The Role of the Media in Anti – Corruption Campaign

The Role of the Media in Anti – Corruption Campaign (A Case Study of Nigeria)

Nigeria has become a country playing host to the victory of wrong over light, falsehood over the truth and supremacy of personal irresponsibility over fundamental values. It is a country perpetuating a policy that fails to value human life and cherish human beings above material possession, power and pleasures, it is a place where men and women of honor, experience, credibility and self consciousness have been cut their prime for daring to talk. It is a place where crooks are not protected by the powers-that-be and where leaders are not determined by the citizens. Votes. Without doubt, Nigeria is breeding fraud of corruption.

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For a Nigerian, it is quite disheartening to note that to a foreigners, the mere mention of Nigeria confuses up the thought of corruption, or is it that corruption remains them of Nigeria. Whichever angle one look at the simple point is that Nigeria has become almost interchangeable with the vicious word “corruption”

However, as one person noted, nothing is so bad that something good cannot come from it: the truth of those words can be seen in the activities of some honest, conscientious and positive goal oriented individuals as well as corporate bodies who are bent on redeeming  the tainted image of Nigeria. The government on its part set up a corruption checking commission to help in pruning down irregularities in government and public offices. And with the aid of the mass media of communication, the proceedings and going on are being carried wide for the participation of the entire citizenry

Yes, the mass media are brought into focus because of the indispensable part they play or are meant to play. The mass media which include musically the Television, Radio, Newspaper, magazine and internet are the means through which information are disseminated and communication is done with a wide anonymous heterogeneous and diversified individuals and group simultaneously. Because of this far reaching ability, journalist are expected now and then to use them in promoting national unity and development in economic, social, political and educational spheres. They have also been found to be very effective in influencing peoples opinions and ideas on government activities. Thus the mass media have been employed in propagating programmes that are geared towards righting the wrong in a given society.

Nevertheless, in a country like ones where the government put so much emphasis in the fight against corruption with nothing to show for it such that the globally-respected “transparency International” has consistently rated Nigeria either as the most corrupt country – what are the media doing in the campaign against corruption. In fact what is the role of mass media in anti-corruption campaign?

This work is to assess the role of the media in this regard


There is much corruption in Nigeria. Especially is this disheartening when one notices that they are perpetuated by the people in government, who almost are seen as sacred cows – the untouchable. But in recent times, the government has indicated interest in the fight against corruption, thus setting up the “Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)” and the “Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences commission (ICPC)” other bodies also exist that fight corruption in public as well as in private quarters.

With this state of affairs the mass media are called into play because they are the only medium which the proceedings of these anti-corruption bodies can be disseminated. Additionally, the mass media on their own have the responsibility of society servicing. Thus are the mass media playing their role well?

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To find that out, we are set to assess the role of the mass media in this area.


This research work is meant to assess the role the media play in the ant-corruption campaigns. The objective in the process is to examine the activities of the Nigeria media, whether paint or broadcast, to find out how they enlighten the masses in the light of the widespread corruption in Nigeria. Whether the media are living up to expectation will be assessed through the opinion of the media consumers.


The study will be of immense important to both the Nigerian media and the masses who are of course the media consumers. The media are conventionally said to be the watch dog of the society who not only entertain but enlighten and inform on what is happening near and far.

The media would hardly be informing and enlightening the public: if they don’t cover report and even broadcast daily happening, if they do not examine and investigate irregularities and report findings, if they do not create avenue for the public to contribute their own opinion as part of corporate citizenship, thus helping everybody to feel part and parcel of society development.

To that end, the findings of this work will reveal whether the media have been living up to expectation in the area of anti – corruption campaign. If at the end, the opinions of people revealed that the media have not been measuring up, it then requires that the next study be or how to make the media live up to their roles.


  1. What is the composition of the media
  2. What is the nature of their role in anti-corruption campaign
  3. How can the role of the media in anti-corruption campaign be assessed.
  4. What effect do their role have on the media consumers.


Ho1­      ­Media assessment is directly dependent on the level of exposure to the media

Ho1­      Media assessment is not directly dependent on the level of exposure to the media

Ho2      The media are playing on indispensable role in the fight against corruption

Ho2      The media are not playing an indispensable role in the fight against corruption

Ho3      The media have a powerful effect on the out look of the media consumers towards corruption

Ho3      The media do not have a powerful effect on the out look of the media consumers towards corruption.


MEDIA (CONCEPTUAL): Media s is the plural form of medium. Medium means that by which something is expressed.

MEDIA (OPERATIONAL): It is the same as mass media. The mass media are the modern channels of mass communication used to disseminate news, and information to every diverse cum large number of people simultaneously” (Ukozor, 2003) they are the electronic media (Radio television and films) and print media (Newspapers, magazines and books)

ASSEMENT (CONCEPTUAL): This means the amount assess. To assess means to decide or fix the value of something.

ASSESSMENT (OPERATIONAL): Studying in order to find a definite statistical value attached to a particular thing. It also means to check the value or rating of a thing.

CAMPAIGN (CONCEPTUAL): Seres of planned activities to gain s special object

CAMPAIGN (OPERATIONAL): Series of media activities geared towards achieving a particular goal or publicity. It can be inform of programme whether in broadcast or in print.


It is assumed that to actually generate valid data for this study, interest has to be focused  only to those who utilize the media. The fact is that, it is only the mass media consumers that can authentically say what the media do or do not feature.

Again, it is proper that such media consumers be mature enough as to their power of understanding so as to make good meaning from the media contents as well as contributing meaningfully in the program

Therefore, opinions are sough regarding media anti- corruption contents from only the mature media consumers.


A number of difficulties world as constraints against the research in the process of this research work. The major one are

  1. Time constraints
  2. Financial constraints and the
  3. Inability to collect back all the questionnaires from the respondents.


          This chapter is designed to cover the sourced of literature, the review of literature and the summary of the reviews literature as it relates to the problems on land.


In the process of the work, the researcher sought for information from both primary and secondary sources, the researcher interviewed and interacted with practicing journalist in the area of media role in the fighting against corruption. The researcher in addition was able to go through relevant journals and periodicals, books in communication as well as made extensive study of magazines and newspapers.


The media performance in discouraging corruption is very crucial for every given society. Even though this role is not explicitly written it is implicitly written within the three basic fundamental functions of the media noted by Williams Rivers et al (1965)

To better appreciate the role of the media in the cases of corruption, one has to appreciate the role they play in communication which is the main channel. Imagine what would happen if all of a sudden, the mass media ceased. How would we find out government policies and what members of the parliament are deliberating on? How would the government have an idea of how people respond to its programmed? How do the result of elections? Examining these questions will reveal to us the extent of our dependence on the media and silently the nature of their campaign against corruption. It is through them that the anti-corruption. It is through them that anti-corruption campaigns from others non-media bodies are covered and projected fro the benefit of the majority who are not opportune or simply cannot possibly be at the spot of happenings.

Meanwhile, as mentioned the functions of the media according to Williams can be divided into three distinct approaches or foundations.

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