Journal of Research in National Development

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The freedom of information act and the practice of journalism in Nigeria: an appraisal

Oluwatomi Caleb Adeniji


This study examines the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in Nigeria. Within this context, the paper investigates the influence of FOIA on journalism practice in Nigeria. The article also observes the challenges and limitations of the Act as well as the role of the media in the usage of the FOIA, tracing the journey; origin, history and the justification for the Act. Case studies of early deployments were also mentioned. The study employed Libertarian media theory and Teological ethnical theory as the theoretical framework. Focus Group Discussion and telephone interview were used to solicit responses from journalists, media scholars and media entrepreneurs. The findings of the study revealed that there is low level of awareness among the general public on the usage and effectiveness of the Act. Also, it was found that there is unavailability of supervisory regulating body to coordinate the enactment of the legislation. It therefore recommended among other things the creation of high awareness of the general public on the usage and workings of the Act as well as putting in place machinery to reinforce its institutionalization.

Keywords: Freedom of Information Act, media, press freedom, journalism, legislation

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