Friday, March 25, 2011

The BBC's international news services mount major multimedia coverage of Nigeria elections

The BBC's international news services – BBC World Service, BBC World News television and – have stepped up their operations to cover the national elections in Nigeria next month.

BBC World Service is extending regular programming and launching unique online and mobile content to deliver a comprehensive reportage and in-depth analysis of the key vote in Africa's most populous nation.

BBC journalists, who are also household names in the region, will be in key locations across Nigeria. Jamilah Tangaza in Abuja, Mansur Liman in Kano, Bilkisu Labaran and Bola Mosuro in Lagos and Peter Okwoche in Port Harcourt will bring the audiences the latest on the campaigns, votes and moods in the streets.

BBC World News television channel will be covering voting and election results from the north and south of Nigeria with presenter Komla Dumor and reports from correspondents Andrew Harding, Caroline Duffield and Rob Walker.

Special content on will include the latest elections news, profiles of main candidates, maps showing some of Nigeria's many divisions, analysis and views from Nigerian voters.

BBC Hausa has initiated a translation of the most important sections of the Nigerian Electoral Law from English into Hausa, to make it accessible to Hausa-speaking public. This content will be published on the elections index on – along with profiles of the main candidates, political parties, key dates and deadlines, major issues etc.

The website will also profile first-time voters who will say why they will vote in the elections and how they feel about the process. Two-minute audio news updates and live text updates on will offer the latest on elections as they happen in different parts of Nigeria and on the results as they begin to come in.

Head of BBC Hausa Jamilah Tangaza says: "These elections belong to the kind of events that bring to the fore our relationship with our audiences. It is not just us informing them, but also them being an integral part of our output, telling us what they want to discuss, responding to the events unfolding around them and using us as platform for debate."

From Friday 25 March, the BBC Hausa weekly audience-participation programme Ra'ayi Riga (Have Your Say) will engage listeners and online users in debates of election-related topics such as monitoring, ways to stop vote-rigging and violence, buying over voters, party primaries and other issues.

In the run-up to the elections, Assignment on BBC World Service will be looking at the aftermath of ethnic and religious violence in Jos, in Plateau state, while BBC World News television will be doing a special investigation on vote-rigging allegations and corruption in Nigeria.

On the three election Saturdays – National Assembly Elections on 2 April, Presidential Elections on 9 April and Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections on 16 April – the BBC's English-language programmes for Africa will broadcast live from different regions of Nigeria.

On these days, BBC Hausa will extend its two daily live radio transmissions from 30 minutes to one hour.

The BBC's leading English-language programmes for Africa, Focus On Africa, Network Africa and Africa Have Your Say will be reporting from across Nigeria, talking about the issues that matter most to the Nigerian electorate. An edition of Focus On Africa dedicated to Nigerian elections will be broadcast to the BBC's global audiences.

Solomon Mugera, Editor, BBC Africa Region, says: "The deployment of a strong BBC team with journalists reporting for our English, Hausa, French and Swahili programmes as well as BBC World News television demonstrates our commitment to report and analyse these very crucial Nigerian elections – for the millions of listeners and viewers in Nigeria, the rest of Africa and the wider international community."

(Source : BBC World Service Publicity)

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