Social Media as the Fifth Estate in Nigeria: An Analysis of the 2012 Occupy Nigeria Protest

Uwalaka, T and Watkins, J 2018, 'Social Media as the Fifth Estate in Nigeria: An Analysis of the 2012 Occupy Nigeria Protest', African Journalism Studies, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 22-41.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Social Media as the Fifth Estate in Nigeria: An Analysis of the 2012 Occupy Nigeria Protest
Author(s) Uwalaka, T
Watkins, J
Year 2018
Journal name African Journalism Studies
Volume number 39
Issue number 4
Start page 22
End page 41
Total pages 20
Publisher Routledge
Abstract This study examines the role that social media played in the organisation of the Occupy Nigeria protest and in holding mainstream media accountable during the protest. Using a mixed-methods research design, we interviewed 19 students from two liberal Nigerian universities who participated in the protest. We also analysed 13,031 contents from protesters' Facebook posts and tweets of the Occupy Nigeria protests. Our data reveal that social media platforms were used most by the protesters to plan and organise for the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest. Our findings also show that the local mainstream media acquiesced to the pressure from government officials by refusing to cover the protest at its inception until they were forced to do so by the protesters. This perceived inaction by the local mainstream media was cited by some of our interview participants as a source of motivation to participate in the protest. Using social capital theory, this paper argues that social media-the fifth estate-brought about interaction, socialisation, collective engagement, and liberation that was not present in the mainstream media.
Subject Communication Studies
Keyword(s) digital activism
Occupy Nigeria
social capital
social media
the fifth estate
DOI - identifier 10.1080/23743670.2018.1473274
Copyright notice © Unisa Press 2018
ISSN 2374-3670
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