IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA IN ENHANCING JUDICIAL SYSTEM REFORM IN NIGERIA

Abstract

The study is set out to examine the impact of mass media in enhancing judicial system reform in Nigeria. Judiciary is one of the three (3) arms of government in a democratic setting like Nigeria while mass media is considered to be the fourth estate of the realm and as forum for public discussion and watch dog on all other arms of government. The study is anchored on Social Responsibility Theory, Agenda Setting Theory and Democratic Participant Theory respectively. Survey research method was adopted while 100 respondents were purposively select among the judiciary and journalists in Correspondents Chapel, Osogbo. Questionnaire was used to elicit responses from the respondents while the data collected were analysed using a frequency and percentage tables. Findings show that mass media has special role to play in ensuring impartial judiciary system as the fourth estate of the realm. Majority of the respondents (66.7%) are exposed to judicial proceedings to a high extent. Similarly, respondents (66.7%) agreed that mass media do cover court and other judicial proceedings very often and evidence shows that there are judicial reporters covering judicial beats and special judicial reports. Larger percentage of the respondent agreed that there is need for reform in Nigeria judicial system while poor access to judicial records (44.4%), contempt of court (11%) and media ownership influence among other factors crippling judicial efficiency. It is recommended that media practitioners should have appreciable knowledge on judiciary, court and legal matters.

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