INFLUENCE OF MASS MEDIA IN COVERING GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES IN NIGERIA

Abstract

The study examined the role of mass media in covering government programmes and activities in Nigeria using Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) as a case study. Mass media over the years perform a very crucial role in the socio-political and economic development of Nigeria. Mass media are often referred to as the fourth estate of realm because of the power they wield and the oversight function they exercise. The media as a major player in democratic governance and development has been recognized since the late 17th century, and remains a fundamental principle of modern-day democratic theory and practice especially in educating, enlightening, mobilizing the electorates before, during and after elections. Also, mass media for example have exposed mismanagement in high office, resulting in the resignation or toppling of heads of state and in the enactment of governance reforms. The researcher adopted survey research method coupled with 100 copies of questionnaires administered to the selected respondents within OSBC. It is safe to conclude that mass media have impact in disseminating government programmes and policies to the people in society. Mass media serve as an intermediary between the government and the governed. Democracy cannot exist in the absence of the press because democracy is based on popular will and popular opinion depends on the public’s awareness and knowledge, it is the mass media that brings up, promotes and propagates public awareness. It recommended that there should be more mass media especially privately owned media that can criticize government unlike the coward state media that will never bit the hands that feeds it. Newspapers should be free from few influential politicians to avoid turning the paper into tools of propaganda as it is the situation in Nigeria.

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