WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS MODEL FOR ONLINE JOURNALISM ?
In suggesting what should be the best business model for online journalism, I am tempted to say that no model can be said to be the best. Forging a workable should depend largely on the needs of the environment. So, for anyone to prosper in this field, one should be conversant with what is needed by the majority of the consumers in his locality. Another factor to consider is what has been already offered by other service providers (i.e. your competitors).
2. CAN THE MEDIA MAKE MONEY ONLINE ?
This question would have received a ‘No’ answer from me some three years back. But having been involved with online buying and selling, I am aware that many people could be said to have accumulated much wealth just by sitting before the magic screen and typing away their time.
3. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CREATIVE WAYS OF GENERATING REVENUE ONLINE ?
One way is to ask for subscription at an attractive (not prohibitive) rate.
Another way is to make your site juicy so that people will prefer it to other sites. By this, I mean to say that one has to diversify his/her scope of coverage. Once, your site is acceptable to 50 persons, and they remain regular clients, there are chances to quadruple that figure in no distant time.
4. WHAT SERVICES CAN WE DEVELOP FOR ONLINE AS NEWS ORGANISATION ?
Apart from regular ‘hot’ news items, one can also provide on-line shopping for scarce commodities. Quiz competitions of intellectual nature will be a good sale for your site. Feedback facility on debates of popular interest will also go. Issues, for example, as whether to try Charles Taylor in Siera-Leon or at the Haigh, will certainly attract large traffic. At the local level, one can get some religious bodies to advertise their activities online. Chat rooms can be developed for debates for similar organisations.
5. WHAT ELEMENTS OF "OLD MEDIA" BUSINESS MODEL CAN WE TRANSFER ONLINE ?
Radio frequencies can be transferred online. Movies, like soap operas can also be moved to the online media for ‘subscribers only’.
6. WHO CAN BE INVOLVED IN DEVELOPING OUR ONLINE BUSINESS MODEL ?
Online business journalism is not restrictive. Once you know what is involved, anybody who has been into media practice can equally do media online. All you need is internet literacy.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I wish to make the following remark with regard to what it takes to strengthen the media. Perhaps an empirical example might help. Here in Bénin republic, during the just concluded presidential electioneering campaign, the media distinguished itself as a body to be respected. How did it happen? A few weeks before the campaign flagged off, the media regulatory body did organize seminars for journalists where series of slogans, guidelines, bill boards and sensitizing instruments were shared. Of course, sanctions were attached to any violation of those guidelines. Some two media houses tried to play the old game. They received the sledge-hammer. They were banned from covering the elections. That means loosing a great percentage of their audience/readers for as long as the elections lasted. Other media houses were put on toes as a result of that punitive measure. It might be interesting to note that at least a quarter of the media houses are owned by politicians or have some measure of leaning. Yet, decorum was the order of the day. Many international observers who came to Bénin during the elections did not leave without commending the Bénin media. The level of respect the media in Benin commands, not only from politicians, the government, or from members of the civil society, is unparralleled. It stands to reason that, should any media organisation in Benin seek to obtain some outside assistance to strengthen itself, it will certainly receive positive response, on account of that tongue of good report. Alas, the same cannot be said of many other African media. My submission, therefore, is that building a sustainable institution to bolster the public sphere and help nurture effective states, has to begin with establishing a credible media.