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During the last three or so days, BBC moderated a forum which asks people from all over the world to say what they think about Nigeria. While I am not opposed to public discussions of opinion or perception I cannot but wonder what is the whole purpose behind the forum.
We all know that Nigeria already has a bad image abroad and that the current government has made considerable efforts to try to revamp that image. These efforts have, to varying degrees, been backed up by reforms at home.
I feel that to ask people to discuss so publicly what they feel about Nigeria could only generate more negative than positive responses, and readers who do not know anything about the positive things going on in Nigeria will just indiscriminately accept those negative perceptions. This will, in turn, detract from, rather than support the ongoing reforms in the country, perpetuating the portrayal of Nigeria in a very negative light. What then is the point, or shall we say agenda behind such a forum?"
Is it justifiable for a foreign media firm to host such a forum as on Nigeria or any country for that matter?
Is this another example of tactless journalism that doesnt contribute much to progress?
Or, is it perfectly rational to go ahead and ask the world "what do you think of Nigeria?"
Here is the url: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/5072244.stm