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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Bridging the gap between media practice and profits

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…the answers are laid bare, deposited like a box of gold, in “Writing for the Media and Monetizing It,” a new book by veteran journalist and acclaimed columnist Azu Ishiekwene. An invaluable gift to the media and adjacent industries, the book provides a clinical insight into the intrigues that characterize the relationship between traditional and new media, while providing a bridge not only between the two but also between practice and Profits.

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Since the incursion of new social networks, journalism has never been the same. Whether you have one leg in the old and the other in the new, or have completely migrated to cyberspace, it’s hard to say whose race belongs to. Is he the fastest, the smartest, the richest, the toughest or the toughest? Added to this is the fact that in the online business, those who laugh all the way to the bank may not be the most professional, intelligent or wise. So where is the money really? What are the rules, tricks and criteria for measuring overall success?

If you have been waiting for informed, sincere, reliable and practical answers to such questions, it is safe to say that your wait is over. The answers are laid bare, deposited like a box of gold, in Writing for the Media and Monetizing It, a new book by veteran journalist and acclaimed columnist Azu Ishiekwene. An invaluable gift to the media and adjacent industries, the book provides a clinical insight into the intrigues that characterize the relationship between traditional and new media, while providing a bridge not only between the two but also between practice and Profits.

A comprehensive masterpiece, Writing for the Media and Monetizing is particularly a plus for aspiring journalists or young people, as the author so pampers the reader that he teaches them how to generate story ideas and topics, how to research them, and avoid slander. ; how to distribute stories, how to evolve one’s style and even how to occasionally shake the table (as the fashionable saying goes), creating “problems” with the writing, and how to manage the controversy or battle that accompanies it. In other words, the 259-page work, beautifully published by NewslodgeBooks, is good enough for everyone: students, teachers, editors, publishers and those who interact with them.

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In fact, its relevance can be perceived in the chapter titles. These include “Find your voice”, “Choose your topic”, “Create your style”, “Connect with your audience”, “Cause trouble without causing chaos”, “Be aware of the law and manage feedback and trolls”. In the book, the reader will also learn about the business of syndication, using Artificial Intelligence (AI), without losing originality, and how to promote your content.

Many will enjoy “Writing for the Media and Monetizing It,” as it is told in a way that is not only beautiful, but also encourages easy, leisurely reading. As the events unfold in the main plot, they become advice and summaries that the writer punctuates in all chapters, in the manner of a training manual that seeks to prepare its participants for lasting media relevance that equally unleashes the possibility of earning money. excellence.

Those who dream of breakthroughs in the new media business know how fascinating the phenomena of algorithms, search engine optimization (SEO), etc. are. Added to this is the difficulty of accessing the mentality of the technological giants that control the business, such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook. Those who have spent much time in the newsroom find the concepts and moods of the giants so slippery that they often become confused when trying to navigate the online routes. But Ishiekwene has gone a long way toward mastering these issues, as it is conceived as a journalism school, with an emphasis on a monetization curriculum. Talk about innovative work and reward. In this sense, Chapter 13 – titled “Making Money” – is a must-read when it comes to the business aspect of media. Here, the writer thoroughly teaches the reader the basics of how to earn well as an online content producer. Discussing ways to share tools to develop content, use data analytics as a guide, and engage your audience, Ishiekwene discusses the process of monetizing content.

However, the book is packed with interesting case studies involving some of the top Nigerian online new media personalities and brands, such as Abdusalam Idris (Alhaji Beardless Smallie), who became a popular influencer by collecting stories and events that were trending and set them up in threads on Twitter (X) and Tunde Oluwa Adekunle (Tunde Ednut), the content curator named the Most Searched Media Personality in the Net Honors Class of 2021. Plus, there is Linda Ikeji, who has become a wealthy blogger based in Banana Island, even though she had started out having fun online while passing time before turning her online passion into a huge money-making machine. Then there is Seun Osewa, the founder of Nairaland, who has built a platform with enormous potential.

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In chapters 14 and 15, the book expands its grand narrative through the stories of select icons within the legacy media space in Nigeria and beyond, with whom the author engages in conversations about their worldview and professional practice. They include Pulitzer-winning journalist Dele Olojede; the incisive columnist and academic Abimbola Adelakun; and the first editor of The PUNCH newspaper, Toyosi Ogunseye. Furthermore, there is the dialogue with the most prominent academic, historian and mentor, Professor Toyin Falola, and Tunde Odediran, currently a technology guru in the United States.

This effortlessly qualifies this major effort as a necessary toolbox and recommended text for media schools. The fact is that in this era of emphasizing the functional aspects of knowledge, such as the need to unite theoretical explorations with business knowledge, thus perfecting pathways for future self-reliance of students, it will be invaluable to introduce “Writing ”. for Media” in the Communications curricula of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and beyond.

Many will enjoy Writing for the Media and Monetizing It, as it is told in a way that is not only beautiful, but also encourages easy, leisurely reading. As the events unfold in the main plot, they become advice and summaries that the writer punctuates in all chapters, in the manner of a training manual that seeks to prepare its participants for lasting media relevance that equally unleashes the possibility of earning money. excellence. This effortlessly qualifies this major effort as a necessary toolbox and recommended text for media schools. The fact is that in this era of emphasizing the functional aspects of knowledge, such as the need to unite theoretical explorations with business knowledge, thus perfecting pathways for students’ future self-reliance, it will be invaluable to introduce Writing for The media in the communication curricula of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and beyond.

Overall, writing for the media and monetizing is so phenomenal that experts in the field like the Executive Director of the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), also a veteran journalist, Dapo Olorunyomi; compelling columnist Sonala Olumhese; and Professor Abiodun Adeniyi of the department of Mass Communication, Base University Abuja, have glowing words for the book and its author.

Olorunyomi points out in the “Prologue” that “the strength of this work lies in the richness and combination of resources of personalized stories, anecdotes and rich references with the lessons and questions that crown each chapter. The personal testimonies of leading figures in the profession, across generational and gender divides, deserve praise.” For his part, Olumhense writes that, “In this work, he (the author) gives back to the Times and Seasons that encouraged him by giving to the future: showing how to take your place in the biggest, boldest media, and be directly compensated. for it.” And, for Adeniyi, Ishiekwene “has built an intellectual and socio-economic bridge necessary to link journalists with the new and wide world of unlimited applications, adaptations, opportunities, entrepreneurship and empowerment.”

In fact, Writing for the Media and Monetizing It is a must for anyone who has anything to do with media.

Akeem Lasisi is a prominent journalist and performance artist.

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