Factors in Mass Media, Third-Term Agenda and Governance in Nigeria

Type Journal Article - New Media and Mass Communication
Title Factors in Mass Media, Third-Term Agenda and Governance in Nigeria
Volume 10
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 48-63
URL http://pakacademicsearch.com/pdf-files/art/444/48-62 Vol 10, No 1 (2013).pdf
There are plethora of contending reasons for the failure of the third-term agenda embarked upon by the
erstwhile President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo to elongate his term of office from the constitutional two terms to a
third term. Although no single account is sufficient to explain the failure and its implications on the festering
governance crisis in the country, one key point of convergence is that the media played a pivotal role in ensuring public
education on the contentious issue. The study therefore assessed the influence of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s
policies on the role of mass media against the Third Term Agenda. It also attempts to verify the actual nature of the role
of mass media in the Third Term Agenda and investigated the influence of ethnicity and media ownership on the role of
the mass media in the Third Term Agenda. It further examined the efforts of the mass media in the emergence of the
Fourth Republic in Nigeria. This was with a view to assessing the roles of the mass media in President Olusegun
Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda.
The study utilized both primary and secondary data. A total of 170 copies of questionnaire were distributed
among members of political parties, academia, journalists, pro-democracy groups and relevant NGOs. The selected
respondents were: two members of five major political parties; twenty scholars from recognized academic institutions
in Nigeria; three journalists each from three dailies and two weekly newspapers; one member of staff of FRCN in five
States as well as National Television Authority staff members: and two members of staff each from state owned radio
and television stations in the sampled states; five members of staff each from Private radio stations; five members of
staff each from two private television stations; five members of five pro-democracy Non Governmental Organisations
across Nigeria; and five members of staff each from National Broadcasting Corporation and Ministry of Information.
The secondary sources included books, journal, dailies, among others. The primary data were analysed using the
descriptive and inferential statistics while the secondary data were subjected to content analysis.
The results showed that 37.2% of the responded clearly that government’s policy did not impact the role of
the mass media on the third term agenda. It also, the study showed that the mass media played agenda setting role upon
which other actors based their agitations in the third term agenda (54.3 per cent) and that ethnicity did not condition the
role of the mass media. Furthermore, the result showed that privately owned media outlets provided a quantum of
agitation against the third term agenda. Finally, the mass media were major actors in the race that birthed the fourth
republic and in the quest to ensure the preservation of the democracy.
The study concluded that the mass media, maintained an approach and strategy that were largely encapsulated
in aggressive attack and criticism rather than an educative effort that is capable of nurturing a democracy.

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