Michael Ringier, the Chairman of Swiss media group, Ringier AG, believes that journalism has been complicated by digital distribution which makes it easier for just about anybody to propagate news stories.
According to him, fake news is easier to distribute than real news, and this has complicated how journalism is practiced in contrast to 20 years ago.
Ringier made these remarks during a question and answer session with the Pulse editorial team of Ringier Africa Digital Publishing (RADP), at the RADP HQ on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
He said, "The digital distribution has changed the way you tell stories because digital reading is not the same thing as reading a newspaper. Basically, journalism remains the same. The transformation from print to digital and elements of publishing and journalism will always remain the same.
"First of all, you still have to write stories and people love to hear stories. I think people even love to hear real stories.
"The problem usually is that fake news sound much more interesting. That's why the distribution of fake news is much higher than the distribution of real news.
"That only shows how important it is that we have real journalists. 10 years ago, serious journalists had the monopoly of information. Today everybody can distribute news and everybody does distribute news.
"The brand is highly important and the way you approach storytelling. That's why journalism today is more important than 20 years ago and it is also more complicated.
While further noting that journalism has evolved to become less interesting economically and more challenging over the years, he urged journalists to tell great stories that people will consume and not think in just market terms.
"I don't think you should think in market terms. People are interested in everything which is attractive, which is new and which is surprising. If you succeed in telling a great story, people will read it. Definitely," he said.
Ringier arrived in Nigeria on Monday, May 14, for his first visit accompanied by Ringier AG CEO, Marc Walder, Vice Chairman, Dr Uli Sigg, and member of the group's executive board, Robin Lingg.
Walder urged the Pulse editorial team to keep the pace of the good work they've been doing.
"You should be extremely proud of yourselves. We are extremely proud of you. You are working for the right company," he said.
With the operations of RADP and Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM) in African countries, Ringier AG's visit is expected to showcase and engage the local teams on the current business of Ringier in Nigeria and Africa.