Advancing the Cause of the African Child through the New Media: My Evolving Story

Permit me to shed some light on the new media. It has been described as ‘on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, creative participation. Another aspect of new media is the real-time generation of new, unregulated content.’ The social media has also been described as a model of the new media. The advent of the new media therefore makes almost everyone of us media owner. It means that the possibility of becoming a small scale media owner is available to all. With our telephones, no matter how cheap, as long as they can send text messages, we are in the new media business. What is the essence of the business? It gives us an opportunity to begin to build our relevance and influence base with the push of one or few burtons. Our thoughts and opinions can be conveyed at the speed of their conception. We are not restricted or inhibited in any way except by our lack of consciousness of the awesome opportunities in the new media to advance a noble and meaningful cause

I have come to discover the formidability of the new media in pleading the cause of the African Child from my personal experiences. In 2003, I faithfully kept a column with a leading newspaper in Nigeria. After one year, the editor informed me of the directive from the Executive Director of the publishing company of the newspaper to rest the column. My vehement protest did not save the column. It was yanked off. I made several spirited efforts to get another platform on the print media to disseminate my philosophy on the rights and responsibilities of the African Child, but none of the platform I approach showed progressive willingness to take me on board. My ears became regular recipients of broken promises.

Finally, I thought to myself that power at any level and concerning any venture is available for those who will seize it. The widely read media platforms today were in someone or a group of people’s mind. Two years ago I decided to seize power on the new media to plead the cause of the African Child. I began to write a blog (www.taiwoakinlami.wordpress.com). Though the blog can do better in terms of visits, I must tell you that the responses have been tremendous. The blog has reached the nooks and crannies of the world. As at today, the blog has 409 articles on different areas of child protection; the blog has been viewed by 12, 439 people from 93 countries. The amazing fact is that more people from outside Nigeria have read the blog Readers have sent in comments in hundreds. Some have made it abundantly clear that they are faithful followers of the blog.

Today, the blog is strongly emerging as a credible source of information on child protection issue in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. I am persuaded that it can only get better.

What are the lessons of this story? I think it is simple. Today each and every one of us has the almighty power of the media in our hands today to make a difference concerning a cause we believe in. The power first exists in our minds, then it is transferred through our phones, laptops, ipads and related electronic gadgets to people within our areas of influence. Before you say, ‘I have no man,’ take another look at that statement and understand that there is no such person who has no man, no matter how hopeless the situation may appear. One thing, I know however is that there are people, who have concluded that they have no man, therefore, they do not see their man, even when he resides on the stick of their nostrils.

Thank you for visiting today. I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…Do have an INSPIRED day.

 

 

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