TABLE OF CONTENT
Background to the study
Statement of Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the study
Delimitation /scope of study
Limitation of Study
Review of Related Literature
Summary of Literature Review
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
Population of Study
Sample and Sampling Techniques
Validity of Instrument
Administration of the Instrument
Method of Data Analysis
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
Data presentation and Analysis
Discussion of Results
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This study is on the level of awareness of the freedom of information act among journalists. The total population for the study is 200 members of NUJ. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made secretaries, chairmen, old members and new members were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
- Background of the study
Freedom of Information is a requisite fact in a democratic environment. Citizens want to be informed on the activities of their governments. They want to know how their tax money is been used, how projects are funded and generally, seek to make their governments accountable to them. In Nigeria, there has been continuous struggle as to what activities of government should be made public or otherwise. The much awaited Freedom of Information Bill has gained approval and has been passed into law, thus making it an Act. Journalism is one social institution that requires freedom to effectively function in society. It plays a crucial role to society, serving as the watchdog of the society, and providing constant stream of information, education and socialization. Soeze (2005, p.19) elucidates that the media as the watchdog of the society have the responsibility of keeping the public informed, educated and socialized. This involves making people know the day-to-day activities and dealings of those in government whether military or civilian. In addition, the media also help to ensure that the government knows the feelings and yearnings of those it governs. However, for the media to perform these functions effectively and efficiently there must be press freedom. (Ogunkwo 1999) in Suntai and Vakkai (2014) assert that “The mass media ought to play the role of gathering, analyzing and disseminating news and information about people, events and issues in society which could be in form of news, commentaries, editorials, advertorials, news analysis, profiles, columns, cartoons, pictures or magazine feature via mass communication medium such as radio, television news papers, magazine, digital TV, face book, you tube, 2go and other numerous social media to a heterogeneous audience simultaneously or about the same time” Journalism also sets agenda, organizes public debates and discussions, and interprets issues to put them in proper perspectives to make meaning to people. Through these roles, journalism not only educate, inform and socialize; it also confers status, values and significance to issues, thereby serving as the mouth-piece and defender of the voiceless and the oppressed in society (Sambe, 2008). Since the emergence of modern journalism in Nigeria in 1859 according to (Aliede, 2003), it has been struggling to achieve the needed freedom that would enable it discharge its social responsibilities creditably. The journalistic task of gathering and disseminating news has not been an easy one largely due to limited freedom occasioned largely by government firm grip and control of the mass media. This implies that, the free flow of information has been trampled upon. Journalists have had no access to vital information let alone the masses. In struggling to get detailed, factual and balanced reportage, journalists have had to continue to nose around for information, exposing themselves to high levels of risk that got them victimized, jailed, tortured and sometimes killed (Ezeah, 2004). In contribution, Malayo, (2012) asserts that: “Over the years, the agitation for the emergence of a free press society, has been on the front burner of national discuss, especially among journalism practitioners in Nigeria. This owes largely to the fact that the expediency of having a legislation that guarantees a high level of press freedom cannot be ignored. It cannot be ignored apparently against the backdrop of the attendant positive effect it could have on any society” Even before the passage and subsequent signing of the Freedom of Information Bill into law, there were strong views that the Act was going to facilitate journalism practice in Nigeria. Even though the Act is not a journalism law, journalists were at the fore-front in agitation for its passage; Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) were among the three civil society organizations that began the campaign of a law of this nature (FOI Coalition, 2003). Against this backdrop, the need for a Nigeria Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) had been emphasized by many media scholars.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The FOIA in Nigeria has been greeted by many proponents of the law as a step in the right direction. Media practitioners believe that the Freedom of Information, as a communication phenomenon will play an essential role in placing Nigeria on the right track of development. The issue now is the level of preparedness on the part of the core agitators of the FoIA, being the journalists as it relates to their maximizing the provisions of the Act towards effective journalism practice. While the FoIA promises a lot, its workability in a country like Nigeria, where there is a penchant for violating laws with impurity, tends to puncture its potentials direction towards effective media practice. Therefore, maximizing the potentials of the FoIA in Nigeria depends on how well the media practitioners are acquainted with its provisions. Malayo (2012) argues that not many journalists are fully aware of the provisions of the FoIA, thereby limiting their push for information in the custody of government, as well as other public institutions
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are;
- Examining the level of awareness among journalist in Nigeria on the FoIA
- Determining the extent to which the FoIA can aid media practice towards a fair, balanced, accurate and objective reporting
- To examine how they have been using this access to information to facilitate their jobs.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no level of awareness among journalist in Nigeria on the FoIA
H1: there is level of awareness among journalist in Nigeria on the FoIA
H02: there is no extent to which the FoIA can aid media practice towards a fair, balanced, accurate and objective reporting
H2: there is extent to which the FoIA can aid media practice towards a fair, balanced, accurate and objective reporting
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will give a clear insight on level of awareness of the freedom of information act among journalists. The study will be beneficial to students, the general public and to the journalists. The study will show Media practitioners believe that the Freedom of Information, as a communication phenomenon will play an essential role in placing Nigeria on the right track of development. The study will also serve as a reference to other researchers that will embark on this topic
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers level of awareness of the freedom of information act among journalist. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The Freedom of Information Act provides that individuals have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority.
JOURNALIST: A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist’s work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study