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Digitalisation and the media

Digitalisation and the media
December 01
18:23 2021

Summary of my remarks earlier today at a talk-shop organized by the Society of Digital Newspaper owners of Nigeria with the theme ‘Corporate Brands, Reputation Management and the place of Digital Media’

The profusion of media outlets and platforms made possible by digitalisation has fostered true democracy in global media. Its true liberation of unimagined proportions:

  • Rise of consumer power as consumers can now ventilate their frustrations at the touch of a button. No multinational or heavyweight brand or individual is protected by any layer of authority. The only way out is to do the right thing.
  • Rise of the small entrepreneur occasioned by easy to access and affordable media platforms with global reach. The digital era is creating a new type of billionaire. The small entrepreneur who has mastered the art of creating brands with pizzaz native to the world wide web. From training programs to cosmetic and beauty products to digital publications, travel and hospitality etc there is no stopping the man and woman of ideas now.
  • Corporate and political leaders can now take on big media enterprises without the fear of any backlash because they have grown the capacity to match them muscle for muscle. It’s a game of numbers guys. Before he was taken down and “muted”, Donald Trump had 88.7 million people eating from his hands and lapping up every word he wrote on Twitter! Today, Elon Musk can turn his nose at any PR agency or the CNN’s of this world. How does a corporate leader with half a dozen multibillion-dollar brands take both PR and media for granted? Digital media democratisation. At the last count, he speaks directly to 62.7 million individuals! He runs a better and perhaps more efficient PR machine with his social media handles.
  • The journalist is also a major beneficiary of these changes as he does not require an employer or big publisher to keep himself busy and earn a decent income if he understands basic journalism and can string words together? Or even if all he can do is pin-up good pictures!

Journalism as we know it is a “goner”. Journalists and media houses will only survive if they go back to the basics and differentiate. They need to reimagine their brand essences and select narrow and highly specialised niches where they can dominate and prosper from delivering content that is not easy to get elsewhere. With this, they are able to gradually build a core of loyal super fans who will not hesitate to stay with them in the long journey through the dark nights ahead.

Competition is the soul of brand improvement. The media is facing incinerating competition from every corner. Millions of citizen journalists are in a do or die race to reach the market with news even before the core media platforms. This competition can mar, but with knowledge, understanding and hard work, it can actually make the media far more exciting and rewarding at the emergence of dawn.

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Adeoya is an imaginative brand strategist and communicator (www.akinadeoya.com)

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