Title: Politics of Media and Media in Politics: Implications of Digitization for the Future of Democracy in Nigeria
Stream: Political Communication and Satire
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Silk Ugwu Ogbu, Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria
The relationship between media and politics is intricate, sensitive and critical. In emerging democracies across Africa and Asia, the management of this relationship has remained pivotal to political stability, institutionalization and the deepening of democratic culture. Given the sensitivity of the role of the media in politics, including surveillance, social mobilization and mediation, the politics of media is instructive because it determines who controls the media and how the media performs its functions in the political sphere. All over the world, advances in communication technologies and digitization of media platforms are changing the dynamics of the politics of media and media in politics. In Nigeria, the growth in internet penetration and the proliferation of smartphones have profoundly impacted media functions and the politics around them. This paper is an attempt to examine the implications of digitalization, in terms of the liberalization of content creation and transmission, on the ownership structure of media and communication institutions as well on the performance of their social and political functions. In this era of ‘fake news' and ‘hate speeches’, the paper interrogates the relevance of the media to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. From the lens of Technological Determinism Theory and Social Responsibility Theory of the Media, the study argues that a redefinition and constant evaluation of media's role in politics are critical to the evolution of democracy in a digital age.
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