As part of its initiatives and ongoing strategic programmes for media engagement, 9mobile held a capacity-building session to equip journalists with the requisite skills knowledge needed to boost their reporting and adapt effectively to the dynamic media landscape.
The training session, which was held virtually via Zoom in observance of prescribed measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, was facilitated by multiple award-winning and two-time Emmy nominee investigative journalist and Regional Editor (West Africa), The Conversation Africa, Adejuwon Soyinka.
Speaking on the theme “Online Content Optimization – engaging millennial and Gen-Z audiences with storytelling,” Adejuwon remarked that disruption in news media creates better opportunities for journalists to leverage and tell good stories that connect with new audiences.
According to him, Content optimization entails making sure that stories are written and produced in a relatable way and can reach the largest possible target audience, in this case, the Millennials and the Gen-Z.
“Telling a good and captivating story means finding and verifying important or interesting information and then presenting it in a way that engages the audience. The fact remains that attention span is decreasing by the day. In 2000, a study by Microsoft measuring how long people can focus on one thing for a specific amount of time showed that the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds and has further dropped since that study was carried out. The question then is, how do we tell our stories in such a way that it grabs the attention of readers of the new age?” he queried.
“But beyond this also, there is the question of how the journalist can match stories with the right and complimentary platforms. The truth is that there are certain kind of stories meant for specific platforms, and this is where multimedia storytelling comes to play. By incorporating various types of media, you are creating a story that readers can engage with and possibly share,” he explained.
The Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado, represented by the Public Relations Lead, 9mobile, Chineze Amanfo, emphasized that 9mobile is committed to advancing the growth of the media profession in Nigeria. “9mobile will continue to provide robust platforms for journalists to upskill their profession to discharge their duties effectively. Given the level of experience of our resource person for this session, we strongly believe that there will be value for everyone to take away.
On the choice of the seminar theme, Ado remarked further, “Young people are critical to the 9mobile brand because we are not only a youthful brand, but we are equally positioned as the network of choice for young people, and we will continue to prioritize the youth in our decisions.”
While commending the telco for the initiative, Goddie Ofose of 789Marketing, one of the participants of the training session, stated that the capacity building session is a welcome development and an eye-opener to the incredible opportunities that digital disruption presents. He said, “For me, this is timely and responsive. As journalists, we need to do more in terms of our reporting and presentation to today’s new crop of readers. I would appreciate if this is sustained.”
He further noted that he and his colleagues are now better informed on how best to leverage good storytelling techniques to churn out compelling news stories that are educative, informative, and engaging.
The training session was widely attended by journalists across print and online news platforms.