SOCIAL MEDIA: A GATEWAY TO CITIZEN JOURNALISM

Photo of man drowningUndoubtedly the Internet has risen to become a part of our very existence. We live it, breathe it and even feel the impact it has on us either directly or indirectly. The web – made possible through the internet – has become a platform for the exchange of genuine conversations, providing individuals with tools for expressing personal thoughts. This ability to connect with people has been made even more evident through Social Media. People like myself, are now able to connect with others over a span of space; but probably not with Amish people  though, who view technology as vile. Because of how easy it is to communicate and share information, a new form of information “mavens” known as Citizen Journalists have emerged over the years.

Citizen Journalism – also known as public, participatory, democratic, guerrilla or street journalism – unlike traditional journalism which involves trained, skilled or professional journalists, is the ability for people (anyone) to exchange ideas and share information deemed important or news-worthy. Unlike traditional journalism where reporters with “gadgets” generally gathered information and controlled what was fed to the media, this form of unconventional journalism is made possible through the use of any device, mostly one with a camera. IPads, mobile phones, IPods, laptops, are but a few of such tools. Continue reading

FROM THE WEST TO THE WILD WEST

image from YNaija.com

image from YNaija.com

Many may agree that it takes not only courage, but also determination for a person to leave his country of origin, fly for more than 4000 miles, solely in the quest for knowledge and self-development. Coming from Nigeria, a country in West Africa, with totally diverging cultural and societal values, it was interesting to be adopted into a new society, learning a foreign way of life.

Many noticeable differences exist between such complex societies as Nigeria and the United States, most of which are hinged on culture, language, food, and lifestyle.

CULTURE

Culture, which is simply the social make-up of any society, plays a pivotal role in shaping behavior. It is natural to experience a “culture shock” when introduced to a new culture. A typical example of culture shock in America for me was having to show an ID before buying alcohol at a liquor store. Ha! This is not to say that Nigeria is a lawless society, but unlike the atomistic culture of the American society, the web of interaction and social bond is much tighter. This serves as a sort of “safety valve” that checks behavior.

LANGUAGE

It is imperative to state that Nigeria has over 250 different tribes, each speaking its own unique language, but that not the direction of the gist. Although the educational curriculum is in English, there are still some hilarious differences between American and Nigerian English. It’s not strange to hear people in America ask questions like “are you mad?” when they think you are upset, or “you are so silly,” when they feel like you are being comical. These remarks in Nigeria are deemed insulting and will probably be met with a frown. This difference in language is perhaps incumbent on the fact that English remains a second language over there. Continue reading