News as a Content versus News as a Product in Nigerian Media

News as a Content versus News as a Product in Nigerian Media

Like others in the world, the Nigerian media industry has been experiencing a number of changes due to micro and macroeconomic situations in the last 10 years. Beyond this, the industry remains one of the industries with low entry barriers. This has singlehanded be one of the main reasons for the proliferation of media establishments.

However, as the news media organisations emerge easily, they have also been discovered to exit easily because of the inability to compete favourably occasioned by emerging technologies and processes that require people with adequate knowledge and skills to deploy for content production and publication.

One of the factors, our analyst has identified is the inability to create value proposition from the news values that guide reporters and editors’ choice of what get published or reported. Traditionally, news values are the principles which guide editors and journalists towards the stories that resonate most with their audiences. Over the years, the news values are impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, bizarreness, conflict, and currency before emerging technologies change readers’ needs and news consumption patterns.

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Indeed, emerging technologies are impacting the news process, production and dissemination. We are no in the era of immersive journalism [this is yet to be embraced in Nigeria]. In one of the previous analyses, our analyst notes that robot will source, write and edit news in the future.

Developing News Beyond News Values: The Place of Value Proposition

It is high time that news media rethink their approach to news development. The use of news values to only justify what audience you read, watch and listen to is no longer workable absolutely, according to our experience. To improve value capturing for consumers, advertisers, investors and society, news values should be linked with the value proposition. This has been done by a number of media organisations in Europe and America.

We have seen how some media organisations used design thinking for news content creation and dissemination. Having news values dominantly in a news does not fulfil the purpose of value capturing for the audience. They only have opportunity of knowing happenings around them, which qualifies news as a content not as a product.

When news values are only used to determine what the audience should consume, the purpose of value creation is defeated. To avert this, one or two promises must be established within the news story. Promise means the specific benefit that readers, listeners and viewers need to derive from reading, listening and watching the news report. At a glance, especially from the lead of the story, having a value proposition there helps the audience to quickly see what is in the story for them. When this happens, the news becomes a product not a content. News as a product starts from appropriation of the rights news values to the inclusion of promise(s) in lead, main and supporting details.

In our news values and value proposition link circus framework, reporters and editors are expected to think about the value proposition as they think about news values that guide their choice of events or happenings as newsworthy. The thinking must be done in relation to the demographics and psychographics of the potential readers, listeners and viewers.

Exhibit 1: News Values and Value Proposition Link Circus Framework

Source: Infoprations Analysis, 2021

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