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This study was intended to examine the challenges of mass media in promoting good governance in Nigeria. This study was guided by the following objectives; to determine the relationship between mass media and promotion of good governance in Nigeria; to investigate the extent to which mass media has contributed to democratic governance in Nigeria and to propose certain ways of revamping/cubing the challenges facing mass media in promoting good governance in Nigeria. The study employed the descriptive and explanatory design; questionnaires in addition to library research were applied in order to collect data. Primary and secondary data sources were used and data was analyzed using the chi square statistical tool at 5% level of significance which was presented in frequency tables and percentage. The respondents under the study were 100 residents in Abuja metropolis, FCT, Nigeria. The study findings revealed that mass media has contributed to democratic governance in Nigeria to a great extent; based on the findings from the study, journalists must involve themselves in investigative journalism which is the cornerstone of development in any society.




1.1   Background to the Study

The relationship between media and governance establishments has been viewed as being influential in unstable developmental tide in the African continent (Okoro, 2013). Media scholars have made concerted effort aimed at examining the role of the media in the development process which is coordinated by government and its structures. These efforts have led to widely accepted view that good governance is crucial to sustainable development but linkage of good governance to sustainability of such development through media is yet to be fully appreciated (Langmia, 2010; Okoro, 2010). This study will explore the nexus between media and governance and how this translates into sustainable development.

Governance structure in Africa has focused on political and economic development, but the limitation of the role played by media in terms of advocacy and investigative journalism hampered the benefit derivable from such efforts. As a result, increase in demand for sustainable development in Africa has motivated scholars across development and political disciplines to strongly suggest that the new media system should be effectively utilized as agents for sustainable political landscape in the countries of Africa (M‟Bayo, Nwokeafor and Onwumechili, 1995).

Today the world encounters remarkable challenges in promoting governance, democracy, transparency, press freedom and economic development. Good governance is essential for a nation’s long-term and sustainable development. The media, as an important information source, play a crucial role in shaping a healthy democracy and bolstering good governance. It is worth noting that there exists a dilemma in conceptualizing good governance. Actors involved such as scholars, government officials, and international development organizations confront such challenges by defining and analyzing governance within their interests and scope of work. For instance, Fukuyama (2013) refers to governance as a government’s ability to make and enforce rules, and to deliver public services, regardless of whether the government is authoritarian or democratic. From the viewpoint of the United Nations Development Programme, good governance, in conjunction with democracy and the rule of law, is essential for sustainable development including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger (UNDP, 2014). Given that the concept of governance means different things to different actors, it is useful to clarify how the media define and promote good governance.

There has been little systematic effort to explore the empirical relationship between the media and governance. With the spread of modern communication technologies and the existence of an unfettered and independent press, the media are essential for democratization and guaranteeing good governance through freedom of expression, transparency, accountability, rule of law and providing a pluralist platform for political expression about controversial issues (Norris, 2010; Scholte, 2002).

Definitions about both governance and good governance are varied. Governance is variously considered as an end in its own right. For instance, international assistance agencies state the goal of good governance is to protect and advance human rights. According to UNESCO (2005), good governance includes notions of greater participation by civil society in decision-making, instituting the rule of law, anti-corruption, transparency, accountability, poverty reduction and human rights. As for political scientists or international relations scholars, good governance is often seen as a means to sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. For instance, rule of law is beneficial for economic growth (Reed, 2004); reducing corruption is considered an effective strategy for increasing the assets and therefore wealth of the poor (Gupta, S., Davoodi, & Alonso-Terme, 2002). The concept of governance is contested. In terms of the usage of good governance, scholars usually express approval not only for a type of government (often democracy) and its related political values (e.g. respect for human rights), but also for additional components (e.g. political policies in the economic sphere). In fact, good governance is not merely about government itself, but usually means government plus additional components. For instance, the United Nations (2012) defines good governance as policies for sustainable human development; government that is democratic, decentralized, empowering and accountable, which includes functioning legislatures, legal and judicial systems to protect the rule of law, the adoption of human rights and various electoral processes.

Responsible media interaction and increased trust must be fostered at all levels of society. A key focus of media development efforts must be education in media literacy, targeted not only at journalists but at governments, donors, development partners and the general public; to foster an improved and empowered communications environment.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

The pros and cons of media practice reveal arguments for and against the media as a force to reckon with in fledgling democracies. As it is true of every human endeavour, there are good and not too good sides of the media. However, the indices of good governance cannot be measured without the critical role of the media. This puts media practice on a high pedestal. Whether the media in Nigeria is still on that high horse is to seen.  “Owners” of the media or press in Nigeria dictate what information gets to the common man which makes objective reporting a far cry. To any kin observer, the media in Nigeria is controlled by the government, rich individuals and religious organizations. Sadly, being in the employment of any media house (private or public) in Nigeria is being a worker in the vineyard of political, economic or religious profiteers. Based on the backdrop, the present study tends to examine the challenges of mass media in promoting good governance in Nigeria.

1.3    Objectives of the Study

The study sought to know the challenges of mass media in promoting good governance in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to;

1.  determine the relationship between mass media and promotion of good governance in Nigeria.

2.  Investigate the extent to which mass media has contributed to democratic governance in Nigeria.

3.  Propose certain ways of revamping/cubing the challenges facing mass media in promoting good governance in Nigeria.

1.4   Research Questions

1.  What is the relationship between mass media and promotion of good governance in Nigeria?

2.  To what extent does mass media contributed to democratic governance in Nigeria?

3.  What are the certain ways of revamping/cubing the challenges facing mass media in promoting good governance in Nigeria?

1.5   Research Hypotheses

H01: There is no relationship between mass media and promotion of good governance in Nigeria.

H02: Mass media has not contributed to democratic governance in Nigeria to a great extent.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study will contribute to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.

1.7       Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study is on the challenges of mass media in promoting good governance in Nigeria.

Limitations of study

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8       Definition of Terms

Mass Media: Mass media refers to a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. 

Governance: Governance is commonly defined as the exercise of power or authority by political leaders for the well-being of their country's citizens or subjects. Generally, governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state, by a market or by a network – over a social system and whether through the laws, norms, power or language of an organized society.

Good Governance: Good Governance is an approach to government committed to creating a system that protects human rights and civil liberties.


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