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The effect of press laws on Nigerian Practicing journalists, a case study of NTA, Enugu. The goals of this study is critically appraise the effect of press laws on Nigeria Journalism, Press laws, as the name implies as been as part of the media, because its content effects and helps to shape the life of the journalists, an it also help to shape the life of the journalist, and it also help to inform the people and in building their disposition toward a particularly course on the journalist especially as it concern the press media for political participation and national development. Press laws of today it now an educator of the people in urban and rural area penetration every concerns of the land found in every home no matter how remote or low highly telling its tale of doing good or evil transporting gin this busy world of ours expressing decided opinion upon current events with all the freedom and assurance pondered by meditative old age, shave, middle age inexperienced youth, it is impossible but that is should yield and influence such as no other Agency can.  The aim of this survey is to assess the NTA network centre on political mobilization or rural dwellers for grassroots political participation for national development. The sample survey was adopted to carryout this study, NTA, Enugu network center as the research population was divided into zone, the reports is divided into five chapters, chapter one is introduction given a kind of background to the problem, objective significance of the study etc, chapter two is the literature, the review of the literature necessary for the study, chapter three deals with the methodology while chapter four is the presentation of collected data and its analysis.  Finally, chapter five which the last chapter contains the summary, conclusion and recommendations.



Title Page                                                       ii

Approval Page                                                 iii

Dedication                                                      iv

Acknowledge                                                   v

Abstract                                                          vi

Acknowledgements                                          vii

Table of Contents                                             viii

Lists of Table                                                   ix


1.0 Introduction                                                  1

11 Background of the study                                   6

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem                   8

1.3 Objectives of the study                                    8

1.4 significance of the Study                                  9

1.5 Research Questions                                        10

1.6 Research Hypothesis                                       11

1.7 Theoretical Framework                                 12

1.8 Scope of the Study                                      14

1.9 Limitation of the Study                                15

1.10 Definition of Terms                                    16


2.1Literature Review                                         19

2.2 Source of Literature                                    19

2.3 Summary of Literature                                 26



3.0 Methodology                                             30

3.1 Research Design                                         30

3.2 Area of Study                                             30

3.3 Research Population                                    31

3.4 Research Sample                                        32

3.5 Sampling Technique                                    35

3.6 Method of Data Collection                            36

3.7 Method of Data Analysis                               37

3.8 Expected Result (S)                                    38

Expected Results


4.0 Presentation and Interpretation of Findings     40

4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis                     40

4.2 Analysis of Research Question/Hypothesis       57

4.3 Discussion of Results                                   67


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations  69

5.1 Summary of Finding                                    69

5.2 Conclusion                                                 71

5.3 Recommendations                                      71

Bibliography                                             76








It is imperative to understand from the onset that the press has been subjected to a nexus of retractions which has restricted the journalist to a corner as regards their expected reportage and performance.

However, the press has been faced with restrictions through set of codified laws, constitutional encroachments, obnoxious decrease, and official extra judicial limitation among others.

Furthermore, there are certain laws that the practicing Nigeria journalists should adhere to which are his actual professional guidelines, towards a better reportage. Moreover, such press can be seen as legal limitation of the press because of the NUSNGE backings of these press laws herein.

Before going deeper, one cannot out-rightly out state that the level of suggestion or adherence to press laws depends on the level of advancement of country in question. Suffices to note at the juncture, that most countries of the world including Nigeria, control their press through such laws like bribery slander, sedition contempt of court, obscenity and invasion of privacy and among a host of other press laws, but for the purpose of this study as regard the hazard involved, it will be wise to narrow down only in those aforementioned areas.

There are other laws as the copyright, has appropriate laws and among other laws. But the relevance is to analyze the above press laws among a plethora of other Laws on the practicing journalists.

Questions thus, arises what psychological orientation of these laws on the practicing Nigerian journalist? Again, law will the journalists react as regards the press laws in Nigeria? Is the constitution a limiting factor to the operations of the press? All these demand answer.

In a wider sense, the constitution is a body of rules of conduct imposed by a state upon its members and enforced by its courts. The institution regulates the activities of its members through its codified laws. According to J.W Salmond, “the constitution is that body of principle recognized and applied by the state in the administration of justice. Thus, the constitution is supreme and it provides a basis for predicting what will happen given a particular situation. It enables (us) to make a reasoned appraisal as to how society as represented by the courts will treat a particular transaction. Although it is not every action of transaction that will end in court, the law acts as a guide which chart the way transactions are conducted. The constitution therefore channels and shapes our experiences and expectations in a highly interactive world”. However the constitution and the NUJ codes of professional practice, act as an agent of check making and also regulating the functions of journalists through it various laws and ethical conduct. These laws include deformation, privacy, obscenity, copyright, sedition, contempt of court, official secrets act and contract.

The Law of Defamation

       Thus, defamation is divided into the categories libel and slander, and this division has important consequences. A libel consists of a defamatory statement of representation in permanent from, if a defamatory meaning is conveyed by spoken words or gestures. It is slander. Examples of libel as distinguished from slander are a picture, statue, wax work, effigy or writing, print, mark or sign exposed to view on the other hand, defamation in the manual language of the deaf and dump, mimicry and gesticulation would probably be slander, because the movement is more transient. These examples show that it is only broadly true to say that libel is addressed to the eye, slander to the ear. It needs no demonstration that if an oral utterance is communicated orally it is slander that is published or that if written statement is published or that if a written statement is show to a third person, it is a libel that is published.

The Law of Privacy

Privacy is one of the fundamental rights of man which distinguishes him from the brutes. Specifically, section (37) of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria states that “the privacy of citizens, their homes correspondence telephone conversation and telegraphic communications in hereby guaranteed and protected.” The idea is to ensure that the privacy of the individuals is protected in no condition should journalists interfere unduly into the private life of any individual.


Copy Right Law

Copy right law according to the Blacks law dictionary defined copy right as “the right to literacy property a recognized and sanctioned by positive law. An intangible incorporporeal right granted by statue to the author of origination of certain literacy or artistic production, whereby he is invested for a limited period with the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them”. Originally promulgated as copyright decree (47) of 1988 enumerated works, which are eligible for copyright as literacy works. Sound recording, musical works, artist works cinema, autographic films and broadcasts.

Official Secrets Acts

       The objective of these acts is to protect the interest of the state. It is climbed at preventing spying of the communication of state secrets and any beach of the official trust. Official secrets acts forbid anybody to approach, inspect Passover, enter into any prohibited area, sketch, plan, model anything intended to be useful to any enemy and or obtain collect, record, or communicate to any person any information which might be or is intended to be useful to any enemy

Law of Obscenity

       Obscenity deals with the journalistic avoidance of any publication that tend to deprive or corrupt, those whose minds are vulnerable to such immoral influences.


The actual research modalities as tied to this study is an attempt to explain the effect of press laws on the Nigeria practicing journalist as regard whether these press laws are favorable or unfavorable to the third world nation called Nigeria.

Then again, to even go further to briefly, but elaborately define the press laws to clarity issues from the onset as to what they actually entail.


The objectives of the study are as follows:

  • To see what the pres law entails
  • To se whether the press laws are relevant to the Nigerian practicing Journalist or not
  • To see whether such press laws can improve the standard of Nigerian practicing journalists.
  • To see whether the press laws are obtainable in other parts of the world.
  • To see whether press laws should out-rightly be scraped or re-modified the way it is.





The study has become imperative not only to the academic guns, but also to the non academic sector which perhaps uses its functions the proliferation of contemporary journalist with respect to Nigeria

However, it will be pertinent to further analyze various press laws on the practicing journalists in order to take a more official look on the chains of information flow and to further investigate the qualitative output of the Nigerian Journalist in response to press laws.


The following research questions are thus put in place to find this study.

  • Can the press laws be said to have a positive or negative effect on the Nigerian practicing Journalist
  • Are the pres laws thus relevant to the practicing journalists or not?
  • Can such pres law yield a more qualitative output in contemporary Nigerian journalist?
  • What are the constitution provisions for the press laws?


HIpress laws have a positive effect on practicing Nigerian


HO – press laws has negative effects on practicing Nigerian


H2 – press law are relevant on the practicing of Nigerian


HO – press law are not relevant on the practicing of

Nigerian law

H3 – press law enhances effective practice of journalism in


HO – press law do not enhance effective practice of

journalism in    Nigeria

H4 – press laws has constitutional provisions and backing

HO – pres laws has no constitutional provision and backing.


The Social Categories Theory   

This theory assumes tat there are broad collective aggregate or social categories in urban industrial societies whose behavior in the face of a given set of stimuli is more or less uniform.

(Defleur, 1970: 122 – 123) Giving the idea that the press function as a group being professional family, the press laws therefore provides the pressmen the environment with whom which to practice their profession. Thus, the pressmen cannot function outside the confine of the press laws, the essence of pres laws is to categorize the pressmen into one group to ensure the immunization of media practice. Therefore, the social category which presupposes that pressmen shares similar mentality and reacts to issues as a group in line with their modus operandi is quite germane to this study.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory and Selective Processed

People consciously and unconsciously work to preserve their existing (views) it is found also that people seek out media message consistent with the values of beliefs of those around them. This finding implored that people tired to preserve their existing views by avoiding messages that challenge them.

To ensure of those press law is to uphold the tenets of the cognitive dissonance theory as propounded by Leon festinger. According to the theory people and groups strives to preserve their values and beliefs and anything contrary in that courses psychological discomfort. In other words, the rationale behind the codification of the press laws is to ensure that pressmen function within the premises of tier ethical values. These press laws guide the pressmen in their selective processes such as selective retention, exposure and perception.

To these extents any practice outside the press laws or misconducts wish the press law does not only create psychological discomfort but attracts physical consequences.


The research empirically will center on the analysis of press laws in Nigeria practicing journalist as regard to the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and the NUJ code of professional and ethical conduct practice. Thus, certain press laws that journalist adhere to will be analyzed and discussed for instance; libel, slander, copy right law, obscenity, privacy, etc. furthermore, it is clear that the press laws have been able to enhance and promote standard journalistic practices in Nigeria through various moral and constitutional backings.


       The limitation of the study shall pin around the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and the NUJ code of professional and ethical conduct. However, in the actual sense analyzing press laws in Nigeria. One should imperatively note the dynamism of the topic and that it demand a national outlook and affiliated orientation. But suffice it state categorically at this juncture that it will be wise to fully acquaint the reader of this study a full academic expectation owing to envisaged hazards such as monetary constraints, lack of pertinent data, logistic hazard among other hazard which will act negatively as empirically impediments to derail the motive of the study.


       In this sub chapter, certain words that have duplicated meanings outside the work have been carefully defined as tied to this research in other to guide the reader against derailed interpretation.

Some of this words or phrases are as follows:

Analysis: (conceptually) this entails the detailed examination of elements or structure for extensive understanding.

Analysis: (operationally) the process of providing deeper meaning into issues or constituent.

Law: (conceptually) this is the whole system of rules that everyone must adhere to.

Law: (operationally) rules subject to a system of professional practice someone regarded as having binding force or effect.

Press: (conceptually) this is the journalist who work for newspaper or broadcast medium

Press: (operationally) those who gather and disseminate new items for public consumption.





Idowu, L. (2000). The challenges of the press in a

democratic dispensation: media in a democratic thoughts and perceptive, Lagos:- Frankad Publisher.


Olikolun, A. (2002). Media reporting and the Tinubu

Administration: one year of Tinubu Administration, Lagos: Tisea consult publisher.


Umechukwu, P.O.). (2000). The dilemmas of mass

communication in National Development, Ennugu: cape publishers ltd.



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