In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian social media micro-celebrities were prominent players in the dissemination of information. This study examines the roles that one group of Nigerian micro-celebrities, YouTube video bloggers (vloggers)—also known as “YouTubers”—played during the pandemic. The research analysed the contents of COVID-19-themed videos that 15 popular Nigerian YouTubers posted on their channels between 29 February and 5 August 2020. The study was guided by the two-step flow of communication theory, in terms of which information first flows from mass media to opinion leaders, who then, in the second step, share the information with their audiences. The study found that all 15 YouTubers played positive roles as opinion leaders—by providing health and safety information on COVID-19, challenging myths, and educating audiences through entertainment. Only two of the YouTubers studied were found to have shared some information that misinformed their audiences about the virus and how to fight it. The study therefore concluded that Nigerian YouTubers, as opinion leaders, can be important allies to governments and organisations when health crises arise in the country.
Agbese, A.-O. (2022) “Roles played by Nigerian YouTube micro-celebrities during the COVID-19 pandemic”, The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC). South Africa, (30). doi: 10.23962/ajic.i30.13910.
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