Media legislation

As the fourth estate of the realm cannot be more efficient that the state within which it operates, the structure and performance of the Nigerian media system are not immune from the shortcomings of governance and legislation in Nigeria.

The intersection of politics and journalism has given rise to a situation where, rather than legislate the media, democratic governments sought to infiltrate and influence media operations to suit their own interests. Influencing, rather than legislating, the media has led to the abandonment of the legislative structures put in place decades ago to prevent the media from becoming a lord unto itself. In the days of military rule, the Nigerian media was a victim of over-legislation in the form of ruthless decrees promulgated to pave the way for the harassment of journalists, closure of newspapers, and stifling of press freedom. These days, it is under-legislation that is the bane of the media.