Representing African cities in Wikipedia : the case of Lagos and Kinshasa
Date of Issue2018
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
The role played by representations in the lives of cities endows the study of their production and distribution in various media with importance. Today, the Internet, that amorphous network linking much of the world, is a powerful new media for the imagination of city spaces and hence in need of investigation. In this article, I focus on the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, one of the most popular websites on the Internet. My aim is to explore the representations of two of the largest sub-Saharan African cities, Lagos and Kinshasa, in their respective Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia has been described as the encyclopaedia anyone can edit, suggesting that it is open to multiple perspectives on any particular topic. Given the history of how Africa in general has been either marginalized or conjured as an exotic or miserable “other” by much media work this potential for wider range of representations should not be overlooked. Does Wikipedia live up to its reputation in the case of Kinshasa and Lagos?
© 2018 The Author(s). All rights reserved. This paper was published by SAGE Publication in Information Development and is made available with permission of The Author(s).