Traditional media houses have been advised to make good use of the many social media platforms to reach larger audiences with news and programmes.
Mr Charles Nii Ayiku Ayiku, Lecturer, Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Studies at the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Tema said although “Social media have plenty of flaws, one thing is sure; it has huge potential to grow your audience. It puts the power of reach right in your palm – if Twitter is used well, your stories have no limit.”
Mr Ayiku, who is also the Technical Advisor and Course Administrator of the Ghana Journalists Association’s (GJA) Media Response Virtual Learning Platform, was interacting with the GNA on new media and traditional media, one of the topics selected by the GJA for the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day.
The theme for the celebration is: “30 Years After The Windhoek Declaration: Information As A Public Good”.
He noted that the demand from the public to know what was happening in the news made it crucial for news outlets to post on social media as people could consume news and information on multiple platforms immediately it happened.
He added that journalists must take full advantage of social media, saying “it seems impossible for journalists to exist off of social media, especially on the global stage.
“News travels fast when it’s published seconds after an event happens, journalists can’t afford to miss out on the conversation.”
Mr Ayiku stressed that all traditional media outlets had to do was hone their style and study their audience, making sure they create the content that the readers were looking for.
“Reaching your audience not only takes authenticity and skill but also relies on creating the right content.”
Touching on how social media was affecting the operations of traditional media, he said the way the public absorbed and communicated information had changed since the onset of new media.
It has, therefore, made traditional media no longer a one-way avenue of communication as now, consumers could participate in the conversation and influence the news.
“Perhaps the biggest effect of social media on traditional media and content is that now everyone feels like they have a voice. Whether through Facebook, Periscope, Snapchat or Medium, social media has provided a public forum for anyone who has an opinion.
“While this has created an overwhelmingly saturated social atmosphere, this has also led to a genuine wave of voices and influencers on social”, he added.
He said social media had enhanced traditional media as the two work together noting that media houses must consider how to incorporate social media into their traditional media strategies for their brands to be more creative and attract more readership.