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Sahara Reporters gets World Recognition! – Tola Adenle

May 4, 2011

Africa, Arts & Culture

by Tola Adenle

[This blog is gradually taking shape though it still has a long way to go.  Have you read ABOUT this blogger?]

emotan.wordpress.com is not a news blog.  It is a blog that carries my reactions and comments – and readers’ comments – on social, political and other areas of life as stated in ABOUT to which will be added its main goal of founding: serve as a home for old Emotan magazine issues and past newspaper columns.  This means that it will react to news with commentaries from my point of view which will be in line with the same kind of views I’ve always espoused in my writings in Emotan and newspaper columns – say things as I see them.

The news of Sahara Reporters’ (SR) recognition among media-related organizations that are making a big difference in governance in the developing world is more than newsworthy.  I feel personal pleasure at the news as I’ve followed the phenomenon of SR since its founder, Omoyele Sowore’s time at another online news-site; he must have left due to differences on direction to take the old news site which I still check on once in a long while and whose SITUATION is far from the heights to which Mr. Sowore has taken SR.  In the mornings, it is the first site I’ve visited since ’06, and it’s heartening to see this young man get noticed in such a big way.

During retired General Obasanjo-era when the site first appeared, the young man used to enter Nigeria from the States by road – I know because I read an encounter he had with Self-Entitled Highness Gbenga Obasanjo sometime in ’06 or thereabout at Seme Border!  Why?  For the same reason that anyone who writes against the powerful in Nigeria has always lived in fear for his/her life.

The shortcomings or downright failure in many cases of Nigerian journalism have been the soil on which “citizen-journalism” like SR has germinated and is growing.  One cannot but mention this because of the many abusive forms – corruption is the worst – to which a profession that is supposed to be a watchdog has been put: reporting – or deciding to withhold reporting – news, etcetera.  In spite of many fine journalists that still abound in Nigeria, the profession has been put to such distrust that writers who are not on the take are believed to be non-existent by the public.  Instead of journalists taking a high road, it has chosen, for the most part, the Nigerian route.

This is why SR is so welcome by millions, hated by thousands who loot but respected by all.

While political jobbers and government mouth-pieces disguising as regular bloggers continue to mass-dump insinuating postings about SR supposed less-than-noble intentions on cyberspace, millions of Nigerians have learnt where to turn when they want accurate information on Nigeria.  Looters, et al., no matter the pretence, have also learnt where to turn because who, better than themselves, can verify the accuracies of SR’s often alarming news reports!

I’m sure this recognition must strike more fears at the Iboris of the Nigeria political space and the supposed crime-fighting agencies like the EFCC but more importantly, it must make SR double its efforts at fishing and pointing out the very rotten eggs of Nigeria’s political, social AND journalism arenas.

Congratulations, Nigeria – yeah – but a bigger congratulations to Mr. Sowore for showing the world that from the land made infamous by scammers who are products of the corruption that has completely destroyed Nigeria, has emerged many shiny stars of which Omoyele Sowore’s SR is only the latest.

+ + + + +

Nigerian Citizen Journalism Receives Major Press Freedom Award

Posted by Sahara Reporters: May 4, 2011 – 00:03

By Global information Network (GIN), New York

 

May 3 (GIN) – On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the Omidyar Network of Redwood City, California, announced the award of nearly $5 million in funding to four media-related groups involved in investigative and citizen journalism in the developing world.

The four groups are: African Media Initiative (Kenya); the SaharaReporters project (Nigeria); Media Development Loan Fund (U.S.), and the Committee to Protect Journalists (Africa programs).

Announcing the grant to Sahara Reporters, an online network of underground and citizen journalists operating inside Nigeria, Omidyar’s Stephen King said: “They put a lens on the Nigerian government by covering corruption, disbursement of oil revenues and graft on a massive scale. (SaharaReporters.com) provides much more [information] than a newspaper or news outlet might. It’s a forum where controversial stories can be aired.”

Sowore Omoyele, founder and publisher of the NY-based Sahara Reporters, described the work of his group as far-reaching. “We had 1,700 reporters on Blackberry alone who volunteered to cover the [recent Nigerian] elections for us,” he said. “They took smartphone photos of police repression and election violence.”

“We report events, news and write reports of real time issues. It is our response to the failure – the refusal or lack of will on the part of professional journalists – to report real news to the people … SR is doing well in that regard. We have broken the sound and speed barriers of reporting authentic, evidence-based news.

“Omidyar Network believes a healthy government – one that is responsive to its citizens — requires a healthy, robust fourth estate.  By focusing additional efforts on fostering investigative and citizen journalism, we believe we will be catalyzing transparency efforts that will positively affect millions of people,” said King, who heads Omidyar’s global government transparency programs.

To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $400 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation in the areas of microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, government transparency, consumer Internet and mobile. To learn more about Omidyar Network, visit www.omidyar.com.

BELOW IS MY POSTING on SR this morning.

THIS IS GREAT NEWS!

Submitted by tola adenle on May 4, 2011 – 06:55.

 Congratulations, Sahara Reporters.  This is heartening news coming especially as those who continue to drag Nigeria down try to smear your organization.  The ideals you stand for have never been in doubt: get those who profit through our collective misery in the news and give the people their due rights to know.  You’ve been a pain in the necks of the looters, the mis-governing politicians from the lowest level all the way to the highest level in government. The world knows the truth in spite of campaigns of calumny.  Please keep on the good work of exposing even those supposed to be on the side of good governance: journalists, etcetera many of whom have joined the gravy train of deceiving the people.

 

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5 Comments on “Sahara Reporters gets World Recognition! – Tola Adenle”

  1. Alade Says:

    I luv dis blog

    Like

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks, Mr./Ms. Alade for your words of encouragement. Pardon the delay between approval and my own comments. After the approval, my access was off and has been off these past two days.

      Regards,
      TOLA.

      Like

      Reply

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