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Press Freedom in Nigeria Leads to Blogging

The vibrant media environment has given voice to young people. Many of them want to be heard but don’t have the resources to do so in the traditional media, like newspapers, radio and television.

Several have taken up blogging on the Internet, which is becoming an influential and anonymous means of weighing in on issues.

“Authorities have not interfered and finding the source of information is easy,” says Linada Ikeje a popular blogger in Lagos.

“Highlighting political differences are methods used by the so called elite. They want to hold on to power at the expense of young people,” Ikeja explains.

However politicians have alienated the youth with what she calls, unfair and hateful political practices. Young people blog mainly on social issues. Voters are more concerned about poverty than disagreements among the political class. She says despite the temptation to get involved in politics, she sticks with social issues when she communicates directly to the people.

"Three thousand people come to my blog on a daily basis to find out what’s going on. The feedback is great, it motivates and keeps me going,” Ikeja says.

Blogging enables young people to share ideas with the electorate. It also ensures their privacy and gives them a sense of protection from law enforcement agencies," Ikeja explains.

Politicians by their very actions have made politics un-appealing. Ikeja says young people tend to stay away from politics because of that.

“What I have noticed is that most times when I put any political issue on my blog, I do not get that many comments. I have done it a few times. I don’t get that many people saying, okay, this is what I think. Unfortunately, many people on the Internet are more interested in who is dating who. A lot of Nigerians don’t bother with politics because they feel it is a dead end street. They feel there is nothing their voice or opinion can do to change anything anyway,” says Ikeje.

Ikeje reminds young people to take a more active interest in politics. She says they should realize that decisions made by politicians affect their future, whether they are part of the process or not.