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(Last Updated On: 22nd October 2023)

ABSTRACT: The study examined the challenges & prospects of media practices under democracy with a focus on Jonathan and Sambo’s administration. the study was anchored on Democratic Participant Theory and Libertarian Media Theory. A survey research method was adopted while questionnaire was used to elicit data from respondents who were journalists that were selected using the accidental sampling technique. The data collected were analyzed using the frequency and percentage method. Findings show that the press enjoys more freedom in the democratic era than in those days of the military. Also, access to government information is more visible than during the military. It was recommended that media houses and media associations should organize workshops and seminars for their staff on how to make use of the law in shaping the practice of journalism in this democratic era.

Table of Contents

Title Page                                                                                          




Table of contents                                                                 



1.0     Introduction

1.1     Background to the Study

1.2     Problems Statement

1.3     Objectives of the Study

1.4     Research Questions

1.5     Significance of the Study

1.6     Scope of the Study

1.7     Operational Definition of Terms


2.0     Literature Review

2.1     Definition of Mass Media

2.2     Forms Mass Media

2.3     Functions of Mass Media

2.4     Definition of Government

2.5     Forms/types of Government

2.6     Arms of Government

2.8     Functions of Government

2.9   Jonathan/ Sambo Administration

2.10   Media Practices under Jonathan /Sambo Administration  

2.11   Challenges facing Media Practitioners during Democratic Era

2.12   What are the Prospects of Media Practice under Democratic Government

2.13   Theoretical Framework


3.1     Research Design/Method

3.2     Study Population

3.3     Sample Size

3.4     Sampling Technique

3.5     Data Collection Instrument

3.6     Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument

3.7     Data Collected Method

3.8     Data Analysis Procedure


4.0    Data Analysis and Discussion of Findings

4.1     Analysis of Respondents         

4.2     Answer to Research Questions

4.3     Discussion of the Findings


5.0     Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1     Summary

5.2     Conclusion

5.3     Recommendations

5.4     Recommendations for Further Studies





1.1       Background to the Study

Ewuola (2002), describes the press as the “fourth estate of the realm”, this connotes the capacity of the press to monitor the tires of government (legislature, executive and judiciary).

Akinfeleye (1987), says the function of news gathering and news dissemination has not been a rosy one for journalists. From the inception of journalism and newspaper publication in Nigeria, there has been a cat and mouse relationship between the press and the governments of all ages, whether military or civilian, except when the press allows itself to be cajoled, used and manipulated by the government to suit its whims and caprices.

It is scholarly accepted that freedom of the press represents the collective enlargement of each individual’s freedom of expression.  Whenever the freedom of the press is abridged, the individual’s freedom is also trampled upon.  Governments’ attempts at closing down media houses, arrests of journalists, seizure of publications, and promulgation of obnoxious decrees among other suppressive measures are used to gag the press.

Akinfeleye (1987), observes that the banning of newspapers and detention of journalists by governments, especially in the third world countries, have been an old story. For example, the Nigerian government has at one time or another banned or closed down most of the newspaper magazine houses in the country. The ban closure, most of the time, is prompted by refusal of these papers and magazines to take supine position in reporting the news the favour the government only and then agree dance the music of despotism.

If the press is to carry out its job as a watchdog of the society successfully, obviously, from time to time, it will pinch the government on the wrong side when it exposes the government’s follies and inconsistencies.

But the government cannot allow itself to be intimidated or called to order by the fiery but factual reports of the “press boys”. For this reason, government enacts and promulgates laws, decrees, acts and ordinances that pluck off the feathers of freedom of the press. These laws have rendered the press morbid and emasculated. The reason why various government enact these laws to control the freedom of the media is because, they are afraid of been exposed of their inimical acts.

Therefore, the research seeks to find out the challenges and prospects of media practices under democratic system with Jonathan and Sambo administration as reference point.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

This research is designed to access the level of freedom enjoy by the press in Nigeria especially how freedom of information has been a plus for journalists in the discharge of their duties. It also intent to compare and contrast the freedom of information during the military era and in present democratic dispensation. The research focuses on various laws and legislations that hindered the freedom of information in Nigeria.               

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine how free is press under Jonathan and Sambo’s administration.
  2. To survey if the press is able to criticize the government of Jonathan.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. How free is the press under Jonathan and Sambo’s administration?
  2. To what extent is the press able to criticize the government of Jonathan?

1.5       Significant of the Study

Citizens: With the access to information, citizens can fight corruption and closet government and confront the few who misappropriation our resources to themselves alone. It also enables every citizen to know what our government is doing and how the government is spending public funds.

Media Practitioner: The benefit of this research work is to help them to discharge their duties without any intimidation.

Law Enforcement Agencies: Law enforcement agencies should also ceased the indiscriminate abuse and violations of the right on Nigeria, they are urged instead to be the primary role, of their political beliefs.

Students: Students will have access to legitimate government records when conducting important research.

Government: The freedom of the press and information law in Nigeria will decrease government secrecy and opacity.

1.6       Scope of the Study

The limitation of the study resides in the topic itself i.e Challenges and Prospects of Media Practices under Democratic System using Jonathan and Sambo administration as a case study while two media houses i.e AIT and Guardian Newspaper will be examined since the researcher cannot study the whole media outfits in Nigeria.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Media Practices: This is the way and approach to the practice of journalism in Nigeria society, which range from how journalists gather, edit and disseminate information to the people in the society.   

Press Freedom: this is the amount of freedom enjoy by the Nigerian press under Jonathan and Sambo administration. 

Democracy: It is the form of government that Nigeria is currently operating under Goodluck Jonathan and Sambo administration i.e It is the government of the people for the people and by the people.


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