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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The media and democratic consolidation in Nigeria: an overview of government-media relations, 1999-2009
Author:Alozieuwa, Simeon H.O.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies (ISSN 1751-7974)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:mass media
State-society relationship
Abstract:Relations between the media and government in Nigeria have historically been conflictual. Nevertheless, the Nigerian media has played important roles in the country's struggles to free itself from the shackles of colonialism and military rule. A national desire for disengagement from decades of military dictatorship, however, took away the usually critical edge of the Nigerian media once the democratic dispensation got underway. But as the post-transition euphoria gave way to realism, government and media relapsed into their old animosity. This article argues that the initial indifference to certain undemocratic tendencies - especially of the Obasanjo administration in the name of not 'rocking the boat' of the new-found democracy - did set a new ambience, resulting in government becoming too sensitive to criticism. The article posits that the initial ambivalence of the media towards the government could have inflicted more harm on the democratic project than good, and was responsible for the manner in which the government responded by the time it regained its critical edge. It contends that the media should at all times remain faithful to its watchdog role, thereby assisting in strengthening the country's democracy. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract]