Mmadubugwu Nonso Justice, 2023 House of Assembly Hopeful, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Expert and the CEO of NewsOnline Nigeria, in this interview speaks on a wide range of issues which includes; fighting fake news, media involvement in the war against terrorism, government clampdown on media organizations, building a unique news platform, amongst others.
Can we meet Mmadubugwu Nonso Justice?
I am the founder of Winner’s Media Concept, the parent company of NewsOnline Nigeria (www.newsonlineng.com), I decided to take my love for news to a whole new level immediately after my NYSC in 2020 in Maiduguri, Borno State Capital.
I obtained my National and Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication from distinguished, Covenant and Federal Polytechnics, Aba and Oko in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
In my quest for more knowledge, I obtained Leadership & Resource Management Certificate from International Resource Commission (IRC), IT Essentials Certificate from Cisco Networking Academy and many other certifications in journalism.
In my foray into the news media industry, I started off with Winnerzblog, which I would describe as soft sell that deals with gossip and stories within the campus but in the long run, I knew I had to build a quality platform with value, so I had to rebrand.
What makes NewsOnline Nigeria different from others?
I started off NewsOnline Nigeria in June 2020 with the idea of it becoming a household name. To challenge and surpass the big boys; in the digital publishing industry. With news websites popping up every day NewsOnline Nigeria has to stay on its toes and constantly evolve or else it would fade out. Keeping the site amongst the best is no mean feat and I have been able to do that through dedicated staff and the drive to be the best. NewsOnline Nigeria is different to other news in more ways than one. We don’t want to follow the bandwagon that is why our unique house style stands us out from the crowd. If you take your time to go through our stories, you would notice we engage in unique stories which include the Nigerian Newspaper Headlines, N-Power News, dollar to naira daily exchange rates, and Biafra News. The news portal is continually updated 24/7 with politics, entertainment, sports, finance, business stories, tech and many others.
There is no way you won’t find a trending and nontrending story on NewsOnline Nigeria. We serve the best of everything when it comes to Nigeria online newspapers. The website has been categorized for easy access for our over three million monthly readers. Our readers are busy and time-starved. That is why we act as a gatekeeper to help manage the flow and weed out unnecessary news items. NewsOnline Nigeria curates the news, makes sense of the outflow and saves its readers the unavailable time needed to access a multiplicity of sources.
How can platforms like yours help the government fight the spread of fake news?
With the coming of WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, and other social media platforms in the era of citizen journalism, which has given almost everybody the means to send messages and communicate easily, combating fake news has become a lot different. Traditional news media are known to make use of the agenda-setting theory; to disseminate news but that is no longer the case with the new media. Now online newspapers can only act as gatekeepers, filter news and reports. The bulk stops on the table of social media giants, they need to do more on fighting fake news, online abuses, online bullying, racism and others. It’s a job for all of us in the sense that we all have to come together to fight fake news. NewsOnline Nigeria has always placed quality over quantity when it comes to news reportage. We go the extra mile in verifying our contents before giving it to millions of readers. When you get seven to ten million views per month, you don’t want to be known for spreading fake news. When our writers get stories and write them out, such stories have to go through editors who take out time to weed out errors and also carryout verification on such stories before they are finally published. Even when we get some press releases and opinion articles we don’t just rush to publish, we have to read through and ask ourselves some certain questions before clicking on the publish button.
What can government do to boost online publication in Nigeria?
Well, the government should double its effort in providing an enabling environment and the regulatory framework for private owned businesses.
For example, the government can set out policies to enable telecommunication companies to lower their internet service charges as the cost of data is one major expense we face in this industry. The government through its regulatory agencies should compel internet service providers to ensure that they provide reliable, affordable, and quality service to their subscribers.
What roles can online news platforms like NewsOnline Nigeria play in the battle against insecurity?
Just like the war against fake news, the battle against insurgency, Kidnapping and others must be a joint effort of all well-meaning Nigerians. It is inappropriate and we won’t be telling ourselves the truth if we are to say it is only the responsibility of the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to tackle insecurity. With the power in the hands of media platforms, we can shed light on areas that need funding to tackle Insecurity. We can highlight the welfare of security agents, and weapons needed to prosecute this war amongst other things. We are also meant to draw government and the international community’s attention to where human rights are being violated in the course of this battle.