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Political communications in Nigeria.

Olayiwola, Rahman Olalekan (1991) Political communications in Nigeria. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This study of the Nigerian Political Communications examines the patterns of mass media ownership and their impact on the coverage of selected national issues - the census controversy, ethnic problems and the general elections of 1979 and 1983. The contents of 21 newspapers of variegated ownership pattern involving governments, partisan and private interests are analysed and "live" illustrations of stories are given. This is to demonstrate empirically the thesis argument that the criterion of ownership is the key factor which determines how the Nigerian mass media are used for moulding the citizens' perception of political reality. The thesis seeks to answer questions such as: (a) what role have the Nigerian mass media played in promoting and/or compounding the problems of national integration in the Nigerian society since independence. (b) what role should the Nigerian mass media play to promote national integration and political stability. (c) what changes are necessary and desirable with the present situation to allow the mass media perform such integrative and stabilizing functions. Located within a comparative political communication approach to the study of mass media and politics in developing countries, this thesis seeks to contribute to knowledge in the areas of the theory, methodology and practice of political communications in Africa - with Nigeria as a case study. The question of media ownership has remained central to the Nigerian political communications with the attendant intrigues, ethnic violence, character assassination, political vilification, personal vendetta, coups and counter coups, general violent political disagreement and perennial problems of political instability culminating in fragmentation and disintegration that threaten the continued existence of Nigeria. The thesis also highlights a host of other factors which work in collaboration with media ownership to influence the Nigerian political communications - ethnicity, economic position, religion, legal limitations, circulation, transportation, audience reach, freedom of the press or lack of it, linguistic barriers and literacy. The thesis argues, in conclusion, that as Nigeria approaches a third attempt at democratic rule in socio-economic conditions which are less propitious than on past occasions, there is a need for the Nigerian mass media to operate in a way which contributes to national integration. It questions the existing pattern which is elitist and urban in orientation, ignores the rural majority and divides the Nigerian people rather than unites them. To achieve integration through political communications, the thesis suggests the need to restructure the media ownership pattern and to establish a Nigerian Media Advisory Council with some regulatory powers and authority to impose punitive sanctions on media practitioners and institutions for any professional misconduct.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1089

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