Social Responsibility Roles Of The Nigeria Press In Obasnjo’s Leadership, A Fulfillment Or Betrayal

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Next to God, it is perhaps the press that legitimists what Nigerian or other people consider to the truth in any given situation. If people swear to God that Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim was actually caught with six million dollars at hear throw airport in 1982 or that Alhaji Ilmara Dikko smuggled himself though the boarders “by wearing the cassock of a catholic priest or that Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe has died, they will have a news paper to justify their claims.

I read it in the newspaper, if you doubt it, I stile have to copy of it, are some of the claims made by Nigerian media consumers seeking to be believed.

The realities of today tend to lead people to very misleading conclusions about the social responsibility roles and place of the Nigerian press in the hearts and minds of ordinary citizens of this country as far as their experiences are concerned.

Any democratic society must have a way ensuring adequate communication between the government and the governed. Ti is the responsibility of the press in a democratic society such as Nigeria to explain government activities to the public and to solvent the co operation of her citizen with the government and their participation in political life of the country. The press also servers as the watchdog of the government, criticizing the excesses of the government and ensuring public accountability for the good operation of the machinery of government.

In both democratic and military rules in Nigeria, the press has been accused of not being objective, factual, investigation and interpretative in its reporting. in this present leadership under chief Olusequn Obasanjo, the social responsibility roles for the press have been questionable. A good number of the Nigerian citizen feels out its social responsibility in accordance with the ethics and norms for the profession. Instead, the government in power dictates the tune.

In ay democratic society, freedom of the press is the watch word and it is to be guarded as an inaliable right of the people in a free society. If carries wit it the freedom and responsibility to discuss, question and challenge actions and utterances of government and of public and private institution.

The success and failure of a government is determined to be a considerable extent by the ability of the press to live up to its social responsibility.

Some obvious policies of chief Olusequn Obasayo’s government which the press supposed to have continuously criticized were played down by the Nigerian press. Such polices like the flagrant increase in the prices of petroleum products, barring of some commodities with out providing alternatives and promises of putting in place some palliative measures which never came. The Obasanjo leadership ensured that the media especially, the government continuously carried jungles in support of such policies that inflicted more pains on the citizens of this country. Few private media put up some editorial and features against such polices which were regarded as insignificant because at the and of the day, such policies sailed through


vTo look at the watchdog role of the press was it properly carried out.

vJournalists, do they know their social responsibility.

vTo know if the journalist of today still walk in the step of the founding fathers


vTo evaluate the press extent in discharging its social responsibility

vOwnership factor whether it impeded or enhanced their performance.

vTo find out if the press was partisan.


vTo know if the press is living up to expectation

vTo know the extent the press explains government activities.

vTo examine how far the pres exposed corruption and other ills in the society.


vDoes the Nigerian press perform the social responsibility of the press in national interest?

vDoes the Nigeria press protect regional / ethnic interest in performing its social responsibility roles?

vDoes the Nigeria press criticize the actions and utterances of the government?


Hi : the Nigerian press perform the social responsibility of the press in national interest.

Ho: the Nigerian press did not perform the social responsibility of the press in national interest.

H2: the Nigerian press protects regional / ethnic interest in performing its social responsibility roles.

Ho: the Nigerian press did not protect regional / ethnic interest in performing its social responsibility roles.

H3: the Nigerian press criticized the actions and utterances of government

Ho; the Nigerian press did not criticized the actions and utterances of government

1.7            DEFINITION OF TERMS

Conceptual definitions

vNigerian press

This refers to printed and broadcast materials in the country which are the printed and electronic media

vGovernment policies

This refers to the programme and policies of which the Nigerian political leaders execute.

vFourth republic

This refers to the period starting from May 1999 to the present time.

vPartisan role

This refers to a blind or unreasonable support of a particular political party the Nigerian press.

Operational definition


This refers o the watchdog role of the press (social responsibility)


To comment fairly and constructively on political activities and presenting balanced reports of what happened.


Conceptual: This refers to those word, statements and phrases published in newspaper which did not give two sides of government.

Operational: it helps in putting actions and utterances in check.

1.8            ASSUMPTIONS

vIt is assumed that the Nigerian press contributed to the success or failure of any government in power by being sociality responsible.

vIt is assumed that journalist in private press discharge their social responsibility roles more than those in government media.

vIt is also assumed that government press believes in the traditional adage that “he who pays the piper dictates the true” thus they become government megaphones.

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