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Feb 13 2012

World Journalism from a Sofa in Hammersmith, London

Today we’ve filmed the second GRN Chat. After January’s talk with Portia Walker, about her coverage of the Arab Spring and her experience of journalism as a woman and as a young person, this time we hosted at GRN’s headquarters in Hammersmith one of our veteran correspondents, Charles Aniagolu.

Charles was born in Scotland to Nigerian parents, and has been covering Africa, and mainly Nigeria, for years, for the BBC, ITN and CNN, until he set his own production company and started working as a freelance. He spends half his time in Nigeria, researching, reporting and filming, and the other half in England, engaging mainly in post production.

We discussed his perspective on Nigeria as a foreign yet non foreign journalist, the growing security risks in Nigeria, the growing chasm between the poor Muslim North and the affluent Christian South, and the government’s attempts to pacify the situation, not without landing an ear to separatist voices. We touched on the practices of the Nigerian media, the prevailing corruption, internet scams and Noliwood – the huge Nigerian film industry which is hardly known to Western viewers.

After only two interviews I already feel that the privilege of being able to run them under the GRN auspices this year is probably one of the best Christmas presents I received. Besides the pleasure of hanging out with out correspondents (who are interesting and lovely), I get to sneak a peak into the world of journalists who cover different places in the world – their professional dilemmas and the complicated politics and cultures in which they operate. Like most journalists, I often fantasise about all the places I would go and cover, if I could. After talking to Charles Aniagolu and Portia Walker I feel as if I got to spend some time in the Middle East and in Nigeria of the passing year, not as a tourist, but as a journalist.

I hope you’ll enjoy the new GRN chat as much as I do. I can’t wait for my promised tour of current Afghanistan via a chat with Carmen Gentile in Kabul next week (yes, we are getting greedy, we might have two interviews in the shortest month of the year).

Please let us know your thoughts, your participation is important to us and one of the main reasons that we are reaching out to our correspondents.

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