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Youtube, New Media, Advocacy And The Challenges Of Authenticity


One of the cardinal focuses of development communication is to demystify existing media to enable more people access and participate in the process of development. The New Media has proven ability of facilitating and enhancing public interaction with instant feedback mechanism that allows almost anybody anywhere with internet facilities not only access the media but also produce and distribute content instantaneously without direct intermediary. It was because of this unique feature that most communication specialists and advocates have adopted the medium seeing it as a more effective and quick medium for reaching out and spreading messages intended to publicize their programmes, influence public opinion and generate support. Obviously, this new direct two-way communication has empowered more people to participate, self-advocate and make other meaningful contributions by adding their voice to an ongoing campaign. Consequently, the New Media itself is posing challenges to advocates as well as users and supporters as fraudsters have taken advantages of the various loopholes in it to defraud, deceive and mislead people. This has led to general disrespect, disbelieve and lack of trust in the authenticity and integrity of many advocates; the challenge of knowing who to believe and how to identify and discard falsehood. This research work is designed to seek out the various challenges encountered by advocates as a result the now free nature of the media with a view at proffering lasting solution and restoring the credibility of advocacy project and the difficulties of knowing which media message is authentically designed by real advocates and not fraudsters or mischief-makers.

Chapter one of Youtube, New Media, Advocacy And The Challenges Of Authenticity

1:1 Background to the Study
Conventional and traditional advocacy has always relied on the mass media as a tool to gain mass support and mount pressure on policy makers. Media advocates employed a communication strategy based on stern lecturing and beaming of information to receivers who are expected to act on the basis of the information received. The expected outcome is that information and education will lead to awareness, and will ultimately result in behavior change. This communication strategy has failed to get the desired result and has created a huge gap between the sender and the receiver due to the inability of the receiver to understand the messages designed by experts largely because the people were not involved in the process of message conception, design and dissemination.
Many challenges of advocacy projects in Nigeria do not only stem from the fact that the people do not participate in the process but the fact that advocates lacked the ability and medium to effectively mobilize members of a given community to support the desired project. Therefore, most advocacy campaigns/projects fail to get the level of support needed to bring the much needed change. Also, very critical to advocacy is the question of empowerment. In most cases, the people or community who participate in advocacy project are still unable to speak for themselves because they are not empowered to take part in the advocacy project. As a result, the people are left voiceless as they cannot fight for themselves.


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