On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
As head of digital services at Business Day in Nigeria, Onyinyechi Eze has helped use technology to digitise the newsroom and increase the reach of the company’s brand across channels. Her efforts are fairly easy to measure: Page views of the Web site and mobile site have gone from roughly 400,000 views to more than 1 million, and Business Day’s social media platform fan base has increased by about 20%.
What is more difficult to measure — but is equally impressive — is the effect she has had on improving diversity and gender inclusion in the newsroom.
“She has achieved enormous respect from her peers by working in an environment dominated by males, despite [facing] challenges,” said Kayode Abiola, head of digital at Tribune Newspaper. “She has risen to a managerial position in a short time and leads a diverse team while continuously promoting a more inclusive industry.”
Although Eze has worked hard to overcome the discrimination she faces, Abiola acknowledged that “Onyinyechi experiences challenges related to inclusion due to marginalization of gender in the society. It restricts her abilities to grow in her career and in society.”
Such challenges have only made Eze more resolute in helping pave the way for others, and she is determined to use her position to help those who follow her.
“I can contribute by being an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the newsroom and society as a whole,” she said, adding she can also “be involved with human resources recruitments to improve newsroom inclusion of ethnicity, race, gender, and people with disabilities.”
Going forward, she would like to involve senior management in strategies for inclusion to ensure a complete commitment to marginalised members of society and wants to “promote an inclusive environment that also supports mental well-being within the organisation.”
While she works on furthering inclusion within the industry, she also continues honing other skills, such as her management and marketing skills. She developed a digital strategy for paid subscriptions that increased user loyalty and recurring payments by 80%.
A computer engineering graduate with an MBA from Plymouth Marion University in the United Kingdom, Eze has also implemented procedures such as Google trainings, content analysis, and workflows to improve the skills of journalists within the company. All of this is done with her sights clearly set on a bright future.
“I would like to become part of senior management that understands and improves the entire newsroom management, from finance to audit, copy sales to operations, and other departments,” she said. “And I want to promote inclusion and diversity within the newsroom.”