The Role Of Investigative Journalism In Exposing Corruption In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Role Of Investigative Journalism In Exposing Corruption In Nigeria


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria. The study was set to find out if investigative journalism is an effective tool for uncovering corruption, find out the techniques for effective investigative journalism in Nigeria, find out the effectiveness of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria, and examine the challenges of investigative journalist in exposing corruption in Nigeria. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of staff of Nigeria Press Council (NPC). In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 113 respondents and only 85 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using mean scores, while the hypotheses was tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that; the investigative journalism is an effective tool for uncovering corruption. The findings further show that the investigative journalism is not very effective in exposing corruption in Nigeria. Therefore, it is recommended that there is the need for professional bodies and media owners to ensure regular training on investigative journalism so as to equip journalists with necessary skills and techniques to carryout investigation. Journalists should strive to work in syndicate while carrying out investigative. They should also access forensive knowledge and artificial intelligence to cope with current trends. There is the need for a synergy between the Nigerian investigative journalists and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other government agencies for information. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

In an attempt to fight the increasing waves of corruption in Nigeria, numerous conferences and seminars and academic papers have been presented, yet corruption has remained firm and even gathered stamina. Notwithstanding, the media as a genetic concept is supposed to be one of the most critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption.This is because the watchdog function of the media has the potency of blowing the whistle; thereby revealing what is hitherto unknown yet salient to the public. The watchdog role of the media, unarguably, is best played through investigative journalism.Investigative reporting is a detailed or in-depth examination, extending over a period of a given news situation.The potency of investigative journalism in the fight against corruption in a democratic ambience like Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. Sowunmiet al (2010) further state that the role of the media is critical in promoting good governance and controlling corruption. According to them the media does not only raise public awareness about corruption, its causes, consequences and possible remedies, but also investigates and reports incidences of corruption.Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. The elements of corruption are found in almost all countries of the world today, but incidences of corruption are much more prevalent in developing countries, including Nigeria (Alawode, 2009). Therefore, there is no doubt that the desperate behaviour of politicians and other public office holders in Nigeria calls for the need to hold these sets of individuals accountable so as to stamp out corruption or reduce it to the barest minimum to pave the way for development. To achieve this, the media have an enormous role to play by investigating, unravellingand reporting corrupt practices such as bribery, embezzlement, extortion, electoral manipulation, favouritism, nepotism fraud among others. It is clear that the wave of corruption in Nigeria is alarming. In fact, the phenomenon is gradually gaining weight despite the many campaigns and advocacy against corrupt practices in both public and private sectors. Sowunmi, Raufu, Oketokun, Salako & Usifoh (2010, p.7) note that “corruption remains a symptom of a poorly functioning state as witnessed in most developing countries such as Nigeria.” In fact, Edmond & Wilson (2018) reveal that corruption thrives in the Nigerian society to an extent that it is seen as a normal way of life.

Public officers in government establishments have continuously practiced all sorts of corrupt activities while discharging their duties hence causing rot and decay in the system, thereby holding service delivery at stake.Stressing on the role of the media in the fight against corruption, Ayoola (2008) opines that if democracy were to survive and be a fruitful concept, the role of the media in sustaining it through anti-corruption crusade could not be overemphasised. Ayoola’sclaim is based on the incredible role the media played in unravelling the Watergate Scandal of (1972 to 1974) which remains one of the renowned corrupt cases in the history of America. (which resulted in the resignation of American President, Richard Nixon). In Nigeria, investigative journalism has over the years been used (although not actively) as a tool by journalists to checkmate the excesses of corrupt politicians and other public office holders. For instance, the corrupt practices of the NNPC and the former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, were heavily reported in the media (Komolafe, Nkereuwem& Kalu-Amah, 2019). It is obvious and pathetic that despite the laudable and auspicious potency of investigative journalism in the Nigerian society, investigative reporting appears unpopular in this part of the world (Justine and Egere, 2018).The above situation stimulatesUgwu (2010), cited in Dogari & Shem (2017) toposit that investigative journalism in a developing nation like Nigeria is threatened by numerouschallenges which are almost crippling its proper practice. In fact, the above assertion makes many observers to doubt if at all investigative journalism is efficiently practised in Nigeria (Dogari & Shem, 2017).The effectiveness of the media, especially, investigative reporters depends on access to information and freedom of expression, as well as a professional and ethical cadre of investigative journalists (Stapenhurst, 2000). In other words, poor media performance seriously puts the citizenry under the yoke of political office holders or civil servants who seem to have the natural tendency to be corrupt. In light of the above, this study seeks to examine the role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There are claims that investigative journalism has been in the decline since its haydays in the 1970s \, and many investigations are now more concerned with entertainment than information (Harcup,2009:110). However, investigative journalism as practised in Nigeria is ineffective as it is constrained by several problems despite its bright prospects. More often than not, journalists publish half truth, distorted stories and outright falsehood without indepth investigation, thereby making rumours ,unsubstantiated claims and emotions the bedrock of information gathering. Hence, this study examines the role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The primary objective of the study is to examine the role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria. The specific objectives is as follows:

  1. To find out if investigative journalism is an effective tool for uncovering corruption.
  2. To find out the techniques for effective investigative journalism in Nigeria.
  3. To find out the effectiveness of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria.
  4. To examine the challenges of investigative journalist in exposing corruption in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. Is investigative journalism an effective tool for uncovering corruption in Nigeria?
  2. What are the techniques for effective investigative journalism in Nigeria?
  3. How effective is investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria?
  4. What are the challenges of investigative journalist in exposing corruption in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: Investigative journalism is not effective in exposing corruption in Nigeria.

Ha: Investigative journalism is not effective in exposing corruption in Nigeria.


1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will be significant to professionals in the field of journalism as the findings of the study will reveals some of the challenges journalist face in uncoverinf corrupt practices among the elite of the country.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as literature review. This means that, other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review.Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards tohe role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will find out the extent investigative journalism is used to uncover allegations of corruption in Nigeria. The study will also examine the challenges of investigative journalist in exposing corrupt persons or institutions in Nigeria. The study will further investigate whether investigative journalism is practiced in Nigeria. Lastly, the study will recommend ways investigative journalist can be assisted in uncovering corrupt practices in Nigeria.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Investigation:

The action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research

Journalism:

The activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast.

Corruption:

Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.


1.9 Organizations of the Study

The study consisted of five chapters. Chapter one comprised background of the study and a general introduction to the work. It included statement of problem of the study, highlighted the objectives of the study, the scope within which the research was conducted is also highlighted. An outline of how the work is organized is also detailed in the chapter one. The chapter two of the study reviewed the literature concerning investigative journalism and corruption. Chapter three discussed the research methodology. Chapter four discussed presentation of analysis and chapter five is a summary of the major findings with recommendations and conclusion to the study.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria.The study is was specifically carried out to find out if investigative journalism is an effective tool for uncovering corruption, find out the techniques for effective investigative journalism in Nigeria, find out the effectiveness of investigative journalism in exposing corruption in Nigeria, and examine the challenges of investigative journalist in exposing corruption in Nigeria.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 85 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent wereall the staff of Nigeria Press Council (NPC).


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. Investigative journalism is an effective tool for uncovering corruption.
  2. The techniques for effective investigative journalism in Nigeria include; ambush, impersonation, and secret use of tapes/recorders.
  3. Investigative journalism is not very effective in exposing corruption in Nigeria.
  4. The challenges of investigative journalist in exposing corruption in Nigeria include; Pervasive clientelism;

Inadequate working conditions, salaries, training and equipment; Widespread corruption within the media; Threats of or actual physical violence against journalists; and a lack of finance and the absence of a strong capital base, encouraging dependence on funding from senior politicians and business people.


5.4 Recommendations

With regard to these findings, the following recommendations are made:

  1. The Nigerian media institutions must first purge themselves of bad eggs among them and create enabling environment for practitioners to perform effectively before pointing accusing finger on corrupt civil servants, politicians, businessmen/women etc. The axiom those who live in class house should not through stones is sacrosanct even for crusading journalists.
  2. There is the need for professional bodies and media owners to ensure regular training on investigative journalism so as to equip journalists with necessary skills and techniques to carryout investigation.Journalists should strive to work in syndicate while carrying out investigative. They should also access forensive knowledge and artificial intelligence to cope with current trends.There is the need for a synergy between the Nigerian investigative journalists and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other government agencies for information.
  3. Furthermore such synergy should not encourage investigative journalists to ever fraternise with these agencies as evidences abound that they too can be highly, absolutely corrupt, to the extent of setting up a journalist or colluding with criminals to carry out dastardly acts against innocent citizens.
  4. The autonomy of the media is essential to enable it to assess Government information critically and objectively and to ensure its reports are credible to the population as a whole. Thus, Government contacts with the media must be transparent, and they must not compromise the essential autonomy of the media, either in practice or in public perceptions. Also critical to autonomy and objectivity is the separation of media ownership from Government or political factions or, if this is impossible, ensuring that there is a diverse media to represent a full range of political opinion. Similarly, the staffing of individual media should be multi-partisan, if possible.

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