Presidency Assures ACOE Members On Media Collaboration



Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Information and Strategy, has confirmed the presidency’s support for the formation of the Association of Corporate Online Publishers (ACOE) in Nigeria, established to develop ethical journalism and regulate the proliferation of the online media space, he pledged the federal government’s collaboration with the association.

During a courtesy call on him by the delegation of the Association of Corporate Online Editors (ACOE) in Abuja on Friday, Onanuga expressed appreciation for the warm welcome and good wishes extended by the members of the association. The presidency is interested in working with the association due to its ethical direction, as earlier presented by the Chairman of the Association, Martins Odiete.

Onanuga emphasized the importance of synergy among existing online media bodies to enhance on-the-job proficiency, effectiveness, and the dissemination of news in line with global best practices, particularly in light of the influence of online media over traditional media.

“He speaks:
I want to thank you all for wishing me a happy birthday, even if it’s a day late. I hope all of you live long, healthy, and prosperous lives. I wish the best for all of you as I wish for myself. Thank you very much.

“I extend a warm welcome to the Association of Corporate Online Editors. This is the third online association we have encountered. We are already dealing with two others, although I can’t recall their names at the moment. However, your presence is appreciated. The more associations we have while dealing with Nigeria’s information architecture, the better.

I’ve heard someone say that the government is not communicating effectively, but I want to debunk that. We are communicating through various channels. The media landscape has changed significantly with the rise of numerous actors and platforms.

“There are social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and others. If you shift away from traditional media, you’ll find that numerous individuals own online media outlets. The information system is so diverse now that we cannot welcome every entity operating in this space. So, in addition to the two associations I mentioned earlier, you are also very welcome.” – Onanuga stressed.

The media guru emphasized the importance of collaboration and in-depth reporting for online platforms. He urged online platforms to work together to improve the quality of news and information. He suggested that by pooling their resources and working in synergy, online platforms could produce more in-depth and informative content.
The guru also advised online publishers to consolidate their platforms to ensure more depth in their news stories, as opposed to simply publishing shallow content. He emphasized the need to avoid using unnecessary adjectives in news reporting and stressed the importance of rigorous journalism.

Finally, he encouraged online publishers to come together, stating that collaboration would result in richer and more compelling content.

“You will also see that advertisements placements follow; you will discover that your traffic will automatically increase because readers want quality. But if you are operating in silos, it is never going to be easy at all,” Onanuga warns.

Expressing unwavering loyalty to the job he was appointed to do, the Media aide to the President assured of his commitment to President Tinubu’s vision to alleviate Nigerians from the current economic setback facing the country. He calls on Nigerians to be more patient with the administration while pledging necessary media support for the visiting Editors, the ACOE.
He maintains that its doors are open to members of the association whenever such a need arises.

Onanuga continues:
“On the part of the government, I want to tell you that I cherished this meeting, we will do our best. Once I have your contacts, anything we want to send to this group in terms of government information, we will use that contact to pass the information to the group. Also, when we get to the festive period, we would know who to approach in terms of talking to the entire group.”

“That is the spirit.

“I am here to assist the President. When he started, I wasn’t part of the media team, I was the publicity secretary for the campaign. Later, the President realized something was missing, and that’s when I came on board.

“I will do my best, drawing from over forty years of experience, to help the government communicate its message effectively.

“Currently, things are not working as the President wants, but I can assure you that in the next twelve months, Nigerians will begin to see the results of the government’s efforts for the country’s benefit.

“Though people complain about hardship, I told the BBC that cost of living crises exist globally. Maybe what is happening in the world is a cycle, and countries will have to go through certain difficulties. We are going through it, but this government is making serious efforts to reduce the hardships faced by our people.

“For example, a lady showed us a basket of tomatoes being sold for N4,000, and in Lagos, it is N10,000, and in Abuja, it is N8,000. I bought a basket of mangoes for N1,000 in Ogbomoso but in Lagos, only three mangoes were sold for N1,000. There might be sabotage or profiteering by traders, but the solution is for all of us to engage in agriculture. Let’s start planting something in our yards.

“In 1976, Obasanjo introduced ‘Operation Feed the Nation,’ promoting farming. In 1984, when Buhari came in, there were shortages of rice, milk, and sugar, and the government had to open warehouses to make these items available to people.

“This is not the first time we are going through this kind of crisis. The government is investing in agriculture to make things available and affordable, and as individuals, we also have a role to play.

“I will be starting my farm very soon. Everyone should farm. We don’t need to depend on greedy traders who are making us suffer. This is why I am welcoming all of you to my office in the villa for collaboration. Thank you.” Onayiga concluded.

Earlier, Mr. Martins Odiete, the Chairman of the Association of Online Editors (ACOE), expressed gratitude for the opportunity provided by the SA Information and Strategy to the President, regarding the meeting with the body of online editors.

During the presentation titled: “Collaborating for a Stronger Online Media Landscape in Nigeria,” Mr. Odiete highlighted ACOE’s modus operandi and emphasized the importance of working with the Presidency’s media team for media collaboration. The association stressed the need for collaboration at a time when Nigerians are eager for essential information from their government.

ACOE statement reads in parts:

“It is a great honour to meet with you today and on behalf of the Association of Corporate Online Editors, though belated, we still want to wish you a happy birthday sir.

“It is important to state here that members of this Association are thoroughly screened to avoid admitting the wrong persons. Part of the criteria used in screening them include and are not limited to; you must be a registered NUJ member, your organization must also be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, we are also emphasizing the need for members to pay their taxes, and most importantly you must be published daily. So this is what distinguishes us, sir.

“To this end, we are here to engage you on a subject of immense importance to us, which is: the collaboration between online media editors and your office as the Senior Special Adviser on media and strategy to our President, H.E Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR. In an age where information flows ceaselessly across digital platforms, this partnership is pivotal for ensuring the accurate, responsible, and effective dissemination of news and information” Odiete stressed.

The ACOE Chairman further highlighted areas of collaboration sought from the presidency’s media team:

“We are open to collaborating with your office in the following practical ways, such as establishing open lines of communication; Developing Joint Training Programs; Collaborating on Content Standards; Coordinating Major Announcements and Crisis Communication; Developing Joint Training Programs; Collaborating Content Standards; Coordinating on Major Announcements and Crisis Communication; Engaging in Collaborative Campaigns; Establishing a Feedback Loop; Promoting Transparency and Accountability.

“For example, open and transparent communication is crucial. Regular dialogues between online media editors and the senior special adviser can help bridge gaps in understanding and align our goals. Regular meetings, virtual conferences, and dedicated communication channels can ensure that both parties remain in sync, addressing any emerging issues promptly.

“Meanwhile, all areas of the above collaboration demands have been properly summarized for further perusal by your office as listed.

“And in times of major national announcements or crises, coordination between online media Editors and the government is vital. You can provide timely and accurate information to online media editors, ensuring that the public receives clear and coherent messages. This collaboration helps prevent misinformation and fosters public trust.

“Constructive feedback is essential for growth and improvement. Establishing a system where online media editors can provide feedback to you —and vice versa—helps in refining our approaches. This feedback loop ensures that both parties remain responsive to the needs and concerns of the public.

“Meanwhile, our Association conducted a nationwide Public Perception Opinion Poll to mark President Tinubu’s one year in office. With better collaboration, we can cover more ground to make your job easier by promoting Transparency and Accountability.

“On a final note, our collaboration should be rooted in transparency and accountability. By demonstrating a commitment to these principles, we can foster a more trusting and informed public. Regular reports on our collaborative efforts and outcomes can be shared with the public to maintain this trust.” Odiete stressed.

The Chairman of ACOE concluded by outlining the upcoming projects to mark the association’s second anniversary and public presentation. He mentioned, “Our Association will turn two years old in February next year, and we are planning to celebrate with an Investiture program. We will be seeking the support of your office in organizing this event.

“It is important to emphasize that the collaboration between online media editors and your office as the Senior Special Adviser on Media to the President is not just beneficial but essential in today’s digital age. By working together, we can ensure that the information reaching the public is accurate, responsible, and serves the greater good of society.

“Thank you, and we look forward to the fruitful collaborations that lie ahead,” Martin Odiete concluded.

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