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Br(e)aking the News

Journalism, Politics and New Media

Janey Gordon, Paul Rowinski and Gavin Stewart

What is the breaking news in the world today? How did you find out this news? How do you know it is true? Was it reported ethically? What checks and balances are being put on the news media?
The answers to these questions reflect the themes of this book. The chapters are by experienced journalists, academics and practitioners in the field. They unravel and clearly present the recent and on-going developments in journalism and the press around the globe, including the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. Chapters deal with the phone hacking and data thefts in the UK that provoked a major inquiry into press ethics and standards. Twitter is examined and found to be a valuable tool for reporters in the Arab world and research shows how, in Australia, readers use Twitter to pass along news topics. Chapters also explore the use of the mobile phone to access news in sub-Saharan Nigeria, the role of media magnates in presenting political views in Europe, and Wikipedia’s representation of conflict. This collection of fourteen chapters by leading authors examines journalism as practised today and what we might expect from it in the future.

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JANEY GORDON AND UMAR LAWAL MARADUN Radio Audiences and Mobile Phones: the case in northern Nigeria

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Introduction and Context The development of the everyday and commonplace use of what we have come to call ‘new media’ has been at a speed which was unforeseen by the industries developing the technology and quite surprising to those attempt- ing to analyse its impact on society. This is particularly true with regards to the take up of mobile telephony and the social developments that have arisen as a result of the global penetration of mobile handsets.1 Recent years have shown extraordinary changes in the global telecom- munications and mobile phone environment, with developed countries often having more mobile phones than inhabitants. In February 2013 the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reported that, ‘Mobile- cellular penetration rates stand at 96 per cent globally; 128 per cent in devel- oped countries; and 89 per cent in developing countries’ (ITU 2013). The statistics emerging from the world’s developing countries are particularly impressive in terms of the speed of mobile phone penetration. A number of African countries and particularly sub Saharan countries are densely populated and yet underdeveloped and economically poor. Africa gener- ally and its developing areas in particular have become a vibrant market for mobile phone operators. 1 For an ‘early’ collection of work on mobile communication see Katz and Aakhus (editors) (2002) Perpetual Contact, Cambridge University Press. See also Gordon, Janey (2002) ‘The Mobile Phone, an artefact of popular culture and a tool of the public sphere.’ Convergence, Volume 8, Number 3, Autumn 2002, pp 15–26, ULP. 122 JANEY GORDON...

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