Eight new members have been inducted into the Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), as part of activities for the Forum’s Third Annual Lecture series.
The induction was perfected at Orchid Hotels, Asaba, during a training session for members with the theme: ‘Website Management and Revenue for Online News Publishers’, with the publisher of quicknewsafrica.com, Dr. Monday Ashibuogwu, as the trainer.
Manager Communications to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Mr. Jackson Ekwugum, represented by the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Communications, Fred Latimor, declared the training session open.
Declaring the training open, Mr Ekwugum, commended members of Delta Online Publishers in the state for their rich news content, which he said met the requirements for sound journalism practice.
He said that the office of the Communication Manager to the State Governor will continue to partner with the Forum, while urging them to continue to demonstrate professionalism, service and ethics that they are known for in all their publications.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of DOPF, Mr. Emmanuel Ochonogor Enebeli, said the training programme, which took place 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.
The resource person, Dr. Monday Ashibuogwu, 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. Ashibuogwu 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, Ashibuogwu 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.
Ashibuogwu entertained questions on the challenges faced by the online publishers, while giving useful tips on better management of their websites for profitability.