The last seven years have seen the phenomenal growth and expansion of not only traditional online journalism but also social media online journalism in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. In this chapter, I trace the evolution and idiosyncratic features of online journalism in Nigeria, explore its variegated manifestations, capture the relational and professional tensions that 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 also discuss the tensile relationship between citizen online journalists and the Nigerian government, a relationship that has led to the high-profile arrests of diasporan citizen journalists who traveled to Nigeria from their base in the West for routine business. Finally, I explore how the emergent genre of citizen social journalism helped shape the 2011 general elections in Nigeria and enriched homeland traditional journalistic practice.

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 tensions that 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 also discuss the tensile relationship between citizen online journalists and the Nigerian government, a relationship 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 emergent genre of citizen social journalism (i.e., microblogging on Facebook and Twitter by ordinary citizens 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 does not 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 serving as a counterfoil to an equally corrupt mainstream media formation.

The Past and Present of Online Journalism in Nigeria
The defunct Post Express, under the direction of the late Dr. Stanley Macebuh, is widely acknowledged as the first Nigerian newspaper to migrate its content to the Internet in 1996 (Kperogi 2011). Like many newspapers at the time, the Post Express merely recycled its print content to the Web. By the close of the 1990s, a few other newspapers, notably the (Nigerian) Guardian, Punch, Vanguard, and ThisDay, had websites where they episodically republished selected contents from their print editions. By the early 2000s, almost all the legacy newspapers in Nigeria had some Web presence, aided in part by the aggregation and distribution of their content, along with those of other African newspapers, by the AllAfrica.com, the Washington DC-based multimedia content service provider widely recognized as the world’s largest Africa-centered site. The site signed content agreements with over 130 African news organizations, which “generate steady revenues for the content partners and give them, in turn, access to the prize-winning reporting of the AllAfrica team” (All Africa.c.com, accessed May 14, 2011, http://allafrica.com/whoweare.html) By the mid 2000s, newspapers without their own websites became the exception rather than the rule… [See More]

In The Handbook of Global Online Journalism, edited by Eugenia Siapera and Andreas Veglis, 445-461. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Journalism and Citizen Media at Kennesaw State University, USA.)

Original Source and Credit: https://www.academia.edu/2023253/The_Evolution_and_Challenges_of_Online_Journalism_in_Nigeria