Media  

On World Communications Day, journalists urged to enhance skills through technology

Chief Uche Nworah

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Awka, Chief Uche Nworah, has said that the technology skill gaps was the reason non-professionals were profiting from a democratized media industry and called on journalists to raise their skills level in order to maximise the opportunities and values offered by technology.

Nworah, who shared these thoughts during an e-Conference organised by Catholic Diocese of Awka, in commemoration of the 54th World Communications Day, last Sunday, also highlighted the importance of telling African stories with the African perspective, reminding participants in telling stories of the different peoples that make humanity, journalists are reinforcing the interconnectedness of the human race.

Stating that different methods of storytelling has been with Africans for centuries, he said that what media practitioners need to deepen are the enablement that modern technology offers communication practitioners and journalists to tell our stories better.

Technology, Nworah noted, “has expanded our scope and capacity for telling stories, making it possible for us to be integrated media practitioners through practicing media convergence (all-in-one). Some of the biggest trending viral videos these days are shot with mobile phones. Usually, the stories are unscripted and the content makers untrained in the traditional sense. We can see these in the many comedy skits we see on social media that attract millions of views, shares and likes.”

With better training and understanding of what makes news, the broadcast executive who was formerly a senior executive at Nigeria’s mobile technology service provider, Globacom, said time has come for journalists to rise to the challenges of a democratized media space by picking the gauntlet to change the African narrative profitably.

With technology daily disrupting the existing systems and even entire professions, he advised journalists, communicators and industry stakeholders to ponder on what the changes portend for the profession.

“I call on practitioners to ‘skill up’ before ‘amateurs’ retire them prematurely. Africa’s case will always be unique due to challenges of resources and skills gap but I am of the view that the lack of, or inadequate availability of resources also provides us huge opportunities,” he stated.

Citing the herbal remedy developed by Madagascar as an example of indigenous solutions, he mentioned creative thinking and a search for indigenous solutions to our communications needs as some of the spaces opportunities might exist to tell the African story and lamented the situation where the Federal Government had to import Madagascar’s COVID-Organics while leaving behind the Nigerian herbal blends.

Highlighting the dilemma journalists often face in a fragmented and multi-ethnic society such as Nigeria’s Nworah advised journalists to use their practice to build trust across the various ethnic and tribal boundaries.

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