NIGERIA: The role of the media is essential to establish a democratic culture that extends beyond the political system. Media is the backbone of a democracy and all the actions taken by media remains engraved in the public consciousness for a long time.
Due to the habitual usage of the word, “Democracy” in Nigeria’s media space has become an hourly habit among Nigerians. This has widened people’s knowledge about the importance of media to the democratic setting.
Democracy gives freedom—’the right to free speech’. The media through television channels, the Internet, and newspapers assume the role of the moral guardian in society.
The impact of mass media in Nigeria
One cannot talk about the significance of the media to democracy without referring to the media practitioners who have fought tirelessly in upholding the activities of democracy through the media space.
Media personnel has put tremendous effort in enforcing, spreading, and singing the gospel needed for the government to uphold to do the needful in achieving a democratic society habitable for all and sundry.
The likes of Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, and Yakubu Mohammed, and as well Babatunde Jose have successfully made a name in the mass media industry.
Holding the government accountable is one of the core objectives of the media to form a democratic environment.
Surveillance, informative and educational functions also play vital roles as it is combined in ensuring the government takes responsibility for what they are assigned.
In times of fighting corruption and bad governance, the media has stood firmly in the forefront to make sure the ugly phenomenon is reduced to the nearest minimum.
Even though media practitioners are exposed to danger daily while discharging their responsibility, they never relent in doing the needful. Once dominated by print, radio and television, it is experiencing a disruption by digital platforms.
Needfully, the role played by the media in the democratic arena is characterized by the media personnel striving hard to fulfill its fundamental obligations to society to achieve a greater height. Through providing accurate, credible, and balanced information to the general populace to serve as its watchdog.
It is high time for the media to understand its role in information dissemination, press freedom, and its social responsibility as an entity.
In every democratic society, media has helped it in the attainment of a developed society in which many have been yawning for has advanced to the level of supporting its constitutional backing.
The Nigeria Constitution doesn’t only permit freedom of expression, freedom to operate media, to disseminate information, own ideas and opinions but to as well and as a matter of urgent accord itself the responsibility of surveillance on government activities and to also hold the government accountable in their dealings.
Conclusively, the Nigeria Constitution speaks about media in terms of democracy as follows; section 0.2.2.4 states that media must uplift political knowledge of the masses such as information on electoral acts or processes for it boost people’s morale about democracy in their various levels.
Along with this, media must also build the spirit of compliance among people at all levels in respect of their opinion or ideology. This in turn will advance social justice, social responsibility and as well add value to human rights.