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May 20, 2013

Nigerian Newspapers on Twitter

I am in the middle of seeking respondents for my research; like Alice in Wonderland, it's led me into the territory of checking out Nigerian newspaper houses and their Twitter follower counts.

Vaguely, I am assuming this is indicative of popularity, at least online (you never know what their sales figures are).

In addition, I am looking at Follow 2 Followercount . To me, this is telling on the willingness/priority of that newspaper house to engage with the online audiences (another index would be Twitter mentions& responses to followers). A prime example is BBC Africa's twitter account. As at this date, May 20th, 2013, it is @ 1, 984 (follows) to 194, 698 followers. BBC Africa also has a BBC Africa Have Your Sayaccount, that is more generous with following, and is even more active in interacting with listeners, at 6, 0238 to 34, 908.
My research is on new digital media and democratic culture in Nigeria, a sphere where journalism plays a huge role - in informing the public, publishing public opinion, providing rich analysis of public issues etc.! I am curious as to how they use this online space. I will start by scratching the surface of what I see, their Twitter Accounts.
Let's get on with filling the table below - the list is in no particular order, and note that this is the count as at today, May 20, 2013:
Newspaper Twitter Following Twitter Followers
Vanguard 79 204, 850
The Guardian 7 79, 986
ThisDay Live 1 77, 513
Punch 2, 548 176, 055
The Sun 60 324, 597
Nigerian Tribune 31 9, 698
The Nation 569 42, 131
Leadership 140 41, 978
Compass 56 520
Daily Trust 19 67, 803
Daly Independent 17 682
Daily Times(0 Tweets) 84 100

For more information on Nigerian Newspapers on the Internet, visit this page.
Do you have a favourite Nigerian newspaper? Why?
P.S. If there is any newspaper organisation missing (especially in the national category) please drop a comment also.

Media Junkie

April 18, 2013

Nigeria Bans "Oil" Documentary; Alternative?

Fueling povertyThe Committee for Protecting Journalists (CPJ), an international organisation committed to protecting the freedom of journalists worldwide, recently condemnedthe decision made by the Nigerian Government to ban the airing and distribution of a 30-minute documentary film on Nigeria's oil wealth, corruption and the state's management of funds. The documentary is titled, Fuelling Poverty. It was directed by award-winning Ishaya Bako (see interview with him on Diary of a Media Junkie).

According to CPJ, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), an agency run by the federal government, described the film as
highly provocative and likely to incite or encourage public disorder and undermine national security
This ban implies that no Nigerian cinemas or TV station is permitted to air the film. However, the responses from Twitter (see below) aptly answer my question (in the title) as to what the alternative is:

that's why the producer can release in on YouTube if the govt vex make dem ban goggle so what?
Let's see them 'ban' the internet, youtube, etc, then i'll know they're serious

Democracy thrives among an informed populace. The public sphere, the gathering together of people to discuss issues that concern them in order to arrive at a rational conclusion, is made vibrant where there is sufficient (accurate) information upon which agendas can be formed. If any aspect of Bako's documentary had been untrue, that is, slanderous in anyway, he may have been held liable - but this is not the case.

However, the DIGITAL public sphere, where people form discussions on online forums, blogs etc. has somewhat sidestepped the challenge banning the documentary would have posed to Nigeria's democracy. An 'uninformed' citizenry is a problem for any democracy. Hence, since it is not banned on YouTube (the alternative medium), people may still have access to this information, and form discussions around it. The online sphere generates enough buzz to get the conversation going, but the digital divide is still a huge issue.
I am simply using this to illustrate how digital media is revitalising the public sphere - this is a part of my research on Nigeria's democratic culture and what roles new media technologies affords citizens and public officials play, to foster democracy in the country.

Note: "Fuelling Poverty"currently has over 40,000 views on YouTube.
What do you think of the Federal Government's claim that the documentary is Provocative, likely to Incite, and UNDERMINE national security? Please share your comments.

February 06, 2013

New Media Use in Africa [Resources]

Online Resources:

Tanzania:Old Media, New Media

New Media and Activism- Africa is a Country Blog

New Media Among Youth in South Africa(PDF available for download) - GenderLinks. Org. Za

Social Change and New Media in Africa- International Business Times [blog]

New Media in West Africa- MIT Forum [downloadable]

Teach New Media in Africa- New Media Lab [presentation slides]

The rise of social media in Ghana- The African Business Journal

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