Being a professional digital journalist in Nigeria is a lot of peoples dream, and many don’t know how to go about it. This post is going to put an end to that.
2019 is a big year for many of us, as we are looking to achieve a lot and break boundaries, also, we would want to avoid our mistakes of 2018.
If you have also been dreaming of becoming a professional digital journalist, then today is the right time to start, not yesterday, not tomorrow. START NOW.
I believe you already know that, the job of a digital journalist is quite different to that of a regular journalist in terms of skills.
In the digital world, communications are done in a new way and information is also extracted in an altogether different way as compared to traditional means.
We would start by giving you a full definition of what digital journalism means, though I expect you to already know that.
What is Digital Journalism in Nigeria
According to Student World Online, digital journalism is widely recognised as being any form of journalist content that is posted on the internet. It could be in text, audio or video form and because it does not have to print and distribute content, it is much faster than traditional journalism. People can use the internet to access news and events 24 hours a day.
They also like to fit their reading into busy lives, so content is shorter than it used to be: Articles are not as long, GIFs can be glanced at in a few seconds and places such as the BBC now offer 15 second snippets of longer interviews.
The role of a digital journalist is more about compiling content sourced from places such as social media. There is a focus on getting a lot of information into a short space.
In many digital articles, hyperlinks link to video or photos that have been taken on camera-phones and posted on Facebook or YouTube. For students of journalism, courses that give information on how to search for such content will be useful.
There is also an important fact, the legal aspects of digital journalism, such as copyright and plagiarism, MUST also be learned.
5 skills to become a professional digital journalist in Nigeria 2019
There are some must have skills you need to become a successful and professional digital journalist in Nigeria. Check them out below;
- Multimedia : Okay, how boring is a post without images or videos. So, so boring. Not good for you, not good for your readers. In the digital world, images and videos play a very important role in making your content more appealing. Using images properly is a skill that every digital journalist must possess to ensure that the content is visually superior because only then will it help to drive more traffic to the website.
- Basic knowledge of SEO: I pray you must have heard about SEO (search engine optimization) before, if not, you have a lot of reading to do. Understanding how SEO works is an essential skill that every modern digital journalist needs.
- Analytics: Finally, it is necessary to find out what people are saying about your content. In addition, it is also necessary to know how many page views the content is getting. Digital journalists will also need to keep track of site views as well as number of clicks the content got. In this way, it is possible to know how well your content is performing and it also helps to create a yardstick by which they can judge the progress they are making.
- Formatting the content: In the old days, newspaper content was formatted in an entirely different way than modern digital content. It is therefore necessary for the digital journalist to create content that is short and to the point. Chopping sentences and use of bold headlines and sub-headings as well as use of bullet points are all things the digital journalist must know how to do.
- Excellent writing skills: This appeared at the bottom of the list, but it is most important skill a digital journalist needs. When creating content for an online audience, it is important to create content that is relevant, unique and which will prick the audience’s interest. It is important for the digital journalist to create content that will persuade readers to read at least half of the content in front of them.
Digital journalist salary in Nigeria 2019 – How much do they earn?
This is a tough call, as most digital journalist don’t get paid on salary basis….THEY EARN THEIR MONEY.
Though, there are a lot of digital journalist who work for top online news platforms. Today in Nigeria we have, Legit, Pulse, ChannelsTV, BBC Nigeria and others in the digital sphere.
According to Nigerian Price;
Journalists are paid between N20, 000 – N50, 000 for entry level in private sectors and can be increased depending on the company, experience and other factors. Government sectors though pay between N80, 000 – N120, 000 for entry level and increases based on year of experience and level.
So I believe that answers your question.