Use of Twitter Among Political Office Holders for Public Communication in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges

Livinus Jesse AYIH, Linus Mun Ngantem

Abstract


The explosion of the internet in recent times, has dramatically transformed the way information is created, disseminated and distributed. In an age when information equates to power, a diversity of opinion can actually lead to more creative problem solving and more equitable outcomes in a society. This paper appraises the use of Twitter among political office holders for public communication looking at its prospects and challenges. The paper adopted textual analysis and interview as method of gathering data for the study to discover the role Twitter plays in breaking the news and how traditional media channels are now picking up tweets of political office holders and treating it as press releases for public consumption. Anchored on social presence theory, which is one of the most popular constructs used to describe and understand how people socially interact in an online learning environment, this study found that Twitter is a great platform for public communication, but access to internet is still limited to urban areas and among the elites, unlike the US where 62 percent of adults get news from Twitter, and a president has over 42 million followers, but in Nigeria, we are not yet there. We should not discard the use of the traditional press releases and regular engagement with the media and stakeholders. 


Keywords


Communication, Platform; Political Office Holders; Public and Twitter

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10575

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