‘Boost Productivity To Strengthen Growth’ … key to industry’s dev’t – Expert

OWNERS of traditional media institutions, particularly newspapers, have been urged to embrace new media technologies to be able them survive in the increasing advancing media landscape.

Professor Clement K. Dzidornu the president of the Accra Institute of Technology (AIT), who made the call at a lecture in Accra on Monday, said most traditional media – radio, television and the print were folding up because of the advent of the new internet based media .

The maiden quarterly lecture, organised by the Ghana News Agency (GNA),the nation’s wire service,   in collaboration with AIT, was on the theme, ”The Age of Technological Convergence: Opportunities and Threats to Media Organisations and Journalists”

Speaking on the sub theme, ”Exploring the Landscape of Journalism in the Emerging Technological Age,” Professor Dzidornu said a lot of influential and well circulated newspapers in the developed world had collapsed as result of the advent of new media platforms.

”The new media is not a choice, but a system the traditional media should embrace to remain in business,” he said.

Professor Dzidornu said a lot of the citizens were accessing news through the internet and other social media, instead of newspapers.

The president said although the new media posed a threat to the traditional media, its benefits were enormous and said traditional media owners could also benefit if they adopt the new media systems.

”The new media make it easy to reach a large audience or consumers with media services and products within a relatively short time and at a cheaper cost,” he said, adding that ”the internet has dramatically changed how we sell and provide services.”

He also said the new media had broken the barrier of time and distance, which hitherto, had inhibited the transfer of information, knowledge, skills, expertise from one place to the other.

Professor Dzidornu said the new media and technologies had impacted on journalism practice and urged journalists to adapt to the new media in order not to lose out.

”The history of journalism cannot be precisely and honestly narrated without telling the story of how journalism has been shaped and, re-shaped with the various epochs of technology,” he said.

In addition Professor Dzidornu said the explosive growth in media technology was fuelling a new wave of journalism, stressing ” the journalism landscape is constantly changing with new technologies which continue to refine the relationship between the media and the public.”

Dr Bernard Otabil, General Manager of GNA, who spoke on the main theme, said the circulation of newspapers all over the world was dwindling.

This, he attributed to the poor reading habits of the people who rather prefer the cheap and fast way of accessing information through the internet.

”Traditional media institution have to either be innovate to remain in business or end up collapsing,” he said.

Dr Otabil encouraged the media to invest in the training of their reporters to be abreast of modern trends, pointing out that a lot of mistakes found in the newspapers were because some reporters wrote on subjects they had no knowledge about. By Kingsley Asare

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