Embrace digital migration or perish – Minister

Business News of Thursday, 11 April 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Dr Omane Boamah

Dr Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, has advised print media owners to adopt new strategies that would put them in a better position to survive the era of digital migration.

He said Ghana is expected to fully switch over from analogue to digital by June 2015, hence the need for traditional media, especially those in the print, to strategize on ways to diversify their services in order to be relevant in the digital revolution. According to him, although the switch-over to digitization has opportunities for the media, the print media was being relegated to the background in the competition for news as a result of technological advancement.

Delivering the keynote address at a day’s seminar organized in Accra by PRINPAG, he said “digital migration, although has a lot of opportunities, poses a threat if stakeholders do not use the new media to their advantage”. Dr. Boamah said the growth of the telecommunication industry and the demand for electronic gadgets by the youth call for a strategic approach to serve them with information. Major (Rtd) Emmanuel Adansi of the National Communications Authority (NCA), in a presentation on the overview of the digital migration revolution, said the NCA has set up its own technical standard to ensure the smooth migration from analogue to digital.

Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms, speaking on the socio-economic importance of telecoms in Ghana, said newspaper houses can take advantage of digital migration by focusing on the bigger picture. He said the emergence of the telecom industry has brought a lot of merits which could be a stepping stone for the media, especially newspaper, in the era of digitization.

Norkor Duah, President of the Advertising Association of Ghana, who chaired the event, also advocated more collaboration among industry owners to address the challenges the digital migration brings. She said the issue of digital migration needed to be taken seriously and therefore called for financial support to enable the industry move from its current stage. “I hope that after this session, media owners will work out a plan and agree to what the strategy will be for digital migration,” she said.

Mrs. Gina Blay, President of Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), who shared similar sentiments with the other speakers, also called on players in the print industry to reconsider digital migration so they are not overshadowed by developments in the digital world.

She said the print media was beginning to lose sales as a result of the digital revolution therefore it was appropriate for print media owners and managers to start talking about how they could use the digital revolution to their advantage.

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