Home | Dossiers | Water in the newsroom
Celebrities vs Sanitation: The case of Nigeria

 

In conversation with Seun Akioye (Journalist at The Nation, Lagos; winner of the 2014 WASH Media Award)

Mass Media - both private and state-owned - played a key role in containing Ebola in Nigeria and eventually wiping it off the country. It was the chief vehicle for the massive awareness campaign to inform the public about preventive measures and timely treatment.

However, with Ebola gone, the media withdrew its coverage of water, sanitation and hygiene issues which continue to linger in the most populous African nation. Just over half the population has access to clean water, and only 35% of have access to improved sanitation. Open defecation in urban areas is a particularly hazardous problem.

This highlights the mainstream media’s tendency to ignore key public health issues until they snowball into a crisis. The justification given is that the journalists and editors are only responding to their audience’s demand, who show much more interest in stories related to politics, the economy, celebrities and sports.

However, Seun Akioye (The Nation, Lagos; winner of the 2014 WASH Media Award) contends that it is journalists who set the demand by choosing to focus on certain stories in the first place. The audience can only choose from what they are presented with. Seun sees an urgent need for Nigerian journalists to do many more stories on the lack urban water supply systems and open defecation in Lagos. Given the large number of Nigerians affected by these issues, attracting audience and advertisers will not be an issue.

 

More info: www.siwi.org
Produced by: TheWaterChannel
Language: English
Year: 2014
Region: Nigeria, West Africa
 

 

This interview is part of the series "Water in the newsroom" that brings together journalists and water professionals. The series aims to create conversations about water in the mainstream media. The interviews were done on Google Hangouts. Would you like to join the conversation? Send us an email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

  • Uganda: The Challenges of Getting WaSH on the Media Agenda

    Uganda: The challenges of getting WaSH on the Media Agenda  Webinar by Fredrick Mugira (Journalist in Uganda)Water and sanitation issues take little portion of Africa’s media. Evidently, the African media has chosen to focus, instead, on political and sports stories. Even though coverage of water and sanitation issues on the continent has increased over the last decade, vital and well investiga...

    Read more

  • Water and journalists: why don't they mix?

    Water and journalists: why don't they mix? Radio show with Umaru Sanda Amadu (Presenter at Citi FM Ghana and winner of the 2014 WASH Media Award)Umaru Sanda gives the listener of this show insight in the main challenges of getting water reports in mainstream media. One of the reasons is money. It simply costs money to cover a story. Politicians and celebrities spend money to get their stories co...

    Read more

  • Indian media: the local-national divide

    Indian media: the local-national divide   In conversation with Manu Moudgil (Journalist, India Water Portal)Is it true that the mainstream media pushes key water and sanitation issues to the sidelines? Is it an ethical responsibility of the media to cover these issues? In an era of new media where anyone can create and broadcast content, what is ‘mainstream media’ anyways? Journalist Manu M...

    Read more

  • The question is not "why?", but "why now?"

    The question is not "why", but "why now?" In conversation with Chris Mason (Communications Officer, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation technology)Water and Sanitation stories are newsworthy, as they entail issues related to public health and day-to-day well being. And yet, few such stories are picked up by journalists and fewer get past editors gate keeping news outlets.According to Chris...

    Read more

  • belomonte

    TheWaterChannels Picks

    TheWaterChannel PicksA selection of water stories from the international pressThe Battle of Belo MonteMarcelo Leite in Folha de S. Paulo, BrazilIn the Brazilian state of Pará, an army of 25,000 workers is building the world’s third largest hydroelectric plant, a controversial construction project –because of the dam’s low efficiency, its environmental impact and its effects on the Indians, ...

    Read more

  • newsroom

    Footage, press kits, resources

    Footage, press kits, and resources  Water press kits Charity: water developed a press kit with basic facts and figuresAll there is to know about the Millenium Development goals can be found in this press roomThe Society of Environmental journalists put together a page on Climate Change in which you can find key sources to grasp the topic without getting lostThis summary of the latest report of ...

    Read more

  • Right now in the news

    Hot off the press                                                                                                                                                                                                           // // RSS Feed Widget // // RSS Feed Widget // // RSS Fe...

    Read more