By Charles Mgbolu
If you are a blogger reading this then perhaps you are an enemy. Why? because you want to take my job. Hehehe #justkidding#. But then, these were some of the issues discussed at the just concluded ‘Functional Social Networking for Nigerian Journalists’ where it was put in plain terms that journalists if not careful can be obliterated by bloggers.
Social media, no doubt, has metamorphosed from what it’s creators had intended. It is no more just about taking a photo and sharing on walls for friends to see and make comments. Rather, it is fast becoming a most efficient news channel with breaking news appearing on blogs and social media pages in the minutes of its occurence.
Are Newspaper journalists threatened? This was the question that hung heavy that day. Traditionally, newspapers report the news nearly twenty four hours later, but bloggers who run the social media have made this unpalatable. They have identified the fiery thirst for news by online users and latched on.
Bloggers with just a click can now take users to the scene of a plane crash, to the rescue efforts at a collapsed building, to a ravaging market fire and screaming traders. Its a sensation lost by the time it appears in the morning papers. A desperate attempt have been made by the newspapers to set up online web platforms for e-readers but is this enough? Amongst the legion of newspapers on the stand only a few operate as a true news website with consistent updates, the rest cling to their traditional newsrooms.
To make matters ‘worse’,the number of these bloggers are on the rise. Hundreds and hundreds of dedicated newsblogs; an online army advancing on us, how does the pen and paper journalist stand a chance?
The sessions at the Functional Social Networking For Nigeria Journalists ended on a very strong note. There is hope. The call was made for journalists to seize the power of the social media… press events and publicly witnessed accidents should no longer wait for your morning papers, else the bloggers will beat you to it. Pictures of a fire shouldn’t wait for your photo pages anymore else you will be disappointed at how stale you’ve become in the morning. Journalists were urged to run their own mini-blogs running on all stories short of their exclusives.
It will not stunt the rise of the bloggers, but then, it will give everyone a fighting chance.
Then, we will have no fear of being threatened, anymore.
The discussion continues…