Sunday, July 20, 2014 8:54 pm
By Simon Ateba
The future of Journalism is online and on mobile devices, Derwin Johnson, a former American journalist with CNN and ABC News, told Nigerian students on Friday.
Johnson told students at the University of Lagos, that media houses who do not have an on-line presence will not survive in the 21st century.
During an interactive session with the UNILAG students that in the recent years, traditional media houses have been losing audiences to on-line platforms and the global trend is likely to increase in the coming years.
He argued that with 20 percent of Nigerians now on the internet, an increased bandwidth in the country will trigger rapid changes in the way Nigerians communicate and access information.
“Media houses that are not available here, will not survive,” Johnson said brandishing a mobile phone.
He recognised that at the moment very few media houses are making substantial financial gains on-line, but added: “someone is going to figure out how to change that.”
Despite the current challenges, Johnson advised the students to be driven by truth, passion, love, fairness and objectivity if they want to be good journalists.
“If this is your calling, if this is what you really want to do, you’re going to find a way to do it,” Johnson said.
He urged graduate and undergraduate students not to settle for less and always strive for excellence by being fair to all parties and objective in heir reporting.
He asked them not to shy away from the truth and to always go for stories that will have impact and trigger changes in the society.
Johnson, who was invited by the United States Consulate in Lagos, earlier conducted Media Relations training for over 30 communication staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The training took place between Monday and Thursday and focused on how to efficiently communicate electoral matters to the media.
Johnson was a former Middle East bureau chief for both CNN and ABC News headquarters in Beirut Lebanon and Cairo, Egypt.
He was also a member of Vice President George H.W. Bush’s travelling press corps and broadcast producer for ABC News’ World News This Morning and Good Morning America news.
After active Journalism, Johnson spent seven years at Columbia University as an Associate Professor at Graduate School of Journalism, teaching a core subject. He is now an independent senior communication consultant with over 30-year experience.
Simon Ateba is Publisher & Editor-In-Chief www.simonateba.com