Journalism practice and application of the contempt of court principle in the Nigerian judiciary
The people’s right to know is a cardinal feature of democratic governance. In the judiciary, the right to know presupposes an open justice system where judges are expected to adjudicate without concealments. As authentic information purveyors in society, the press and the judiciary need collaboration to achieve openness in justice administration and satisfaction of the people’s right to know.Consequently, this paper explores the relationship between Nigerian judges and journalists vis a vis Nigeria’s Chief Judge’s recent directive to the bench to apply “contempt proceedings” in members’ interactions with “wanting” journalists, and the people’s right to know. The paper assessed judges’ professed preconditions for journalists’ presence in court and practical experiences of journalists in Nigerian courts. It identifies a depreciation of values in justice administration behind this morally repulsive relationship between the bench and the press and calls for urgent redress.
Keywords: Journalism practice, Prejudice, Contempt of court, Justice administration, Judiciary