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REFLECTING ON THE NIGERIAN MEDIA, ELECTIONS, AND THE AFRICAN DEMOCRACY
This article examines how the media could enhance the conduct of elections. It also discusses the implications of the 2007 elections on public assessment of Nigerian democracy. The outcome of the 2007 elections was particularly worrisome following the electoral irregularities that occurred during the elections. The internal and the external observers that monitored the elections noted these irregularities, which were later confirmed by the Nigerian Judiciary when the results of the elections earlier approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission were later canceled by the court. The article used the content analysis approach to review the Nigerian press coverage of the elections and used the social responsibility media theory to argue why the media should support the government to conduct free and fair elections. The findings reveal that although the media gave adequate publicity to the elections, the public and the private media disagreed regarding the credibility of the results of the elections. The public media supported the Federal Government’s position in the elections, insisting that the elections were free and fair, notwithstanding the report by the Election Observation Mission that confirmed that the elections were rigged. The article recommends among other things, that the Nigerian press should report more objectively on election activities.
political communication, theory, Nigerian journalists, elections and African democracy