MEDIA AND GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA: A CRITIQUE OF SELECTED

Tayo Popoola

Abstract


This study is carried out through the case study method which uses multiplesources of evidence to investigate post-election violence in Nigeria’s second republic.The main thesis of the study is anchored on the contention of Gana (2000) that themedia in a democracy should “promote the culture of peace, development, people’sparticipation, positive virtues as well as promoting a stable polity” (p. 11). Acrosscenturies, normative theories of politics have been anchored on an assumption thatmodern representative democracies thrive in an information environment in which thecitizens learn and consequently carry out certain obligations. According to Carpini(2004), “the citizens learn about pressing issues of the day, follow the actions ofelected and government officials, and communicate their views to these officials” (p.395). However, theories of direct democracy have established a scenario of richercommunication environment that helps provide citizens with motivation, ability andopportunity to participate in on-going political activities through diverse ways.According to North (1967), “politics could not exist without communication, norcould wars be fought” (p. 301). The reason behind this assertion was provided byDeutsch (1963) who stresses that “it is communication, that is, the ability to transmitmessages and react to them that makes organization” (p. 77). Isaak (1981) equallymakes a similar assertion. He points out that “it is through communication that apolitical system relates to and copes with its environment” (p. 292). The study is acritique of selected political programmes of radio stations and TV in Nigeria duringthe elections. This is a period when politically articulate citizens are eager and, insome cases, anxious to know the latest about the on-going elections. Due to thesensitive nature of politics, it is expected that every piece of information that is airedis thoroughly investigated and authenticated to guard against any thing that couldinduce violence. When this is not done, violence will surely occur. Through aqualitative research method with emphasis on a case study, the study arrived at theconclusion that the post-election violence which erupted in the Old Ondo state wasdue to non-adherence to the broadcasting code, partisanship and the unprofessionalconduct of media men.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5789/6-2-107

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