Adefaye spoke at the 15 th All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC) which opened in Sokoto on Thursday.
He was keynote speaker at the 2019 ANEC, with the theme, “A distressed media: Impact on government, governance and society”.
Adefaye, in his paper titled “Fighting off the throes of death”, said that the media must collaborate and cooperate to survive in the face of present day challenges.
He said that experience from history made him believe that the current travails notwithstanding, the media would survive to tell the stories and write the history.
“That’s what is the DNA of our media,” he said.
Adefaye said that despite harsh economic indicators, the Nigerian media picture shows a landscape of growth in number.
“There may be variances in the spread of fortunes of the media, the increasing number of electronic media and new media signifies confidence in media development.
“We just must perfect our act of competition that is fair, equitable and serves public good,” he said.
The Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye, in his own paper, said that to remain in business, the media should effectively board the media train.
He said that the first reaction of newspapers to the emergence of the new media was either to be dismissive or to treat them as a fad that would soon go away.
“What some newspapers simply did was to first produce the print edition, then simply transfer everything online.
“ Journalism is changing but we are not really ready to change.
“So, what is to be done? We must begin to think of how our media will have a strong digital presence.”
According to him, the economics of the newspaper business does not support the way newspapers are operating today: multiple printing presses; a fleet of circulation vans, etc.
He said that newspapers should now see themselves as content providers which should be distributing their contents on all platforms.
This, according to him, will multiply their streams of income, help them retain their readers and remain competitive.
He said that in the long run, there would be a radical restructuring of the newsroom to respond effectively to current realities.
“Journalists who are trainable must undergo digital training and those who are untrainable or who are too stuck in the past will be encouraged to jump,” he said.
Ogunleye said opportunities were shrinking in almost every profession.
“ The thing to do, in my view, is to reinvent journalism practice and the curricula,” he said.
According to him, what is needed is a new multimedia newsroom.
“A newsroom with digital walls to show live statistics and an innovation desk to experiment across all platforms and introduce new products.
“And of course reporters who will tell stories differently asking the right questions: Who is the heroine? Who is the victim?
“If these are done, opportunities in the media, rather than shrink, will expand,” he said.
The Conference, which has no fewer than 200 editors in attendance, ends on Saturday.