GS 405 Week 5 Blog
Jordan Petruska 110173680
For week 5 in GS 405 we were introduced to Folu Ogundimu’s podcast on Africa Past and Present. The podcast focused on the role of social media and how it has transformed the social landscape of the population and provided the public with a voice in regards to social, and political issues. In our globalized world today we are more interconnected through the mass media than ever before. Personally, I feel I can get a daily world update faster by surfing on my twitter homepage than reading a newspaper. Social media has been a fascinating tool that is easily at our disposal. Ogundimu continues on and discusses the importance of media acting as a political democratic apparatus in Africa. He preaches that government organizations carefully select specific ideas or announcements through the media in order to push party favoured agendas. Ogundimu continues on and mentions that there has to be a certain amount of freedom in African media even though there is several levels of political control in the continent’s media outlets. As Africa’s economies grow, a subtle attack on press freedom is under way. There are many independent African journalists covering the continent’s development that are now often persecuted for critical reporting on the misuse of public finances, corruption and the activities of foreign investors. How can government control and the freedom of speech co-exist in social media in Africa?
Ogundimu’s podcast relates to Chiluwa’s article of the role of social media in Nigeria. I believe the international community should keep a close eye on the social media especially Twitter, as it has become a significant aid for terrorist groups. Extremists of all kinds are increasingly using social media to recruit, radicalize and raise funds, and Isis is one of the most adept practitioners of this approach. For example Isis has been quite active on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and other social media. Their recent postings of the two Japanese hostages and last weeks video of the slaying of Kenji Goto that was released on the internet by ISIS. This is just a horrific example of how terrorist groups are using the media to help facilitate fear and their message of hatred throughout the world. How can the international community i.e. The UN combat or block messages and video postings from Terrorist groups?
Despite all the negative sides on the media it has served as a beneficiary for the people of Africa and its economy. The role of social media as discussed by Chiluwa and Ogundimu has granted the public with a voice in the political sector as people are voicing their opinions and concerns to help further establish a stable political system. From an economic standpoint social media has created a greater demand to further expand technological projects in African states, as Western businesses have been busy investing in technology advancement projects helping Africa in connecting to the global community.