Thinking Aloud: Change on the Wheels of Innovation – From Print to Online

I could remember years back the knob on our Black and White TV that got broken due to our mischief as kids. We couldn’t change channels; we had to use pliers to change channels. But now, we are not even talking about remote sensors but screen touch and even features on 3D smart TVs that enable one to initiate a command from a distance by just a wave of hand…

That’s Change on the Wheels of Innovations.

Hello beautiful people, welcome to this week edition of Thinking Aloud with @OgadiRich. The focus of this week’s edition is: From Print to Online – Change on the Wheels of Innovation.

One would imagine the euphoria and excitement that might have greeted the historical feat of newspaper publication so many years back, a feat of sort that ushered in veritable means of information dissemination – reaching out to people. The history of newspaper dates back to the 17th century in Roman Empire where the first newspaper, Acta Diurna (Daily Acts) was published in 1605. From there, newspaper culture spread to parts of the world. In Nigeria, Iwe Irohin published in   Abeokuta in 1859, was the first newspaper. The feat of putting news on paper was made possible by the invention of printing technology. Technology remains the most outstanding agent of socio-cultural change. It keeps evolving and improving over time.

Change they say is the only thing constant; sweeping across every aspect of human existence. The change from the culture of traditional print media, particularly, news paper to online news publication as powered by cutting edge technological innovations in ICT is something to reckon with. I keep thinking and at same time appreciating the ease at which one can access news these days by just one click away! What of the ease of publishing news and sharing…information…? This inspiring change was made possible by the advent of computers; one of the wonders of the 20th century, which cleared the coast for the innovation of internet and worldwide web – where online media platforms are hosted. Think of Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Googleand others. Think of their impact so far on dissemination of information. One can assess many news publications – both national and international by just following them on a particular social media or by logging on directly to their websites. One can even download apps of news media on Tabs and other mobile devices.


Even before I started researching on this topic, I have been thinking and wondering what the future holds for traditional newspaper publications owing to these wonderful innovations. I keep asking: “do people still patronize the print media these days like before the advent of online culture?” In my subjective analysis, the younger generation is fast switching to online than other generation particularly in Nigeria where ICT culture is still growing. Maybe in the nearest future the population that reads traditional newspapers will reduce drastically. I’m just thinking aloud..! For instance, how many young people these days still buy or hover around newspaper stands even as free readers just to see job openings? Something one can just have on even a cheap java phone!

Last year, I saw on Aljazeera as a popular US newspaper brand, Newsweek announced exit of print to complete online publication this year; that their Dec. 2012 issue will be the last of prints. In Europe and America… where ICT have become cultural, traditional newspaper publishers since late 90’s, are facing challenges staying in business because of the nose diving rate of patronage as a result of online alternatives. These days, individual bloggers and online journalism in general, are forces to reckon with. The case of Julian Assange – the controversial publisher of Wikileaks, speaks volume!


Is traditional newspaper culture going to fade-away…? Will it continue to endure and become a case of ‘Culture Resilience’? As I said, I’m just ‘Thinking Aloud’!

Ogadi Richard Iroka

Twitter: @OgadiRich

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