Commending Realnews at its sixth anniversary lecture on Thursday, November 15, Haroun Adamu, a former chairman, Petroleum Trust Fund, who chaired the occasion, wants the magazine to champion social changes
By Anayo Ezugwu
Realnews Magazine and Publications Limited has been called to continue to be a change agent in the Nigerian social and political landscape. Haroun Adamu, a former chairman, Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, said the publication should focus on key sectors of the country while giving a voice to the silent majority and minority groups.
Speaking at the sixth Anniversary Lecture of Realnews in Lagos, Adamu, who is the chairman of the occasion, urged the medium to continue its fight against injustice and human right abuses in the country. He said playing the role creates a larger moral burden of responsibility on the Realnews team, as its creditability and authenticity will determine how traffic is attracted to its site.
He said online publishing is now in the ascendancy and is being propelled by the growth of social media and its various platforms. According to him, there is no stronger evidence of this, than in evaluating the impact of social media in teleguiding the minds, hearts and ultimately the fingers of voters in achieving a desired outcome.
“Having been a part of a generation of journalists that are now considered dinosaurs, or analogue, in today’s digital world, what Maureen and her colleagues are doing with Realnews is completely alien to me and my ilk. I find the amalgamation of technology and news, to be completely fascinating and consider myself lucky to be a witness to this disruption if I may borrow a well-known term used to describe the revolution and tremor caused by Realnews and their colleagues.
“I would like to share with you some statistics: globally, internet penetration is measured at 54.4 percent. Africa has an internet penetration of 35.2 percent. In 2000, Nigeria has 200,000 internet users, by the end of 2017 that number rose to 98 million that almost a 50,000 percent increase. We (Nigeria) have a 50 percent internet penetration.
“By the end of 2017, 17 million Nigerians were on Facebook. In May this year, the manager of Facebook’s developer programme stated that there are 26 million Nigerians on Facebook. I guess this amongst many other reasons, must have been the reason behind Facebook’s founder – Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria,” he said.
According to Adamu, the number of Nigerians on the internet must have made Facebook and Google to open offices in the country. He said as the cost of data continues to drop due to competition from telecom companies, and cost of smartphones go south, the number of Nigerians on internet could easily double in the next five years.
“A simple extrapolation tells us that there are potentially, 98 million Nigerians who with a click of a button in either bus, their offices or bedrooms can access Realnews website, and more glaring is that 26 million of those Nigerians can be reached via one social media platform alone.
“A little food for thought – the newspaper with the most circulation sells approximately 100,000 copies daily. This clearly shows how influential Realnews and other online media outlets can be and as such they are a major opinion shaper and influencer,” he said.