How Does The Western Media Get Nigeria Wrong?

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Hosted by The Guardian

Innovation Stage Powered by Visa Plot 5B, Water Corporation Road, Oniru Victoria Island Lagos




The western media has long been criticised for oversimplifying Africa – a continent of more than a billion people. With a narrative dominated by poverty and famine, corruption and conflict, the complexity of modern Africa is often lost.

But resources are stretched and our correspondents are few, so what are the options for an international digital news organisation like the Guardian?

The Africa network, which launched in 2012, has attempted to take a different approach, partnering with specialist and local journalists, bloggers and news sites to report stories from the continent they know best.

Social media Week reminds us that the world is better connected than ever, but there are still big differences in the way news organisations in London and Lagos approach the news.

How Does The Western Media Get Nigeria Wrong? invites journalists working in Lagos and from the larger online community to join our debate on what we should be doing to bridge the gap.

  • Should we commission more local stories tailored to a Nigerian audience? Or focus on promoting the international stories we know our Nigerian readers are interested in, like sport and news?
  • What should our content look like? Should we focus on mobile devices, producing stories that load quickly in low-bandwidth environments?
  • Perhaps we should take the Guardian’s reporting to Nigeria’s most popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter?

Or does distance ultimately prevent international media from covering Nigeria adequately? Maybe we should leave it to national news organisations to cover their own beat?

We’ll host a panel of Guardian Africa partners and key online figures to debate these key questions and, with input from the audience, come up with tangible suggestions to improve the way Nigeria is covered from abroad.

The panel 

Isime Esene is the managing editor of Y!/YNaija.com, the online newspaper for young Nigerians. He oversees a bouquet of other online brands including TheSeptemberStandard.com and TechAfri.ca. He is also a board member Red, a media platform aiming to reach and inspire the largest number of young people in Africa. @idova

Omoyele Sowore is the founder and CEO of the SaharaReporters.com, a digital news platform that exposes corruption, military abuses, and state violence in Nigeria. Sowore, an activist, has been fighting against corruption and injustice in Nigeria for more than 20 years. @YeleSowore

Wana Udobang is a broadcaster, writer, poet, filmmaker and curator. She has worked as a producer and presenter for the BBC Radio4,  BBC world service and Resonance FM. She has been a freelance writer for international outlets including Aljazeera Online and Huffington Post and national outlets including NEXT, Premium Times and BellaNaija. She was also a radio presenter and producer at 92.3 Inspiration FM in Lagos. @MissWanaWana

Yomi Kazeem is a Lagos based writer. His main interests are politics, entrepreneurship and the business of sport. He reports for Quartz Africa, “a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy”. @TheYomiKazeem

About The Guardian

Founded in the UK in 1821 The Guardian has a long history of editorial and political independence. Covering US, UK and international news for an online, global audience, our team of US-based journalists is most recently renowned for its Pulitzer Prize-winning revelations based on the disclosures made by whistleblower Edward Snowden


Venue & Location

Innovation Stage Powered by Visa

Plot 5B, Water Corporation Road, Oniru
Victoria Island, Lagos





Social Media Week

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

How Does The Western Media Get Nigeria Wrong?

Hosted by The Guardian