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Fellows' Papers
Journalism & Democracy

Challenges and Obstacles of Creating Mobile Content for Audiences in Rural Africa

Jamilah Tangaza is the head of the Hausa Service at the BBC World Service and was a BBC journalist fellow in Trinity term.In her study entitled, ‘Challenges and Obstacles of Creating Mobile Content for Audiences in Rural Africa: a Case Study of the BBC Hausa Village Road Show’, Jamilah analyses why it is that despite the boom in the use of mobile phones, villagers in many parts of Nigeria do not use them to get their news. Jamilah was surprised to learn most villagers were still listening to the BBC on short wave radios and only two per cent of inhabitants owned a mobile phone. Jamilah makes several recommendations for international media organisations, particularly that they forge strategic partnerships with other stakeholders in the mobile field, including handset manufacturers. Her conclusion is optimistic.  She argues that ‘although the current complexity of the mobile field presents numerous challenges in creating mobile content especially for audiences in rural Africa, in the long term international news organisations may have an advantage as their brand, experience and first mover advantage give them an edge in the markets they have traditionally dominated.’