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1.1 Background to the Study
The Press is the moulder of the society. Although this fact has been
lashed with numerous criticisms, we cannot deny the fact that the press shapes the society. Most journalists are aware of this, so they determine, even to the extent of sacrificing their lives, to give the society what it desires and what it needs.
The reporter who is scampering to meet a politician who has just alighted from an airplane; the reporter who is on a wired boat sailing into a remote mangrove to find out the extent of damage flood has wrecked in the area is trying to satisfy the society by informing the members of the society on what is happening around them.
The function of news gathering and news dissemination has not been a rosy one for the 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.
The banning of newspapers and detention of journalist by government especially in the third world countries have been an old story.
For example the Nigeria government has at one time or the another banned or closed down most of the newspaper and magazine houses in Nigeria.
Most of the time it is prompted by the refusal of both the newspapers and magazines to take supreme position in reporting news that favours the government only and then agree to dance to the music of despotism.
If the press is to carry out its job as a watch dog in society successfully. Obviously, from time to time it will pinch the government on the wrong side. When it exposes the government failure and in consistencies.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This research is design to access the level of freedom enjoy by the
press in Nigeria especially in freedom of information.
It also intent to compare and contrast the freedom of information during the military era and this present democratic dispensation.
The research focuses on various laws and legislations that hindered the freedom of information in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
1. To what extent has OSBC faced challenges in information gathering?
2. Does OSBC have strategies to tackle the challenges of poor freedom of information
3. To what extent has the freedom information law impacted on OSBC?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
1. This study is pertinent to give the importance of press freedom in the development of democracy and the long history of the repression of press freedom in Nigeria a country with probably the most animated media environment in Africa.
2. To x ray the challenges of freedom of information and how journalists are being treated by the present government which limited the press as the fourth estate of the realm.
3. To point out that press freedom is a major ingredient that press should enjoy during the democratic dispensation.
4. To let the public aware that freedom of press is their own freedom; since media serve as public mouth piece.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The issue of the government/press relationship in Nigeria has raised a lot of interest both to the practitioners and the public, that a study into the phenomenon was long overdue.
This study will no doubt be useful to mass media practitioners in Nigeria and will help the public appreciate the onerous role of the press in Nigeria so as to enable them rise in defense of the press whenever it is threatened by excessive political power.
It is expected that at the end of this study, the work will update knowledge within the frame work of the study.
Particularly, it will assist people on the benefit of freedom of information to the press and society at large.
This study will draw the attention of the government to empower the press to carry out its duties.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this research work had been narrowed down to OSBC for the purpose of convenience and lack of other logistics.
Although the research is basically focus on analysis of challenges facing freedom of information in Nigeria.
To this end, OSBC is selected to represent all mass media in Nigeria while demographic OSBC will be considered to access the number of staff, educational level, and qualification, working experience, sex, marital status and many more.
17. Limitations to the Study
This work is limited to OSBC. However, other media houses can benefit from it. Also, time has posed a serious constrain to this work as other academic activities need to be attended to.
Inadequate fund to cover all media houses, even to visit OSBC frequently as possible.
Another limitation was that few literature were available for this study, therefore, gathering of materials for this work became difficult.
1.8 Definition of Terms
PRESS: It refers to the fourth estate of the realm vested with the responsibility to disseminate information, entertain, and educate members of a society.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: It refers to unlimited liberty, outspokenness, unhampered boldness. Freedom is the degree of unlimited access to information, which facilitates the performance of journalistic duties.
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