Media and endemic corruption in Nigeria: A scrutiny of the role of the print media in the war against corruption

  • Emmanuel Ezimako Nzeaka
  • Beryl Ehondor
  • Aifuwa Edosonwan
Keywords: Corruption, Newspapers, Government policy-makers, Laws, Freedom curtailment


The media are the bedrock of any democratic system acting as a connection between the government and the people via its publications. This study thus examined the role of the press, especially newspapers, in covering endemic corruption as well as the challenges faced along the way, using Nigeria as a microcosm for Africa. Social Responsibility Theory (SRT) and media content analysis were used to analyse data collated from 200 corruption and anti-corruption related reports from Premium Times and Vanguard Newspapers published in six months, January to June 2017 and isolated cases in 2019, 2018, 2020, and 2021. The newspapers were identified via purposive sampling and have received awards for investigative reporting. Their headlines and content were reviewed to determine whether the reports were investigative or interpretative journalism within the months and years under review. Findings revealed that print media in Nigeria have been reporting on corruption and government fraud, however, their reportage has been more interpretative than investigative. The press tried exposing corrupt practices in government but was also confronted with challenges such as the curtailment of free speech, intimidation, assassination, and weak laws, hampering the war against corruption. The study recommended that media houses focus on investigative reporting, which is imperative for a democratic state. The press must also
advocate autonomy, security, strengthening of current legislation for open access to information, implementation of punitive measures against uncovered corrupt officials and other government support in the fight against corruption. Media and the government must collaborate in the interest of societal growth. 


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2734-3316
print ISSN: 1597-9482