Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.667666
Title: The digital public sphere : developing a culture of democracy in contemporary Nigeria
Author: Oladepo, Oluwatomi Temilola
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 0537
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
The rise of digital media in Nigerian public life is evident in a variety of contexts – from how mainstream journalists gather news and information, to how young people express their dissatisfaction with the government on matters of concern, such as the case of the 276 kidnapped Chibok Girls (April 2014). This thesis is an investigation into the growing use of digital media in Nigeria, and identifies significant developments in Nigerian democracy through a growing ‘digital public sphere’. New communication skills of dialogue and deliberation are being cultivated through an improvised and often creative use of digital media, and ‘netizens’ [citizens active on the Internet] are purposively generating social, political and cultural consciousness. To explore this embryonic digital public sphere in Nigeria, field research was conducted in the form of historical, political and interview based research with active digital media users. The interviewees featured journalists, citizen journalists, bloggers, public officials, social activists, religious leaders, and cultural producers, and revolved around current uses of digital media technologies, online dialogue and key issues, and digital media as a tool for democracy in Nigeria’s future development. Largely on the basis of the interview data, this thesis argues that despite a discernible ‘culture’ of democracy cultivated through pervasive use of digital media, a digital public sphere can only be realised in a democratic-enabling political environment. This would necessitate public officials engaging in public dialogue; protections from harassment, insults and cyber-bullying; and the digital media infrastructure being developed, accessible and affordable. Furthermore, this thesis identifies how an effective digital public sphere will only function where the agencies of mass media are willing to take more active roles in collaborating with citizens online in order to cultivate transparency in public affairs, and also disseminate vital information, and work for widespread digital access.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.667666  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology
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