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Mapping Digital Media: Nigeria

February 24, 2020

The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs.Nigeria has a relatively high internet penetration rate, driven primarily by a rapid expansion of mobile platforms. Recent figures suggest that over a third of the population have access to the internet and there are over 50 mobile phones per 100 Nigerians. However, internet access is concentrated geographically within just 16 percent of the country, and overwhelmingly within urban areas. Access to digital broadcasting platforms is largely contained within pay-TV networks, and free-to-air digital broadcasting is still embryonic.Regarding free-to-air, there are currently no legal requirements on broadcasters to facilitate citizen access to digital platforms, nor any measures to ensure its affordability. Regulatory pressure has been applied to commercial broadcasters, but state broadcasters have been criticized for failing to take a leadership role in driving the switch-over.The report suggests that the development of the mobile sector offers the best hope for bridging regional and social divides in the medium term. But the enduring significance of these divides presents the most profound obstacle to Nigerian society reaping the benefits of digital media in terms of increased diversity, openness, and access.

Media Reporting on Substance Use: Magnifying or Reducing the Harm?

September 9, 2018

Drug use in general is a topic that rarely features in Nigeria media outlets. The focus has mostly been on arrests and seizures of drugs by law enforcement agencies to show how well the government is doing in terms of fighting the "war on drugs". Aside specific global campaigns such as the Support Don't Punish Global Day of Action (26 June) , very few programmes and documentaries report and discuss drug use from a public health perspective. Even though the non-medical use of codeine has been occurring for the past decades in the country, it has rarely been discussed as much as now. The coverage helped to reveal how codeine-based products are smuggled out of pharmaceutical companies.

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