THE CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF ONLINE JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA

THE CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF ONLINE JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0  INTRODUCTION

Two momentous developments have defined the Nigerian journalistic landscape in the last ten years. The first is the migration of all major Nigerian newspapers to the Internet (while actively sustaining their print editions) in hopes of reaching the highly educated Nigerian migratory elite in the diaspora (Youngstedt 2004; Reynolds and Younstedt 2004; Reynolds 2002;Stoller 1999). The second development is the robust growth and flowering of transnational, diasporan citizen online news media that have vigorously sought and captured the attention of  Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora (Kperogi 2011; Kperogi 2008). On the surface, these developments seem contradictory, even counter-intuitive: the migration of news content from homeland legacy newspapers to the Internet should have functioned to satisfy the thirst for domestic news by geographically displaced diasporan Nigerians and therefore obviated the need for diasporan-run citizen news outlets. This is more so because the Nigerian diaspora in the West, though highly educated and savvy, had never before now been a vector of informational flows to the homeland (Bastian 1999). So what dynamics actuated this process?In this chapter, I trace the evolution and idiosyncratic features of online journalism in Nigeria, explore its variegated manifestations, capture the relational and professional tensionsthat have erupted between Web-only, mostly diasporan, citizen journalists and more traditional homeland journalists, and show how all this has altered journalistic practice in Nigeria. I alsodiscuss the tensile relationship between citizen online journalists and the Nigerian government, arelationship that has led to the high-profile arrest of diasporan citizen journalists who traveled to Nigeria from their base in the West for routine business. Finally, I explore how the emergentgenre of citizen social journalism (i.e., microblogging on Facebook and Twitter by ordinary  

446citizens about news events) helped shape the 2011 general elections in Nigeria and enriched homeland traditional journalistic practice. This contribution is important because the extant literature on the consequences of the Internet on traditional journalistic practices is almost exclusively preoccupied with the experiences of the more advanced parts of the world; it doesnot capture the singularities of peripheral, transitional nations like Nigeria where the tension between traditional and online journalists is assuming unique forms, where citizen online journalism imposes on itself the simultaneous task of fighting corrupt governments and servingas a counterfoil to an equally corrupt mainstream media formation.

For example, there was a focus on online journalism as process that particularly fascinated me: Donal Macintyre talked about the ‘undercover reporter’ as a “narrative device” to allow them to create a narrative around important but difficult-to-dramatize issues, rather than something inherent in investigative work itself. In other words, for his purposes the process of ‘going undercover’ had a storytelling function as much as – if not more than – an investigative one.

On the other hand, some members of the audience dismissed modern examples of investigative work because it did not fit into this mythology.

A comparison of the Wikileaks, MPs’ expenses and Watergate stories is useful to flesh this out: in looking at those three where is the cut-off point that makes this one ‘investigative’, and another not? More to the point, why do we care?

1.1                STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

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challenges and Prospects of Online journalism have been said to be a serious problem facing Nigerian online reporter. Some of these problems are:

1.                           Inadequate  policy  to  guard  the  reporters  towards  online

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2.               There is no adequate technology to enhance their job.

3.               The imitation of western techniques the American techniques

4.              The Nigerian online journalists are faced with brain wash. Therefore, if the above problems are not been taking care off, it will lead to a total reinstallation of online investigative reporting.

1.2                OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The researcher’s objective is to conduct an in-depth research on the challenges and Prospects of Online journalism with an insight to determine its implication to the values of investigative reporting in the Nigeria Mass media:

1.           To determine the basic problems of online investigation.

2.           To examines its pervasive impact on the investigative reporting in the Media industry.

3.           To suggest prospects to the detected problems.

1.3                SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

1.    It will enable the government and policy makers to put adequate measures in place to check the movement of online reporting in Nigeria Media.

2.   It will help remove the idea of imitating online reporting in Nigeria.

3.   The conduct of this research will enable the government to know what role the online investigative reporting media can play in the development of a


country and therefore, harness the mass media in the democratic process and development process in general.

1.4                RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The research questions are arranged questions meant to be asked by the researcher and receive a feedback (answer) from a respondent. For the researcher to achieve her aim, the following question should be used.

1. Do Nigerian reporters expose themselves more to internet research than other means of reporting?

Do they prefer internet research to locally means of investigative reporting?

1.                   what are the problems faced by Nigerian reporters on the internet?

2.                   What are the suggested solutions to this problems?

1.5                SCOPE/DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study is to find out how the the problemsa that hinder the development of online journalism in Nigeria. Also to suggest possible solution to solve the identified problems

In the cause of the research, oral interview were consulted on both reporters and other journalist of the media. But the research depends more on the questionnaire which were distributed were completed and returned. The researcher also consulted some textbooks, Newspapers and journals which provided a lot of information pertaining to the study.

1.6                LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Though this research work is on the challenges and prospects of online reporting, It is limited to he Nigerian Media industry, using 2 media houses that were randomly selected from the industry and fifty questionnaires that were distributed to them. This is because of time and

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resource, had it been that time and resource were available similar studies would have been done in the country so as to ensure a more embracing result.

1.7         CONCEPTIONAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF THE TERMS.

1.                   Youth:

Conceptual:         It means young journalist and reporter.


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