Investigative Journalism, Corruption and Sustainable Development in Nigeria: A Critical Overview
A free, aggressive, open and bold press is part of the spiritual core of a democracy in any part of the world. In the world we are living today, investigative journalism is becoming a significant part in our daily lives, as it informs, unleashes and reveals to us, the happenings in our community, society, government and in the country. Investigative journalism is critical to the advancement and preservation of a country’s democratic institutions and way of life and in helping to catalyse equitable development. Thus, the study focuses on how to curb corruption in Nigeria, through investigative journalism, so as to engender development at all levels. The study adopts the survey research method, employing the focus group discussion as an instrument of data collection. The data gathered and analysed shows that investigative journalism has a very crucial role to play in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, which will in turn, lead to sustainable development. Findings show that the press has an important role to play in strengthening democratic governance, promoting awareness and keeping a check on corrupt practices and the misuse of government power. Findings also show that certain factors hinder the effective practice of investigative journalism in Nigeria. The factors, among others, include: proprietorial interference, repressive press laws, political interference, media gate keepers, economic constraints, technological limitations and limited access to information. Based on the findings, the study concludes that investigative journalism is key to fighting corruption in Nigeria, but the extent to which it is used to fight corruption in Nigeria is minimal. Based on the conclusion, the paper, among others, recommends that the investigative journalist should be allowed to have free access to information so that journalism can be used to expose corruption, so as to bring about sustainable development in Nigeria.
Keywords: Investigative,journalism, corruption, democracy and development