A society remains incomplete without media. When one looks at agents of socialisation media remain key component that cannot be jettisoned in the journey of building an inclusive and sustainable society. As powerful as the news media are in upholding democratic principles and holding leaders responsible for their actions and inactions, they have also been seen as dangerous in holding people and organisations together towards peaceful and sustainable society.
Indeed, the world is in the dilemma of embracing or not following the news media messages. Whether a developing or developed country, there are models and principles that guide media practitioners in covering and reporting events and issues. However, since bad news is good news for the media owners and journalists due to “better readership and high revenue choice games” world has been awash with bad news more than good news in recent times.
In their quest of being the first to report happenings, news media without exempting Nigerian market have misinformed the public. While some media analysts, including our analyst, argued that having news values that encourage reporting of bad happenings should not be the key yardstick of making political and business leaders accountable University dons believe that there is nothing bad in reporting bad events predominantly in a country.
Our analyst had earlier further argued that stopping false information and bad news augmentation require that Nigerian journalists explain not watching the news. This is imperative as people continue to flock to news websites for information or news that connect with them directly or indirectly.
To substantiate the high revenue choice game using the bad news approach, our analyst looks at the estimated revenue of The Punch, Legit, Daily Post and Vanguard newspapers. These newspapers had one time or the other reported bad news, our analysis reveals. With $98,750,000 and $85,250,000, Legit.ng and Vanguard newspapers respectively are better positioned than The Punch [$83,750,000] and Daily Post [$83,750,000] in terms of the estimated worth of their websites, which could be linked to the traffic rate they are getting per day, month and year.
In our analysis of sports, political, health, business, education, crime, and life and style news searched by Internet audience [Nigeria and Global], we learnt that audience read the news categories from Naijaloaded (27.20%), Legit (26.60%), Nairametrics (23.20%), The Vanguard (21.60%), The Nation (13.40%), Daily Post (13.30%), The Punch (12.00%) and Lindaikejisblog (9.10%) mostly.
Our analysis shows that the average time of getting bad news from 820 news searches [using the select newspapers] through the Google Search Engine is 0.58 seconds, for the good news is 0.64 seconds. This implies that it takes an audience 0.58 and 0.64 seconds to retrieve bad and good news published and linked with these news outlets in Nigeria and that significant difference does not exist between having good and bad news for the public.
Exhibit 1: Nigerian Audience National and Global News Search Interest [January, 2021-March 25, 2021]
Exhibit 2: % of Traffic from Search from Nigerian Audience Search Interest Volume in Select Aspects of the Society
Turning Bad News into Social and Enterprise Business
Obviously, it would take a number of strategies and tactics for someone to see that business opportunities and better life exists in the country. Media and social psychologists have noted that reading bad news pose mental health risk. The argument has also been that “…while the gravity and implications from bad news can vary in terms of intensity, it can be an opportunity for learning, refining and improving.”
In the words of Winston Churchill, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Looking at the insights from our analyst, it is clear that people are likely not to see opportunities in the country as the news media continue to select, prime, frame and set agendas that increase pessimistic thinking.
Having bad thinking based on bad news is not bad, this is instructive. However, one needs to look at the possibility of creating solutions to the problems or issues identified in the news. As noted earlier, news media employ selection processes and set agendas on what they want you to think about [in most cases not for your benefits, but for their own]. Therefore, not every bad news should be seen as bad for you when it is obvious that the media need huge traffic and potential advertisers that would lead to high revenue.
The Case of Herder-Farmer Crisis
One of the key strategies and tactics for determining entrepreneurial opportunities is that you objectifying the processes used by the media. Remember, the media select a part of herder-farmer crisis, they stress that part using issues and needs approach to explicate the crisis to you and other concerned stakeholders, and want you to think about the issues and needs in relation to the stakeholders.
When this happens, what is expected of you is understanding how the issues and needs are being addressed by the stakeholders. Are they getting it right or not? Who are the key stakeholders in the process of addressing the issues or needs? If they are getting it right, look for what is not right? Then, the loopholes in addressing the crisis should be your business concepts and ideas. For example, it is obvious that with the ways the media have reported and still reporting the crisis, Nigeria needs technology-driven solutions or products to the crisis.