The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and the Chairman of Zinox Group, Stan Leo Ekeh, have emphasised the need for responsible online journalism in the country.
Messrs Adesina and Ekeh spoke on Thursday at the launch of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), a body formed by professional journalists with not less than 10 years experience.
Mr. Adesina said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari “knows the importance of online journalism hence it is passionate about the standardisation of its practice”.
He said in a speech entitled “Let your light shine” that the nation could not do without online publishing despite the realisation that it “can lift up or pull down an administration”.
He said the online media contributed significantly to the change witnessed in the country in the last elections.
He said practitioners needed to correct the lapses noticed among online publishers by continuously doing peer reviews.
“That is the challenge the online media must overcome.”
Mr. Ekeh, who was the guest speaker, said in this age and time, no one can avoid online media.
He said he told those who cared to listen 29 years ago when he launched desktop publishing that it was either you are in or out, but yet a lot of people still do not understand that online publishing, and by extension business, has come to stay.
Mr. Ekeh said the future wealth of the country belonged online.
He said with the distress in the economy, Nigerians should not be blind to sources of its future wealth.
He said there was the need to alter the equation fast.
Mr. Ekeh said a lot of people took exception to his comment during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan that the failure of the government to pay attention to online publications was going to cost them the election.
He said the administration forgot they rode on the power of the online media and they paid for it, adding: “President Muhammadu Buhari might be analogue, but he used the online to get elected.”