The Online News Writers Association (ONWA) on Sunday, July 31, 2022 had its formal launching ceremony with members pledging a self-regulated, credible, reliable and fair reportage.
Hosted at an upscale hotel in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, the event brought together like minds in the online publishing business who have served in different capacities at credible news outlets in Nigeria.
In her opening remarks, the President of the ONWA, Mrs. Omobola Oguntayo, noted that with the increase in internet penetration in Nigeria, resulting in upsurge of online publishing, ONWA will strive to follow the best practices of balancing free expression with the ethos of journalism.
ONWA, she stated, represents a high standard of online publishing principles that reflect the traditional journalism values which separate cheap blackmail, harassment and false communication.
While encouraging members to adhere strictly to goals behind the formation and significance of ONWA, Oguntayo stated; “I am hopeful that this historic step is going to mark and signify our emergence as a formidable team of professionals among the existing crops. We have resolved to be birthed and we are now moving to the point where we will put this Association into useful practice not only for self-benefit but for the larger society most particularly the journalism industry that we strive to represent. By this, we are reaffirming our commitment to innovate, to lead and to improve the world around us.”
In his address, Mr. Tade Asifat, the General Secretary of ONWA noted that the idea behind ONWA, conceived long before its inauguration, was to set a unique mark in news reporting as well as celebrating excellence. “We all need to double our efforts by ensuring we nurture ONWA to greatness. We can’t afford to fail. The industry generally is now crowded with gatecrashers, those that don’t have any business with pen and paper. That is why there’s a need for us to step up the game as professionals by creating a line of demarcation with a view to separating men from boys. Just as it’s spelt out in the aims and objectives of the association, it’s imperative of us to improve the standards of journalism practice, especially the online aspect, across the country and beyond by majoring on fact findings with high level discipline and ethos expected of the profession,” Asifat submits.
Mr. Tunde Ogunmola, the Public Relations Officer, pointed out the need by members to constantly apply the core objectives of the association, by striving to improve the standard of journalism practice by being factual with their reports as well as writing stories that promote national interest without bias.”
The President, Oguntayo, however, assured stakeholders that the group will showcase an online publishing ecosystem with global best practices as it reels out its policies, procedures and protocols in due course.