Agada, who is the chief executive officer, Private Media Mart Limited, made his views known at the recently concluded electronic media content and technology marketing event tagged ‘DISCOP 2011’ in Nairobi, Kenya.
The three-day DISCOP Africa event, which was launched in 2009, is a meeting-centric market bringing together international suppliers of television content, with programming acquisitions executives representing African broadcasters, pay-TV operators, media practitioners and alternative content distribution platforms.
Presenting a paper entitled ‘Stretching the Boundaries of Modern Newsgathering: The PR Newswire Model Approach’ Agada said, the changes that has occurred in the process of newsgathering within the last one and a half decades across the globe has changed the way people perceive contents, especially news materials.
“Though the basic tenets of news states that it is what the media gatekeeper say it is, with the editor concentrating mainly on certain determinants or ingredients in measuring newsworthiness, changes recently recorded in the role of business concerns in political and economic landscape has altered the trend of newsgathering,” he said.
This, he said, has made it imperative for corporate entities, mostly on the continent of Africa to maximize the publicity and media access of their information to the larger audience by utilizing online PR newswire service that target African media practitioners.
He cited the situation whereby European, Asian and American business interests are utilizing PR newswire service to distribute news content within their regions, Agada explained that if their African counterparts do not tow the same line, they would continue to be at disadvantage in the global information flow ratio.
He argued, this has been because news sources for the journalist, which was formerly, restricted to the efforts of the individual journalist through research, investigations, interviews, scoops, and media briefings, conferences, has so far been enhanced by the importance and use of PR Newswire service by corporate entities.
Further, he cited PR Newswire service as the ‘next step’ after the advent of conventional news agency services, Mr. Agada explained that the rise in the use of PR newswire services, which started as far back as 1954, could be related to the emergence of the New media using the internet and mobile.
According to him, “PR Newswire Service is now a generic term to describe new media formats, usually on the internet; hired by corporations, public relations firms, governmental and non-governmental institutions to deliver news and multimedia content to journalists, consumers and investors who access the content via the Web, RSS, e-mail, satellite, equities terminals, and mobile.”
While pointing out the overall influence of such agencies in that genre in Europe and America, that has not only increased options of news sources for journalists, but also increased the distribution of corporate news on the internet, Mr. Agada lamented that African business concerns are not adapting same PR Newswire services.
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