Wednesday, September 06, 2017 11:24 AM / OPAN
The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), Nigeria’s premier association of digital and internet publishers, has announced the election of a new executive.
The new executive will run the affairs of the group for the next two years following the lapse of the tenure of the past executive led by Mr. Femi Awoyemi.
A statement by OPAN on Tuesday said members of the association at its meeting on Monday unanimously elected Prince Austyn Ogannah, the publisher of THEWILL as its next President, while Mr. Emmanuel Asiwe of Huhuonline was elected Vice President.
Mr. Daniel Elombah, the publisher of Elombah.com will serve as General Secretary, while Mr. Peter Obiora, the publisher of InvestAdvocate was elected General Liaison Officer.
In his handing over remarks, Olufemi Awoyemi, CEO/Founder of Proshareng.com said it was an honour to serve as the pioneer president of the association and thanked all for their support during his tenure.
Awoyemi said: “It was a privilege to serve as pioneer president of this association and I want to thank members of the executive that worked with me to ensure that we met our mandate.”
Ogannah, who until his election had served as Vice President, in his speech thanked members of OPAN for the mandate given him to lead the group and assured members and the new exco of effective leadership.
“Today, I receive the baton of OPAN presidency with humility and dedication to duty.
“OPAN under my leadership will meet all the targets we have set forth through God’s grace and mercy.
“The new executive committee will work even harder as a team as we continue to push for a self-regulated, transparent, fair, credible, reliable and well-structured Nigerian internet news and media publishing space.”
The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria was founded in May 2010 and duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 14th of November 2011 by some discerning professionals who felt the time had come to define standards for the fastest growing engagement platform in our generation.
These discerning group of trustees and founders recognised the shift in the mode and means of social engagement; and understood the shifts, disruptions and changes that may occur which would overlap with current laws and rules guiding conduct and practice and therefore sought to create a self-regulatory body that would provide the means-tested standards for users and practitioners to operate by.
It took the whole of four years to get this worked out – owing to the much needed stakeholder consultations across the public and private groupings/entities as well as properly learning best practices from similar associations globally.
As a self-funded organisation, OPA Nigeria was therefore modeled after similar international standards and affiliations; with specific deliverables to meet the needs of the digital space of the Nigerian market - through credible public sensitization, membership criteria and compliance, reliable research into practice issues and public concerns; and a governance code for the association.
Members of the OPAN (as identified with the OPAN symbol on the site) therefore represents the highest standards of online publishing principles that reflect the traditional journalism values which separates editorial and commercial messages from cheap blackmail, harassment and false communication – a platform that will never using advertising content as editorial, not create editorial content for an advertiser, and always clearly labelling the source of content (including proper attribution) – thereby enhancing the credibility and public trust necessary to support a free press.
…representing the highest standards in online publishing
Association Mission and Member Attributes
All OPA members are expected to provide CAC registration details; names of bankers, auditors and company secretary; TIN number and IKV numbers and comply with submission of annual returns at the very minimum.
The mission of OPA Nigeria to advance the policies of high-quality online publishing is therefore directly related with high corporate governance ethos which enables the worldwide press, government(s), advertising community and the public; build a trust relationship with this genre that will define how we relate as a society going forward.
OPA is therefore the bridge between constitutionally provided for “freedom of expression” and responsible conduct and engagement.
What the OPAN means to users of information on the site
The mission of the Online Publishers Association in Nigeria is to advance the policies of high-quality online publishers before the corporate world, the press, the government, the advertising community and the public. OPA Nigeria will serve to help its members fairly compete in the marketplace for advertising services, sponsorships and fee based income; and will act as a voice so that online users clearly understand the benefits that quality publishers provide to the public discourse.
The OPAN Symbol of Compliance with Best Practice Online Publishing
Members of OPA Nigeria support publishing principles that reflect traditional values that separate editorial and commercial messages – never using advertising content as editorial, never creating editorial content for an advertiser, and always clearly labeling the source of content – thereby enhancing the credibility and public trust necessary to support a free press.
OPA as a Means Tested Entity
The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPA) operates therefore as an umbrella body for organisations in digital media practice either as bloggers, social media influencers or publishers - to enforce relevant standards and minimum practices that will ensure significant improvement in the quality of media contents and practice in the industry.
This assumes that the extant laws that guided conduct will subsists and members, albeit on a different platform other than print MUST recognise these laws subject to specific, technical and legal changes for emphasis only.
OPA Nigeria as a trade body and self-regulatory organisation therefore serves a dual purpose to address the current concerns and future issues related or/and associated thereto.