The Media and Challenges of Adopting Western Democracy: Nigeria and the Restructuring Debate
22 Pages Posted: 16 May 2018
Date Written: April 4, 2018
This study using the media effect theory, particularly the agenda setting theory, hypothesized that a heated media debate over what was tagged national ‘restructuring conference’ in Nigeria was a subject of deliberate media ‘framing.’ The issue which advocated for circumventing the federal legislature created much emotional rhetoric, where existing democratic structures suffice in debating and addressing the issues the conference was supposed to address. A random survey of Nigerian citizens confirmed that the issue was overrated in importance by the media. An analysis of the frequency of news coverage of restructuring by major newspapers during peak debating time confirmed that the hyping was disproportionally coming from sectional special interests, as opposed to balanced reporting based on national interest. Highlighted in the paper is the negative use of ‘framing’ to influence and divert the audience’s attention from more critical issues plaguing Nigeria. The study recommends that the media, in consonance with its ethical code of social responsibility joins other institutions in strengthening democratic structures above all else, including special interests.
Keywords: Nigerian Press, Media and Democracy
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation