After becoming the first African-born journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize, for his reporting on Rwanda for Newsday, Dele Olojede, 49, returned to Nigeria determined to create an independent news organization. In a country where the ruling elite routinely bribe the media to influence coverage, Timbuktu’s reporters can’t be bought or bullied. (How else to explain the four armed men who stormed Olojede’s offices recently?) According to Google Analytics, his news site 234Next has become the country’s most-visited online news source since launching in late 2008; it has broken stories on oil and banking corruption and recently exposed the government’s attempt to cover up the president’s debilitating medical condition. “We look like revolutionaries for reporting the facts,” chuckles Olojede. Up next: experiments with SMS news updates to generate additional ad revenue.
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