Fellowship 2021Kwame Karikari FellowshipResearch

Information disorder and the future of journalism in Nigeria


Nigerian journalism has encountered and continues to confront many threats, majority of them exogenous; repression by colonial and post colonial administrations, clampdown by military regimes, draconian and  repressive decrees and codes, attacks on facilities, prevention of circulation and  closures, intimidation, imprisonment and worse of all – murder. The Nigerian news  media however found ingenious ways to overcome these challenges or work  around them. The nationalist press contributed significantly to securing the  country’s independence from Britain and put successive democratic  administrations in check. The industry also served as a bother for military  administrations and worked in tandem with the civil society to return democratic  rule to Nigeria in 1999, after years of incessant military coups and take-overs which  spanned over three decades. Unfortunately, this industry that has withstood such  enormous trials without wavering may be brought down by a more insidious  endogenous challenge that many have identified but do not significantly  appreciate; information disorder. Information disorder embodies all the various  ways by which the integrity of published information is compromised. Classified  broadly into disinformation, misinformation and malinformation (based on intent  and harm-caused), information disorder, which was perceived as the merchandise  of unprofessional and ‘emergency journalists’ and bloggers is now becoming the  Achilles’ heel of the Nigerian news media. Using a mixed-method approach (content analysis, interview and survey) and guided by attention economy and  political economic approach to media management theories, this study argues  that the mainstream media may lose the trust of their audiences while political  actors will use information disorder to justify their renewed efforts to gag the  media. The study ends by recommending that news media organisations in Nigeria  re-design their management models so that they can remain competitive without  losing the integrity that has preserved the news media in the country.

Download Research Paper

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button