Nigeria: How to Sustain Viable Media Outfits in Nigeria's Competitive Business Terrain - Premium Times' Boss

Mr Mojeed highlighted ethical values of credibility, diligence, fairness and consistency, as some of the factors keeping PREMIUM TIMES afloat in Nigeria's competitive media industry.

The Editor-in-Chief of PREMIUM TIMES, Musikilu Mojeed, on Thursday, took journalists through ways of sustaining media businesses.

Mr Mojeed spoke to 20 pioneer beneficiaries of the MTN Media Innovation Programme (MIP) who are currently undergoing training at the School of Media and Communication (SMC), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), Lagos.

The six-month programme being funded by MTN Nigeria would equip the fellows with the requisite knowledge in storytelling, entrepreneurship and management principles, 5G, and blockchain technology, business and media ethics, strategic planning skills, among others.

Speaking on the theme, 'Income Streams for Modern Media,' Mr Mojeed, a multiple award-winning investigative journalist, said running a viable media outlet will require "multiple streams of income."

He noted that "great content is key to survival" of media houses, adding "journalists must refrain from 'brown envelope'" - a culture of financial gratification popular amongst journalists in Nigeria.

Citing the case of PREMIUM TIMES- Nigeria's leading online investigative media outlet, Mr Mojeed highlighted ethical values of credibility, diligence, fairness and consistency, as some of the reasons for staying afloat in Nigeria's competitive media industry.

"We must have multiple streams of revenue; advertising alone cannot save us from the hangman," he told the fellows, who are being trained on entrepreneurial skills at the university.

The media manager enumerated revenue sources to include: partnerships, book publishing, innovative advertising, training, donations, and special publications, amongst others.

"You must diversify your sources of revenue, because if you continue to depend on traditional advertising, your journalism will be diluted," Mr Mojeed advised the cohort.

He explained that "good journalism is expensive," saying collaborative efforts of journalists across newsrooms in Nigeria would birth journalism of accountability.

"The only way media houses can survive is to innovate," Mr Mojeed admonished the fellows who sought insights on media sustainability.

A fellow, Abidemi Dairo of Channels Television suggested the use of short codes as a way of encouraging Nigerian media audiences to make donations towards enhancing good journalism.

About the programme

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that in-person sessions for the fellowship commenced on May 23, 2022, to run till December 10, 2022.

As part of the programme, fellows will also travel to South Africa to study the media business, Pan-Africanism and the role of development media through a programme with the University of Witwatersrand, one of Africa's leading universities in media training.

Furthermore, the cohort will execute practical group projects that will be presented at the end of the programme; where an outstanding storyteller will be awarded a grant to participate in and cover MTN Foundation's key initiative, 'What Can We Do Together?'

According to the organisers, at the end of the training, the fellows will also have access to professional resources and mentorship from the university's faculty

PAU celebrates 20th anniversary

Meanwhile, the Pan-Atlantic University, on Wednesday, organised a media briefing as part of activities commemorating 20 years of its existence.

The institution's vice-chancellor, Enase Okonedo, a professor, spoke on the evolution of the university which she noted began with one school but now has six main units and a museum.

Ms Okonedo described the School of Science and Technology as the latest addition in the university.

"PAU has a strong Christian identity. The truths Pan-Atlantic University shares as an institution are not only common to Christianity but other religions," she said.

She added that the university has a strong pluralism and aims to approach the education for students "in freedom and with freedom."

"The objective of education in Pan-Atlantic University is the well-rounded formation of the human person. The University aims at nurturing individuals who are professionally competent, creative and enterprising, zealous for the common good and able to make free and morally right decisions and who thus act as positive agents of change in service to society," the Vice Chancellor explained.

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