"Digital technology provides innovative solutions to current media issues"
Urbain Noukpo Aguemon is a consultant and trainer in digital communication and innovative entrepreneurship. Having been a specialist in digital technology for some 10 years, he has helped many media professionals and organisations to adopt digital practices.
He has been chosen to provide digital training to Nigerien media outlets as part of the Médiasahel project.
How is digital technology impacting the media?
Urbain Noukpo Aguemon: Digital technology has a significant impact on the media. On the one hand, the digital transition has brought about a decrease in the distribution and sales figures of printed newspapers, which have been replaced by online news outlets and Facebook pages with dubious ethics that race to go viral and create a "buzz". This has reduced the advertising revenue of traditional media outlets, which have also suffered as a result of greater competition from new online media outlets. This situation has led to mass redundancies in editorial offices and placed increased pressure on journalists to produce content quickly and at low cost, which could affect the quality of information. On the other hand, thanks to the use of digital tools, media outlets are able to reach a wider and more diverse audience and to facilitate greater interaction with their readers or listeners. Media outlets can also use emerging technologies to help them produce higher quality content more efficiently, for example by using algorithms for data collection or reach analysis. Digital technology also offers media outlets new revenue sources such as online advertising or content monetisation platforms.
How should digital technology be used?
Urbain Noukpo Aguemon: I think that the use of digital technology can vary considerably from person to person. However, everyone should use digital technology responsibly and with good intentions. Media professionals should use digital technology strategically to tackle the challenges we are currently facing. The digital transition is forcing us to reconsider the way in which content is produced, distributed and consumed. Media professionals should make innovative use of digital tools by developing new forms of storytelling, experimenting with new formats and exploring new distribution channels that enable them to broaden their reach. They should integrate data and emerging technologies into their work so as to improve their efficiency and profitability.
How should radio stations approach the digital transition?
Urbain Noukpo Aguemon: Radio stations should invest in training and support for their staff so that they acquire the skills required to work with digital tools. They should also adapt their editorial strategy to include these new practices, such as social media live streams, podcasts and the real-time or delayed inclusion of listener contributions. Radio stations should not only make use of all the opportunities offered by social media in terms of increasing their reach and visibility, but should also invest in developing their own websites so that they can provide their audiences with enticing, high-quality content.
You have been working as a consultant and trainer for around 10 years, what is it about your profession that excites you?
Urbain Noukpo Aguemon: It's an opportunity to provide innovative solutions to current press and general media issues. I like to see journalists and press organisations make creative use of new technologies to inform and engage their audiences. I find it very rewarding to be able to share my knowledge and expertise with those who are looking to strengthen their skills in this area, and to see the tangible results of my work. Finally, I like to stay at the forefront of this constantly changing industry by developing new skills and exploring new tools and technologies.