By Jide Taiwo
Suspend all thought on what the dire statistics about living conditions in Africa say, and look around you; this generation is part of a global surge in technological advancement that is changing how things are done, even in Nigeria—regardless of all our challenges and lamentations.
And nowhere else is this more accurate than in entertainment and media consumption. Young Nigerians might contend with pothole-laced roads and the unenviable task of accessing potable water solely by the way of jerry cans, yet streaming music and sending voice files via Whatsapp is second nature to us. Things that seem like cutting-edge inventions in other parts of our continent only take a few weeks at most, to become commonplace here. Even those who live in remote places where roads cannot navigate know what an iPhone is.
And so, this leapfrog in technology has made entertainment content more readily available than it has ever been in human history. The rules have changed and in the media, gatekeepers have been replaced by smartphones and hashtags. Entertainers no longer have to go through traditional media outlets to reach their fans. In fact, technology has ensured that like goldfish, the stars have no hiding place: even when entertainers have no wish to reach their fans in times of scandal? The fans will simply drag them out into the new village squares that go by the name Twitter, Facebook and of course; Instagram.
PSquare did not need to issue a press release to announce their return; a fifteen-second post on the ‘Gram was enough. In the same vein, new stars have been made, without necessarily needing a ‘media push,” moving from Facebook skits to bookings worldwide. You know them; you patronize them and probably have watched, or will watch a video or two from them today.
What then does this mean for entertainment media houses like us; why are we still in the business of entertainment? Why do we do what we do? Why do we still need to cater to an audience distracted by a thousand other messages each second of the day? The dominating school of thought is that not only do we have to compete with other companies distributing similar Nigerian content, but we also have to contend with the continuous rise of global tech giants like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Snapchat that have billions of dollars to create the exact thing we are trying to.
So what drives us daily?
Two things: the evolution of the media, amid a segmentation of audiences still united via spatial, mental and aspirational similarities. The gigantic potential of the digital future fascinates us and we are assured there is a place for us in this changing media ecosystem because we are indigenous!
Because we represent not just ourselves, but the Nigerian entertainment industry itself, and use journalism as a tool to tell the Nigerian story, we will remain the experts on Nigeria, even though we are digital natives at par with our peers worldwide.
In much the same way no one could ever sing the opening bars of African Queen like Tuface, regardless of how media consumption and dissemination patterns change? Indigenous content published to world-class standards will always be King.
Today, the role of the media is more important than it was before content distribution was this seamless. Because information now travels faster than the speed of light, our role is even far more important.
We owe it to posterity to make entertainment important to the governments who have the power to create policies that can help all Nigerians have access to a piece of the pie. We owe it to the world to tell the story of Nigerian entertainment and the entertainers that sustain its place on the map at great personal and professional sacrifice. And most of all; we owe it to the Nigerian audience, to provide a steady stream of engaging entertainment content.
Up until now, we have broken some of the biggest entertainment stories on these shores. We have gone beyond the scenes to report on the biggest issues that impact and uplift Nigerian entertainment. We have contributed our quota to an informed audience that carries Nigerian entertainment with pride. We have taught the world how to treat Nigerian entertainers with due respect.
As we unveil our new logo today, it is necessary to restate why we publish TheNetng: the world has presented us all with equal opportunities, a.k.a media to tell our respective stories. You will agree that no matter what media comes up, the constant difference will be in our stories; what we say, how we say it, and to whom we say it. We are also plotting our future in video and interactive content as well as building products and services our audiences will enjoy
Therefore, our creed for 2017 and beyond is to continue telling these unique stories, using all the tools technology has made readily available, as well as providing the diverse perspectives that are the hallmarks of humanity.
In the coming weeks and months, we will unleash bespoke content native to various digital platforms. We will be any place where there are eyeballs and a smartphone. We will continue to be the lighthouse for the entertainment industry. We’re refocusing our energy and resources to deliver content that is for us, by us. We’re creating long reads that tell the stories that are not being told. We’re creating video content you do not need a satellite dish to enjoy.
We remain unrelenting in our continuous aim to be the world’s number one source of Nigerian entertainment.
Because no matter how much the global media ecosystem evolves, what matters most to us is being Nigerian, representing Nigeria and reporting Nigeria.
Why did we set up Nigerian Entertainment Today? What’s driving us?
1. We want entertainers to be responsible.
2. We want government to take entertainment seriously.
3. We want to provide a potent voice for unsigned and unknown talents.
4. We want to provide alternative opportunities for distribution in an environment where there’s none.
5. We want to guide and guard celebrities to avoid pitfalls and career mishaps.
6. We want to provide adequate facts and data on entertainment.
7. We want to record history.
8. We want to provide entertainment for Nigerian audiences.
9. We want to connect entertainers with their fans.
10. We want connect Nigerians with good entertainment content anywhere such might be.
11. We want to elevate entertainment practitioners in every way possible.
12. We want to celebrate great strides and endeavours and condemn mediocrity.
13. We want to use journalism, creativity and technology to solve entertainment problems for the industry on the one hand and for audiences on the other.
Being text of an editorial published on May 19 2017.
The post #NETat8: As We Enter Our Eighth Year, A Few Words About Our Next Chapter appeared first on Nigerian Entertainment Today – Nigeria’s Top Website for News, Gossip, Comedy, Videos, Blogs, Events, Weddings, Nollywood, Celebs, Scoop and Games.