ROLE OF MEDIA IN EMERGING DEMOCRACY

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CHAPTER ONE  
INTRODUCTION  
1.0   Background of the Study  
In modern day government arrangement especially in democratic politics such as India, the United States of America, South Africa, Nigeria,   Australia, among others, there exist three arms of government namely the executive, the legislature and the judiciary with the media being the fourth as it is an institution that checkmates the excesses of the other three arms. Perhaps, this why Anegbode and Azelama (2003), with particular reference to Nigeria, contend that: The press remains the fourth estate of the realm, the watchdog and the conscience of the nation. It is the organ that informs the public about the activities of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.  
The canine metaphor of the media as a watchdog is an indication of its watchful role in any government. Interestingly, the media do not only serve as a watchdog but guides the government towards change. Information is the basis of effecting change as well as tackling the consequence of change. The information needed to run an open and successful government is, to a large extent, provided by the media. The information disseminating role of this “estate” is a veritable tool for change. Adeyemi (2006) says that “throughout the history of mankind, the press has always occupied the fore-front of sociopolitical and economic changes”. From the foregoing, we can safely say that the media’s role in the running of the affairs of a government is that which cannot be relegated. Thomas Jefferson, a former United States of America (USA) president once said in one of his many speeches on the importance of the media that if he were made to choose between a  government without a press or a press without government, he would not hesitate to choose the latter (quoted in Tell Magazine Editorial July 15, 2005).    
1.2   Purpose Of The Study  
Within this context, the purpose of this paper is to examine the role the media have played and continue to play in the socio-political and socio-economic reengineering of structures in a country faced with enormous problems which militate against its optimal performance as an emergent democracy.    
1.3   Significance of the Study  
1.   It will enable the government and policy makers to put adequate measures in place to check the movement of of the media and watchdog role in Nigeria.  
2.   It will help remove the idea of imitating the importance of Media in Politics and democracy.  
3.   The conduct of this research will enable the government to know what role the media can play in the development of a country and therefore, harness the mass media especially Tv in the democratic process and development process in general  
4.   The research will help in possible dilution, domination and finally absorption of the African/Nigerian culture which until the present has been characterized with good neighbourliness, respect for elders, virtuousness, community orientation and collectivism. 
1.4  Research Questions  
The research questions are arranged questions meant to be asked by the researcher and receives a feedback (answer) from a respondent. For a researcher to achieve her aim, the following question should be used.  
1.   Do Nigerian Media have any effect in watching the activities of government and politicians?  
2.   What roles does the Mass media plays in the election process to ensure transparency and accountability?  
3.   What role does the media play in the delivery and consolidation of democracy?    
1.5 Research Hypotheses  
1.   Hi: The media plays a vital role in ensuring transparency and   accountability in Nigeria  
      Ho: The media does not play a vital role in ensuring transparency and   accountability in Nigeria  
2.   Hi: The Nigeria government create a suitable environment for effective media coverage of human and election issues  
      Ho: The Nigeria government creates a suitable environment for   effective media coverage of human and election issues

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