Nine new members have been admitted into the prestigious Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) at the just concluded annual conference on Thursday, October 5, 2023 held in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Speaking at the ceremony at Abuja Continental Hotel, the GOCOP President, Maureen Chigbo, admonished the new members to shed what she called ‘reporters’ mentality’.
She also said that by this admission, the new members are no longer just seasoned journalists but mediapreneuers who would think about the best media practices and guide their reporters aright.
She said they are now leading lights in the journalism practice especially in the online space.
The event which took place at the Ladi Kwali Hall of the Abuja Continental Hotel (former Sheraton) attracted the movers and shakers of the society including the Minister of Information & National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris and Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede who chaired the 2023 GOCOP annual conference, among others.
According to the membership screening committee led by Muskiliu Mojeed of Premium Times as chairman, the latest admission brings the number of GOCOP corporate membership to 103.
Speaking further before the admission of new members, GOCOP President who is the publisher of Realnews Online, reminded them that as CEOs of their media outfits which have been duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as part of the prerequiste for membership of GOCOP, they have to abide by the rules and regulations guiding GOCOP.
She pointed that there is no proxy representation in GOCOP and warned them that GOCOP monitors their websites at all times.
Just as she reminded them that they were not just social media personalities but hardcore journalists, editors, publishers and decision-makers in the media space.
While congratulating the new members for passing through the rigorous screening process, Chigbo urged them to be prepared to bring ideas that may help to grow the Guild and transform it to become the industry.
“You are expected to bring value to the group,” she charged, noting that
GOCOP members are seasoned practitioners but that there was no school anywhere to train them to start it.
“We learnt on the job, but we have created a pathway for others to follow. What we met was a bastardised environment but we began to sanitize it and brought it to where it is today,” she enthused.
She emphasised that GOCOP created a mechanism to control members through peer review mechanism.
“Now, we have an ombudsman plus a disciplinary committee. The public is beginning to make use of this provision to seek redress or to voice out any complaints,” she declared.
On fake news syndrome, the GOCOP president said blame should not only go to one side.
“We must begin to ask questions about who actually is behind this. Let government officials look inward and ask themselves questions. They should look inward on this matter. They should make use of the off-record rule if they did not want to be quoted instead of coming out to deny what they said and call it fake.”
The inducted members include Adeola Yusuf (publisher of Platforms Africa), Udokwu Onyeka (Newsbusiness Nigeria), Peter Oluka (TechEconomy), Amos Adetunji (The Decisionmakers Online), and Abdulazeez Lekan Arowona of Royal News.
Others were Idumonza Isidahomhen (publisher of Openlife), Bisi Bamise (bisladnews.com), Iduh Onah (National Record), and Olabisi Deji-Folutile of Franktalk.
They were sworn in by a GOCOP member who is also a lawyer, Barr. Afolabi Odeyemi (publisher of YouNews).