Eight new members have been inducted into the Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), as part of activities of the Forum’s Third Convention and Annual Lecture series.
The induction was perfected during a training session for members with the theme: ‘Website Management and Revenue for Online News Publishers’, with the publisher of quicknews-africa.net, Dr. Monday Ashibogwu, as the trainer.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of DOPF, Mr. Emmanuel Enebeli, said the training programme, which held on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 in Asaba, was aimed at equipping the inductees with all-round knowledge needed for a successful ownership and running of the online publishing business, adding that it would also be a continuous training and retraining package on the ever evolving global social media space.
Enebeli justified the humble number of registered members as a deliberate strategy to prevent the Forum from being a place for all comers, and to insulate the group against the activities of journalism quacks, pledging that the present DOPF leadership was determined to ensure sanity in online publishing in Delta State.
He said the inductees passed through a rigorous selection process and were thoroughly screened, with necessary fact checking on all information provided, before they were deemed fit to join the Forum.
The DOPF Chairman explained that the given conditions included having a fully operational website of not less than one year in existence, registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and incorporation as a business entity, a sound journalism background, among other set criteria.
In his contribution, the Manager Communications to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. Jackson Ekwugum, represented by the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Communications, Fred Latimore, commended members of Delta Online Publishers in the state for their rich news content, which he said met the requirements for sound journalism practice.
The resource person, Dr. Monday Ashibogwu, harped on the need for DOPF members to have their business names, as proper media management required a legal backing, adding that prospective advertisers would not take any online publisher seriously without being seen as a formal business entity.
He counseled members to see themselves as business owners and managers with a good knowledge of journalism practice its ethics.
“Don’t rush to cover stories, always carry yourselves with dignity and respect, and above all, strive to have a standard and the prerequisite management skills aimed at striking a balance between editorial affairs and your finances”, Dr. Ashibogwu said, describing DOPF as an enabler for networking and collective stakeholder engagement.
He emphasized the need for website optimisation, outlining the various types of optimisation to include, search engine optimisation, digital asset optimisation and social media optimisation.
The trainer also threw light on indexing and search console, teaching members how to develop and optimize content with personas in mind, develop channels of distribution and social media links and to leverage both web and social media analytics.
On content marketing checklist, Ashibogwu taught the members to set goals, select keywords or tag for every story, as well as content and access.
He said they should have editorial plan, optimize the search engine, so they could deploy to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among other sites, just as he spoke on offsite content, which included networking, conferences, seminars, advocacy and socializing.
Ashibogwu entertained questions on the challenges faced by the online publishers, while giving useful tips on better management of their websites for profitability.
DOPF also engendered a discourse on Niger Delta as part of the Annual Lecture, with the theme: ‘Niger Delta Economy: Building A New Face For The Region’, with former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, as Guest Speaker.