Challenges The Mass Media Face In The Beat To Promote Good Governance In Nigeria
Over the past two decades, Sub-Saharan (simply ‘Africa’) has been partly transformed by the winds of democratic change (Diamond, 2010), sequel to the collapse of Soviet Unions in the 20th century. But democratic structures and processes in Nigeria’s history had suffered debilitating distortion, and in some cases, total destruction during the prolonged period of military incursion into politics, which prevailed continuously since 1966 till 1999 before the country returned to another civil rule in May 1999 (Asobie, 2005). In all these years of dictatorship, Nigerians through the media clamoured persistently for a free debate on the grand norms, the fundamental principles and, the basic structures that would constitute the foundation for the practice of democratic politics in a post military era.
Meanwhile, the media systems in Africa are still as insecure and volatile as unstable political and social structures compared to the developed nations (Hutchten, 1971).
Apparently, the roles and priorities of the media in a developed nation like United States of America can never be the same in a developing nation like Nigeria with a fledgling democracy- a nation still scrambling for its own identity in the comity of nations. Though, the media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm carries an entrenched assumption that is often taken for granted. For not only is it made to appear as having constitutional backing, but also that our modern mass communication media as ‘neutral’ reporters and filters of news and information are an obvious necessity for democracy (Eziokwu, 2004), a condition for the nurturing and sustenance of democracy. The media are not only chief makers and movers of national development; they are also products and mirrors of the socio-economic and political structures of a nation. Thus, a meaningful appraisal of the role the media played in Nigeria’s development must take into account ideological aspects of the relationship between the media as a watchdog and the historical and cultural settings of the country. Therefore, this study aims to examine the role of media in Nigeria’s