The Influence Of Freedom Of Information Law On Journalism Practice (a Study Of Esbs, Frcn, Dream Fm, Nta)

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The Aim of this study was to determine the influence of journalism practice in Enugu. The objective of the study is to find out the influence of freedom of information law and high rate of curriculum in Government Business in Nigeria e.t.c. survey method is used as instrument for data collection (questionnaire) sources of data (primary and secondary data of population size total 110 sample size  = 86 finding and recommendation).


Title Page                                                                                                                              i

Declaration                                                                                                                          ii

Approval Page                                                                                                                    iii

Dedication                                                                                                                            iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                           v

Abstract                                                                                                                                vi



1.1 Background of the Study                                                                                          1

1.2 Statement of the Problem                                                                                        4

1.3 Purpose/objective of the Study                                                                              6

1.4 Research question                                                                                                      6

1.5 significance of the study                                                                                           7

1.6 scope of the Study                                                                                                      7

1.7 operational Definition of significant                                                                      7

1.8 definitions of terms                                                                                                    8


2.1 INTRODUCTION                                                                                                          10

2.2 Review of Concept                                                                                                     10

2.3 Review of Related Work                                                                                           11

2.4 Theoretical framework                                                                                             17

2.5 Summary                                                                                                                      20


3.1      INTRODUCTION                                                                                                      21

3.2      Research design                                                                                                      21

3.3      Population of Study                                                                                              22

3.4      sampling Technique                                                                                              23

3.5      description of Research                                                                                        25

3.6      validity and Reliability of Data Gathering Instrument                                25

3.7      Methods of Data Collection                                                                              25

3.8      Method of Data Analysis                                                                                    25


4.1      INTRODUCTION                                                                                                    26

4.2      Data Presentation  and Analysis                                                                       26

4.3      Discussion of Findings                                                                                         36


5.1      INTRODUCTION                                                                                                    38

5.2      Summary of Finding                                                                                            38

5.3      Conclusion                                                                                                             39

5.4      Suggestions of further Studies                                                                         40







1.1 Background of Study

Freedom of information (Press freedom) could be traced to that age of enlightenment and development of democracy in America. It is a product of libertarianism which derived unarguably from the libertarian theory of the press. It is one of the ingredients of libertarian approach to the theory of media (Goke, 2003). Freedom of information, specifically access to information held by public authorities is a fundamental element of the right to freedom of expression and vital to the proper functioning of a democracy. It is a law that makes provision for the disclosure of information held by public authoritiesand allowing democracy becomes the order of the day. There has been increasing acceptance of the importance of human rights and in particular of freedom of expression. For a country like Nigeria that has witnessed decades of military rule where press freedom was restricted, it came as a relief when the freedom of information bill was signed into law. Virtually all governmentinformation in Nigerian is classified as top secret. LongeAyodu of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), a Logos based non-governmentalorganization (NGO), say this veil of secrecy makes it difficult to get information from any state agency (Ayode, 2011). Plethora of laws prevents civil servants from divulging official facts and figures, notably the official secrets act which makes it an offence not only for civil servants to give out government information but also for anyone to receive or reproduce such information. Further restrictions are contained in the Evidence Act; the pubic complaints commission Act, the Statistics Act and the criminal code amongst others.

Adeleke, (2011), says that idea behind these laws is to protect vital government information, but the level of secrecy is so ridiculous that some classified government files contain ordinary information like newspaper cuttings which are already in the public domain, so impenetrable is the veil of secrecy that government departments withhold information from each other under the guise of official secrets legislation. There are also instances where civil servants refuse to give the National Assembly documentation after being asked to do so.

The result of this is that journalists are denied access to information that is critical for accurate reporting, and unraveling the web of corruption in Nigeria. These issues motivated EdetaenOjoalong with other relevant NGOs to initiate the bill that has become freedom of information act. Historically, the freedom of information bill in Nigeria could be traced back to 1993 during the administration of General SaniAbacha in which transparent government was not the order of the day. EdetaenOjo, head media rights Agenda (MRA) a young organization for the defense of free expression rights. Civil liberties organization (CLO) and the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) Lagos branch spearheaded the drafting of freedom of information bill.

The draft went through several reviews before it was presented to former president OlusegunObasanjo in early June 1999, with the hope that the bill would be forwarded to the National Assembly as an executive measure. He declined, advising MRA instead to do so if they wished. The bill was then submitted to the National Assembly in 1999, as advised by OlusegunObasanjo but the legislature’s four year term passed without the bill being voted on. The bill was re-submitted after the present National Assembly was inaugurated a few years ago, it scaled through both the lower and upper chamber of the National Assembly and the harmonized version was passed by both chambers on May 26, 2011, it was conveyed to Goodluck Jonathan on May 27, and he singed it on May 28, 2011. so far two states in Nigeria namely (Ekiti and Lagos states) have adopted the freedom of information acts at state level but they have extended the response date of level from 7 days to 14 days (Ogbuokiri, 2011). Prior to signing this bill to law access to information especially of hybrid public authorities was no go areas for the journalists. People view some information as being sacred with the belief that it was not meant for public consumption.

Inspire of the law on freedom of expression, several institutions still find it difficult to implement this law fully. It is against this backdrop that the researcher decided to undertake the study in order to ascertain the influence of freedom of information law on journalism practice in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the problem

Inspire of the fact the freedom of information law have been seen as a potent instrument towards political, economic, social-economic development of Nigeria and closing the gap created by virtue of long military rule which led to lack of information on how government business is run within the country, several organizations are yet to fully adopt this instrument and put in into practice. The spate of high rate of corruption noticed in every sectors of the economy, the spate of massive ignorance on government daily business, tIe spate of information gap between the government and citizens, the spate of massive unemployment of youth in the country, fallout of secret deals by government which is not exposed, the spate of inequitable resonance sharing within the country are eloquent testimonies that there is dire need for the practice of freedom of information law in Nigeria.

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The Influence Of Freedom Of Information Law On Journalism Practice