This article was first published in Chimp Reports.
Print media entrepreneurs have been urged to embrace the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook among others to grow their revenues “instead of looking at new media as a threat.”
With increased access to online media content in Africa eating into print revenues, there have been concerns that the newspapers’ future is bleak.
But South Africa media mogul Trevor Ncube told media practitioners and academia at a lecture in Kampala on Wednesday that new media should be well utilised to grow copy sales and boost growth for the print sector.
Ncube also encouraged African journalists to avoid bribery and partisan stories if they are win respect of the public.
Putting up a strong defence of media freedoms, Ncube condemned leaders who overstay in power and those who harass journalists.
Recounting his experience in Zimbabwe where he was imprisoned by President Robert Mugabe, Ncube said he strongly believes in “telling the common man’s story” even when it means putting his life on the line.
He further urged journalists to investigate graft in all sectors in the economy.
“Corruption is not only in government but also private sector,” he advised at a lecture held under the theme “Media and Politics in Africa.”
The function was organised by Africa Media Excellence, a Kampala-based non-profit professional organisation committed to helping journalists to seek and achieve excellence as well as improving journalism and mass communication in Africa.
On running what many look at as a successful media business empire, Ncube said, “I am not yet successful. We are still struggling.”
Ncube said his business which includes the Mail & Guardian, The Zimbabwe Independent, The Sunday Standard and NewsDay publications, was facing challenges of capital and adapting to new media and technologies.
Ncube appealed to African journalists to develop individual capacities to “tell the African story” instead of waiting for foreign journalists to report about Africa.
“No one knows our history, culture and practices better than us,” said Ncube.
“We need to portray African stories as we would love to be known otherwise these Europeans are not about to stop reporting negatively about us.”