. Otufodunrin said that most Mass Communication departments do not have online courses. “The jobs in media houses are not available. It is with this (online) skill that you can push out the old hands,” said Mr. Otufodunrin.

“Everybody who is teaching today, who is going to produce the future journalist, must know about social media,” he added.

Mr. Ajayi said that the Lagos Polytechnic are planning to introduce courses in digital journalism that would give rise to a multimedia journalist. “The online platform is a new media on its own. There is no business model that will work if we keep imposing what we have on radio, newspapers, on it. It will be garbage in garbage out.

Prof. Biakolo said that the NUC had refused to approve departments like Digital Media for the Pan Atlantic University. “There is a problem with the NUC about their capacity to make new thoughts.”

A question and answer session preceded the session.


The discussion in the second session has centred around traffic to websites and creating a paywall.

Mr. Uvie-Emegbo advocated for a 4C approach to make money through online media.

1. Channel: Digital channels like You Tube, email newsletters, and so on. “How well are they doing? If you check the pages, you’ll understand that there are a lot of clowns in the media industry.”

2. Content: Newspapers need to be proactive. “How many sites have a content on the 2015 election, for instance?”

3. Customer Intimacy: “If you don’t know your customer, how can you segment them? Before we even go to paywall, we are missing the fundamentals.”

4. Collaboration: “How much involvement are your employees in all of these? How many of you have tweeted a story your organization has published?”

Mr. Uvie-Emegbo noted that there would be people to pay for news but newspapers “are not doing enough to make them pay.”


Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of Sahara Reporters, apologizing for coming late, blamed his lateness on the news of the suspension of the CBN governor. “We were tracking him somewhere in Niger Republic. It’s like he knew he was gonna be sacked.”

Mr. Sowore also said that most Nigerian journalists do not have social media accounts. “Stop complaining about Sahara Reporters breaking all the news. Move to the front lines and start breaking the news. Journalism is not changing, it has changed forever.”

The summit moves into the second session: ‘What Does It Profit Us?’


The first session ‘Does One Platform Suit All?’ began with panellists Tolu Ogunlesi, Joke Kujenya, and Pelu Awofeso.

Mr. Obe moderated.

Mr. Ogunlesi, narrating his experience with social media, said that his first blog was a blog in 2005 when the BBC were picking people to blog about their daily lives. “Social media allows unmediated access,” he said.

Mr. Ogunlesi also said that social media brings government closer to the people. “It has completely changed the way we do journalism. It forces us to adapt. It challenges us to stay ahead. It is no longer about keeping up,” Mr. Ogunlesi said.

Ms. Kujenya said that she hadn’t wanted to have anything to do with social media. “It is a sharing culture,” she said.

For Mr. Awofeso, social media was an opportunity for him to learn. “Different people want different things on social media. You can us it for news gathering, to pursue an agenda, and others.”

The first session ended with a question and answer session.


Mr. Oduoza says UBA is “really honoured” to play host to journalists and editors. He also says that the bank will partner with the media.

“The two requests that TO (Taiwo Obe) made. I’ll say from UBA and the banking industry it is something that can be done. We will partner with you and see how we can go about it,” says Mr. Oduoza.

“JP Morgan is the biggest financier of the US Box Office. There is no reason the banking industry cannot partner with the media.”


Taiwo Obe, the Summit Convener, gives his opening speech. He urges the Nigerian media to celebrate Nigerians who are doing great things with Information Technology. He describes the summit as an “occasion to declare a new direction for journalism.”

“People are making good fortunes from adapting to technology,” he says.

Mr. Obe appeals to the UBA GMD to assist the Nigerian media to go hi tech.

“We are ready to go digital. We need backing. It is money. The Mayor of New York just put down US$10 million for African media. We need that kind of backing.

“You can set up an intervention fund. It’s not only Nollywood that needs intervention. The Bank of Industry knows these things,” Mr. Obe tells the UBA GMD.

“Please write it down. I know you want to write it down,” he adds.


The summit begins with the announcer apologizing for a “slightly late” start. Philip Oduoza, the Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa, and his deputy are in attendance.

“We got to know about this programme a couple of months ago. Immediately we jumped at it. We started talking with Mr. Taiwo Obe and quickly we got approval for it to happen,” the announcer said.

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