In this edited collection, contributors analyze how the media is navigating Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, and its mediated democracy. Despite its constitutional role, recognizable as the fourth estate of the realm, the Nigerian media has a history of confronting daunting challenges headlong. This book captures an array of the challenges faced, from British colonialism and military rule to democratic dispensation. Ordinarily, democracy is purposefully streamlined to elevate freedom of expression to an inalienable right and a necessary corollary of democracy. Yet, media freedom in Nigeria has been tortuous and nebulous, and there is a paradoxical difference in how the state relies on the media for partnership while also obstructing accountable journalism that would hold the state and the media itself accountable. The editors provide a poignant outlook of the onerous interactions and dialectics of media and democracy, and the cascading state power. Contributors argue for open democratic deliberations, civic space, and freedom of the press, all rooted in public good. Scholars of journalism, political communication, media studies, African studies, law, democratic studies, and political science will find this book of particular interest.
Paul Obi is a journalist and research fellow at The Abuja School of Social and Political Thought.
Taye C. Obateru is reader and former head of the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Jos.
Sam Amadi is associate professor of law, and director of The Abuja School of Social and Political Thought.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Paul Obi, Taye C. Obateru and Sam Amadi
Chapter 2: Assessing the Legal Protection of Freedom of the Press in Nigeria’s Constitutional Democracy
Chapter 3: Media Censorship of Nigerian Presidential Elections: Navigating Candidates, Campaigns and the Monitory Democracy Theory
Chapter 4: Who Watches the Watchdog? Ethical Interrogation of Self-Censorship of Nigerian Media
Taye C. Obateru
Chapter 5: The Shrinking Civic Space: Journalistic Hazards, Risks and Media Resistance to Censorship in Nigeria
Bridget Onochie, Lasisi Olagunju, Paul Ogwu and Paul Obi
Chapter 6: National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and Media Regulation in an Age of Information Fluidity
Chapter 7: Walking the Tight Rope of National Security: Interrogating Public Interest to Know vs Security Implications of Media Coverage
Ibrahim Uba Yusuf, Senator Iroegbu and Brigadier General Sani K. Usman (Rtd)
Chapter 8: Technology, Internet, Social Media and the Politics of Online Free Speech in Nigeria
Joseph Nwanja Chukwu
Chapter 9: Deconstructing the Fourth Estate Ideals and the Quest for Free Speech: A Study of Nigeria's Minister of Information on the Role of the Media
Joe Babalola Bankole
Chapter 10: Conclusion
Taye C. Obateru, Sam Amadi and Paul Obi
About the Contributors
"The work explores critical dimensions of freedom and unfreedom, within the context of constitutional democracy, through Nigeria's prism. This is helpful to the expansion of understanding of the increasingly complex concept of liberties, in the spaces and places of democracy; and in the mixed messages of actors within. It is, therefore, a significant entrant into the literature on constitutional democracy, and the shifting question of freedom, which should have otherwise been stable, given the fact that liberty is ideally envisaged in a democracy."
“A compelling panoply of perspectives from multi-contributors who advocate for the primacy of free speech and freedom of the press as the bedrock of democracy.”