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AN EVALUATION OF MEDIA LAWS ON THE PRACTICE OF JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA.

  • Type:Project
  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:56
  • Methodology:Simple percentage
  • Reference:YES
  • Format:Microsoft Word
(Mass Communication Project Topics & Materials)

AN EVALUATION OF MEDIA LAWS ON THE PRACTICE OF JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Media laws are not new to the journalism in Nigeria. What is new is the ways in which various governments and individuals try to hide under some of these laws to cripple the job of the Nigerian journalists. This is the main thrust behind this research which is centered on finding an evaluation of media laws on the practice of journalism in Nigeria with a view to unraveling those laws that tends to reduce the power of journalists. The study adopted the survey method using two hundrsed media personnel as its respondents. Findings from the study indicates that the Nigerian media landscape still groans under the hard effects of obnoxious media laws and this has also affected the moral and ethical standard of the profession.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction       

1.1 Background of the Study………………………………………………………..1 

1.2  Statement of the Problem ……………………………………………………... 4

1.3  Objectives of the Study ………………………………………………………...4 

1.4  Research Questions …………………………………………………………….5 

1.5  Significance of the Study……………………………………………………… 5

1.6  Scope of the Study ……………………………………………………………..6 

1.7  Definition of Terms……………………………………………………………..6

CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review 

2.0 Preamble…………………………………………………………………………7

2.2 Theoretical frame work………………………………………………………….18 

CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology 

3.1 Research Design …………………………………………………………………19 

3.2 Population of the study…………………………………………………………..19 

3.3 Sample Size ……………………………………………………………………...19

3.4 Sampling technique………………………………………………………………19

3.5 Method of Data Collection …………………………………………………...…20

3.6 Method of Data Analysis………………………………………………………...21

CHAPTER FOUR: Data Presentation and Analysis 

4.1 Preamble  ………………………………………………………………………...22 

4.2 Analysis of Respondents’ Biodata……………………………………………….22 

4.3 Discussion of Findings / Answers to Research Questions ………………………34

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 

5.1 Preamble …………………………………………………………………………37 

5.2 Summary of Findings ……………………………………………………………38

5.3 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………..38

5.4 Recommendations ………………………………………………………………39

References ………………………………………………………………………….. 40

Appendix …………………………………………………………………………….41

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of Study

According to Redmond as cited by Okoro and Okolie (2004,p. 1)

Law is defined as “a rule to which actions conforms or should conform”. Greenwood and Welsh (1985:3) also defined law as “the set of rules by which the citizens of a country regulate their conduct in relation to their fellow citizens and to the state. Ekwelukwa (2004:40) opines that: media law is the law of ethics of communication. It is the law affecting practice of journalism. It deals with publications issuing from the press and affects the press and indeed the journalists in particular. It is the law that deals with law censorship.

Freedom of the press as it relates to defamation, that is to say: libel and slander, copyrights, national security, sedition, parliamentary and judicial precedents, obscenity civil suits etc. Furthermore he stresses that “the press can be defined as an establishment for printing and publishing of books, magazine, Newspapers”, etc. It can also be defined as the personnel of an establishment for printing of books newspapers, periodicals” etc. and that press law is a set of +rules that exist in human society for regulating the conduct of press men, resolving conflicts and avoiding confrontations.

The summary of these laws lies in the fact that they affect the practice of journalism in Nigeria. According to Mahatama Ghandi as quoted in Yalaju (2001: 185) that the sole aim of the press is service. The media functions include: national integration, cultural promotion, surveillance, economic enhancement, education, act as the peoples parliament information

dissemination, agenda setting and installation and sustenance of democracy. It is at the process of

carrying out these functions that they are faced with so many pathetic.

Some of the media laws are:

1 Rule of prior restraint

2 The right to speak

3 Freedom of speech and the press

4 Press freedom of criticism

5 The judiciary and the press

6 Detention of persons

7 The 1962 Act

8 Spying

9 Sedition

10 The press council decree disputed section

11 Media ownership

12 Code of conduct, malicious falsehood, contempt of court, obscenity, adversity law, libel, slander, and copyright publications etc.

The Nigerian print media are faced with constitutional and political constraints which therefore are negatively affecting the performance of the mass media, in Nigeria they make obnoxious laws and manipulate them to achieve their selfish ends. The professional rule cannot be elevated into a legal rule.

Yalaju (2001: 185) states that: The media is not only a collective propagandist and collective agitation, but also a collective organizer. In the respect, it can be compared with scaffolding put around a building under construction, it indicated the shape the building will have, makes communication between the various building works easier, helps the workers to distribute the work and to be aware of the general results jointly achieved by the organized works. The crusade for freedom of expression and the press is as old as government itself. The press has been described as the fourth Estate of the Realm, meaning that the press ought to be on equal pedestal with the other estate the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. According to Yakubu (2003:11) he buttress that “the extent to which the press of a nation can go in achieving its noble objectives depends on each society. So fundamental is the role of the press that a place have been found for it in the Nigerian Constitution. Section 39 of the 1999 constitution tagged | Right to freedom of expression and the press” provides: (i) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, inclusively freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impact ideas and information without interference. Furthermore section 22 of the 1999 constitution also provides that “the press, radio television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and up hold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.

So, freedom of speech means no more than speech from which illegal utterances are subtracted from press freedom or liberty of the press in absence of political censorship in the press or other media. It would be seen that government is afraid of criticism hence the restriction on press freedom. Based on this premises we can rightly observe that, press criticism is what government fears. For the purpose of preventing the disclosure of information received, there are some laws that are contradicting to the freedom of the press.

section 4(1) of the 1999 constitution provides that “any person who whether for gain or not distributes or progress any article to be obscene for the purpose of the Act Commits an offence punishable on conviction by the fine of not exceeding N200 or by imprisonment for a term of not exceeding three years or by both”. Therefore constitutional provisions of Nigeria are not enough to protect the press and to guarantee effective press freedom, and there is no point having freedom of the press if you don’t use it.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Media laws have been the greatest albatross to journalistic practice in Nigeria. From the colonial times to the modern journalistic era, the laws have often act as restriction on the much avowed talk about press freedom. Thus, some of the laws restrict the journalist right to secure information that may be of public interest. Even when the journalist goes the extra-mile to seek vital information about government activities which are tagged official secrets but against the interest of the state, he could be guilty of treason. Similarly, a fair criticism of the government policies and programmes could be calculated to be seditions, depending on the nature of the man in the saddle of leadership.

In recent times, comment made about the president faring health has brought a defamation litigation against the management of the leadership newspaper. In the last democratic

dispensation, comment made by Gbenga Aruleba, presenter of „FOCOS Nigeria‟ on AIT about the acclaimed new presidential jet which according to him did not appear new due to sedition charges against him, infact the journalist is daily constrained, living him with little freedom to really carryout his constitutional obligation to the state. The laws have denied and deprive the media of the capacity to carry out its true mandate. The problems therefore necessitate this study, an evaluation of media laws on the practice of journalism in Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

Objectives of the study are particularly to evaluate media laws on the practice of journalism in Nigeria. This practice is viewed from the constraints the obnoxious laws have made in the proliferation of the Nigerian journalism. The study will be guided by the following objectives:

1. To determine the effect, Nigerian laws have made on the journalism practice that do not give room for journalists to carry out their work effectively.

2. To determine the ways in which laws affect journalistic practice.

3. To determine the ways in which these media laws affect objectivity of the work of the journalist and to a large extent those in the print media.

4. To determine what can be done to correct these obnoxious laws.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study;

1. What effect have Nigerian laws made on the journalism practice that do not give room for journalist to carry out their work effectively?

2. In what ways does laws affect the journalist profession?

3. In what ways does these laws affect the objectivity of the work of journalist and to a large extent the print media?

4. What can be done to correct these obnoxious laws?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will contribute in the already existing literature in area of press freedom in Nigeria. It will further provide information, that will help to review journalism practice.

1.6 Limitations of the Study

Survey research have been rated as a very reliable method of generating relevant data needed for study, in a natural setting. Though it has been criticized by the words of Okoro (2001:39) that opinions of respondents are subject to change from time to time; subject to sampling error, and subject to biased and subjective information. Beside, the researcher found out that print media practitioners are not easily accessible, because of the nature of their job. They are always on the more in pursuit of news, facts or events. So, getting them to sit down and fill the copies of the questionnaires may not be an easy task. This may hinder the research work. Furthermore, the researcher may be constraints by finance and time which may not allow a thorough and in-depth research work.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Laws: as used in this paper are the rules or the inhibitions that prevent free access to, and publication of information. That is, all legal restraint to gathering and dissemination of information.

Media: are the various channels through which information is dispersed to a mass audience.

Obnoxious: An offensive law that is antagonistic to the work of the journalist. It has a negative impact on the journalist activities.


AN EVALUATION OF MEDIA LAWS ON THE PRACTICE OF JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA.

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Details

Type Project
Department Mass Communication
Project ID MAS1073
Price ₦3,000 ($20)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 56 Pages
Methodology Simple percentage
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department Mass Communication
    Project ID MAS1073
    Price ₦3,000 ($20)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 56 Pages
    Methodology Simple percentage
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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