We saw the way young people actively participated in the last election as informal observers, using their smart phones to tweet and re-tweet reports about the Election process in their communities. You can read full article about it here. Young people in Nigeria are also becoming proactive about social issues and are taking part in different movement aimed at creating a positive social reform. These movements have a huge presence on different social Networks! It is no surprise that the thenextweb.com published an article about how FACEBOOK is the most visited website in African countries, (with about 3.7million Nigerians registered on the platform). From a user perspective, I can testify to that :) Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites have become an important part of the life of an average youth- everywhere. Thanks to mobile internet/Smart phones, everyone is just a click away!
One of the most fascinating things about the New Media is how it has empowered most people to have a voice! For example, most young people who would normally be passive about issues are fast becoming "opinion leaders" on different networking sites. The voiceless are finding their voices through Twitter, Facebook, Blogs etc. No longer will young people allow themselves to just be seen and not be heard. Everyone has a voice now and they are using it. I am so excited about it! Lets worry about the other challenges this might bring later, or maybe "not too later-ish"!
World Press Freedom Day, on the theme of "Digital Natives: The New Media Generation," I will be speaking and sharing my perspective on the youth consumption of the New Media, its challenges and opportunities.
You can watch the livestream of the event on http://www.wpfd2011.org/
Here is a glimpse of the session and speakers:
Digital Natives: The New Media Generation
Young people, who constitute the majority of the population in many countries, are fueling media innovation. How do young people get and share their news in the digital age? Will growing up digitally change the way a new generation engages in the public debate?
- Moderator: Jason Rzepka, Vice President, Public Affairs, MTV Networks, United States
- Shiv Bhaskar Dravid, Founder, The Viewspaper, India
- Emin Milli, Founder, Alumni Network Youth Group, Azerbaijan (via Skype)
- Adnan Hajizada, Founder, OL! Azerbaijani Youth Movement, Azerbaijan (via Skype)
- Jennifer Ehidiamen, journalist, Celebrating Progress Africa and the Global Press Institute, Nigeria
- Maria Sadovskaya, Journalist, European Radio for Belarus, Belarus