Passive Accomplice or Active Acquiescent to Corruption in Nigeria? Evidence from Newspapers’ Sourcing of Information on Corruption from 2000 - 2006

Rodney Ciboh


This paper uses content analysis to examine newspapers’ source use in news of corruption between 2000 and 2006 during Olusegun Obasanjo government’s deliberate public policy against the malaise in Nigeria. It examined the sources of news on corruption to discover whose information is presented and to determine whether newspapers showed enterprise and employed investigation to challenge powerful interests and eradicate corruption or they merely acted as agents of such powerful interests behind corruption and reinforced the status quo. The paper found that government/official sources were the most frequently used sources of information on corruption and that newspapers favoured only the official definition of corruption. The paper concludes that by relying heavily on l government sources to represent corruption, newspapers more or less actively acquiesced to the status quo on corruption hence journalists lack the courage to investigative and help curb corruption in Nigeria. Until journalists recognise the need for providing pluralistic information about corruption from a diversity and range of sources and multiplicity of perspectives or opinions, they can hardly mobilise possible collective action against corruption in Nigeria and be active participants in strengthening and facilitating democracy.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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