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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why the Nigerian Masses Are No Longer Interested in Reading

A newspaper vendor in Nigeria. Photo Credit: Global Voices Online.

Why the Nigerian Masses Are No Longer Interested in Reading

Once upon a time in Nigeria, a newspaper had a daily circulation of 500, 000 copies and that was the Daily Times in the 1970s when the population of Nigerian was not up to 100 million. But today with a population of over 160 million, the total circulation of all the daily newspapers in Nigeria is not even up to 250, 000 copies. And before anyone jumps to conclusion, the internet is not responsible for the diminishing returns of the Nigerian press, but the diminishing appreciation of reading among majority of Nigerians caused by sociopolitical factors affecting the intellectual development of the Nigerian society as Nigerians have become despondent and lost their respect for the corrupt elites who have betrayed them by not practicing the noble ideals they have been preaching to the masses for years. Whilst the masses have been reading the story books, the corrupt elites of the ruling class have been looting the national treasury and making mockery of their poor victims. So, the masses decided to dump the values and virtues of an active reading culture for the philistines’ dog eat dog competition of catching up with the Joneses in the rat race. If you can’t beat them, you might as well join them. The hours spent on reading story books are now spent on ritzy tabloids of society gossip or celebrity photo magazines, lamenting their woes and idle talk on their mobile phones. The rest is history.

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