THE EFFECTS OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ON NIGERIA JOURNALISTS (A CASE STUDY OF OSUN STATE JOURNALISTS)

CHAPTER ONE

 

1.0       INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

In any given society or organisation there are tends to be conflicts and resolution, and there challenges that come from people’s organisation.

However in gathering of information for publicity, rules and regulation are been stipulated to guide the form of news and information published to avoid libel and slander.

Freedom of information Act (FOIA) has given guidelines to Nigeria journalist.the belief and processes of government issues in the publics and that the public possess right to obtain information about actions of the government.

Freedom of information Act went into effect on July 4 1967 in united State of American in 1974 in the wake of the water gate conspiracy, the congress of the united State added amendment to strengthen the statute (FOIA). Freedom of information Act provides that each government agency publish description of its operation and procedures. Each agency must also make available opinions, order and statement of policy that affect the public, any person or organisation can also obtain data from government agency through FOIA request.

In Nigeria, journalist are prone to high level of inaccuracies when gathering information, sensationalism, mistakes of regularly left uncorrected as aresult of meeting deadline prescribe by the editor of the organisation.

The FOI bill first submitted to Nigeria’s 4th National Assembly in 1999 when the country return to democracy but it did not make much progress. it return to the legislative chambers in the 5th National Assembly in 2003 and was passed by both chambers in2007 and was finally passed on 24th May, 2011 by president Good luck Jonathan.

The earliest Known journalist effort was the Acta Diura (daily events) of ancient Rome. In the first century BC, statesman Julius ceaser (100-44BC) ordered this handwritten news bulletins posted each day in the forum on a large public space.    In China the first distributed news bulletin arrived around 750 AD . in the Mid-5th  century  wider and faster dissemination of news was made possible by the development of movable  types largely credited to German printer Johannes Gutenberg(1400-1468)-  At first newspaper consist of one sheet and often dealt with a single event  gradually a more complex product evolved.

The history of journalism in England is the next step. Grandfield 1975 of the University of Newcastle traces how the Tudor monarchy whittled away the freedoms gained in the 1484 Act until the crown has total control of all publication. Even when parliament gained ascendancy over the monarchy there was little inclination by the electoral government.  Printing Act  being renewed in 1695. This lapse in government control meant in England was the only country in Europe at that time where the publishing of the newspaper was unlicensed. Also at this time the long struggle for freedom of the press began.

The Nigeria union of Journalist was found on fifth march, 1955 at the premises of ST. Paul school Breadfruit Street Lagos. The union was given birth to, as a result of then nationalists struggle in fighting for Nigeria’s Independence there by decided to join hands together by making use of the power of the pen to wage war against the British Government.

Among those Nationalist with the fire of patriotism and Nationalism burning in them and their writing was the first governor general of Nigeria the Late Chief Owelle of Onitsha, The Rt Hon (Dr) Nnamdi Azikwe, the first premier of the defunct Western Region. The late chief Obafemi  Awolowo

The late saruana of Sokoto , Sir Ahmadu Bello and Alh. Tafawa  Balewa, the late Herbert Macaulay and Chief H.O. Davies who,  with the launch with Yoruba vernacular Newspaper “ iwe royin ni ede Yoruba founded by the late rev. Ajayi crowther in Abiokuta in 1929  , wrote powerfully in the newspapers ,columns  on the need of Nigeria self- rules

Towing the policy line of the early leaders of the union and in concert with establishing rules governing all industrial Unions globally, the NUJ has working constitution which remains the encyclopaedia of its rules including the National leaders.

The union after Nigeria independence had spread all over the states and its still functioning till today with the objective of making use of the power of the pen to make Nigeria a great nation and to bring about a good government system thereby  making Nigeria a Global  example for other Nations.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The research work will focus on the effect of Freedom of information ACT on Nigeria journalist. it has been observed that the public have been denied of information, therefore will focus on the right  to obtain information about the actions of the government.

Also the research work will focus on the negative influence of the freedom of information Act on Osun State journalists.

1.3       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The researcher sees the study as an eye-opener to explorer the study. The essence is to know the effect of the Freedom of Information Act Osun state Journalist.

Also the importance of the Freedom of Information  Act to the upcoming journalists in embryo.

1.4       PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the study is to know the effect of Freedom of Information Act on the Osun State journalist.

This work intends to understand the influence of freedom of information Act on publics, Media organisation and the journalists.

  1. To analysis the difficulties of information through  FOIA
  2. To know the negative and positive influence of FOIA on government actions to   public.
  3. To enlighten the undergraduates on purpose of Freedom of Information of Act.
  4. To know how far the freedom of information Act helps the journalist on    publishing government accounts on expenditure and revenue income.
  5. To know the problem that the freedom of information Act has caused to the           journalists.

1.5       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following questions will be considered in the study.

  1. To what extent does FOIA helps journalist in search of information on government revenue allocation?
  2. To what extent does FOIA influence the publics on information?
  3. To what extent does FOIA influence the journalist on Freedom of press

1.6       THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY

          The scope of the study is going to be narrowed to the publics that have been denied of information on government issues and challenges the journalists encountered.

The study would be limited to Osun state journalist.

1.7       LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The research work will be limited to Osun state journalists and their publics at random. Time a financial constraints will hinder the researcher from carrying thorough methods for the project.

Undue delay and bad attitude of some of some respondent and improper restrictions of some sources of vital information from previous research work will also contribute to limitation of the project.

1.8       DEFINITION OF THE TERMS

JOURNALIST: someone who engages in journalism, a writer or editor of a news or magazine or for television or radio.

PUBLIC:  concerning all the people at large or all members of the community involved in activities such as politics and entertainment

INFORMATIION: The collection of fact and data about a specific subject

ACT: Act is a record or statement of decision made by legislatives or judicial body which is also known as laws.

MEDIA: Radio, Television Newspaper and magazine.

                                                

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