Editor’s Notes: There is no doubt, insecurity is one of the main problems in Nigeria. From the North to the East and South to the West, a number of people have been reportedly maimed and killed. Destruction and stealing of properties have equally been reported. Expectation from citizens, non-state actors and politicians have been that political leaders need to find holistic solutions to the problem. On a number of occasions, political leaders and some citizens have accused the media, especially the online news organisations, of fueling the problem with the ways they report issues and needs around it. Iyanda Ahmed, the founder of Western Nigeria Publica, speaks with our analyst on this matter and his forthcoming media project in South West Nigeria.
Tekedia: Who is Iyanda Ahmed?
Iyanda Ahmed: Iyanda Ahmed is a first class graduate of Mass Communication, Fountain University Osogbo. I am a content writer, Media Practitioner, Information Manager and content Marketer with the ability to convey messages in a crisp, concise manner, drawing the right amount of engagement. I am a resourceful journalist who is passionate about the media and the information that is being passed across to the audience.
Tekedia: With the background you painted, how would you connect your recent activities in the Nigerian news media space with it?
Ahemd: I have a huge appetite for media and passing the right information to the general public, hence the need for my recent activities in launching an Online Newspaper, the Western Nigeria Publica. I believe in offering news as a product to the public using a combination of traditional news values and elements of sustainable value creation. In this regard, what matters to people, businesses and leaders will be reported.
No doubt, the media play a very significant role in keeping everyone updated about the various events around the world. Today, we can check out the latest news and current affairs with just a few clicks or by simply switching on the radio or television, and even newspapers. A vast majority of people across the globe rely upon various sources of media for keeping themselves abreast on various ongoing issues around the world. As I said, the Western Nigeria Publica is not just a news medium because every news published has its value proposition driven by what the stakeholders or actors in the event or happening that got reported wanted.
Tekedia: In your views, as you prepare to make significant contributions to the news media landscape in South West Nigeria, how can we change news production towards sustainable peace and unity in the region?
Iyanda Ahmed: Information is power and key to changing news production towards a sustainable peace and unity in South West Nigeria. Journalists and media entrepreneurs have a huge responsibility in this context. It is high time we look at how we source, write and publish to the public. In my view, there should be limitations for reporting negative events in ways that generate and drive existing conflicts in the region. We should prioritise social goods more than economic capital we are expecting from news publication. This is necessary as groups and individuals employ the mainstream news organisations for political interests. As the Western Nigeria Publica commences operation in the region, we are committed to sustaining peace and unity by providing the right information, ethical content, giving equal hearings to parties involved, publishing content that are paramount to the people without being biased, and many others.
Tekedia: Western Nigeria Publica, what is in it for news readers and policy makers in the region?
Iyanda Ahmed: For every news/story captured on WNP site, readers are expected to derive value from them. Readers should be able to read and eventually take away values at the end of the day. That is the reason why Western Nigeria Publica is birthed. The goal is to capture the whole western region, as a unique way of contributing to the development of the region through our core values, principles and offering news as a product to the public using a combination of traditional news values and its [WNP] strategic principle of reporting what matters. On the website, we have 4 major core components, which are: News, Forum, Analysis and Conversation. For every segment, it has its own features. This makes WNP unique from other media platforms.
Tekedia: One of the core components of Western Nigeria Publica Value Chain is a Forum. We have seen how many online newspapers created interaction segments on their websites, what is the uniqueness of your segment? How do you want the readers to capture value from being members of the Forum?
Iyanda Ahmed: The Forum is an interactive segment that allows readers and experts to have discussion and get their views on news published on the site. This is a unique feature that engages readers, opinion leaders and experts to discuss or comment on stories published on the news site so as to generate analytical reports. It is also a segment where snippets of what get published ignite discussions or comments. The Forum section gives room for interaction and getting opinions of readers on a particular issue. Comments from the readers are what is captured on the Analysis and Conversation segments. This makes it unique from others. With the little payment to readers who comment within the Forum segment, we are redefining how people interact with news content in the region. We want readers to get value for their Internet data use.