#WATCHDOGS OR CAPTURED MEDIA A Study of the role of the Nigerian Media in the 4th Republic

From the morning of Tuesday, September 5 through the afternoon of Wednesday, September 6, 2017, media scholars, managers and professionals gathered in Lagos under the auspices of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence to examine how the media have performed from 1999 to 2016. They raised such questions as: Have they lived up to their constitutionally assigned duty as watchdogs of society, monitoring governance and upholding the government’s responsibility to society?

Have they been passive participants, more interested in supping up to authorities as captives of vested interests?

Have the media owners been dutiful in their responsibilities to their employees or are they contractors ready to sacrifice public interest on the altar of partisan/commercial interests?

How well are the professional bodies advancing the interests of the media by widening the democratic space? What has been the impact of the social media to the media gate keeping functions?

What lessons can Nigeria learn from fellow African states like Ghana, Kenya and South Africa when it comes to discussing the media’s watchdog roles?

Scholars from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States shared perspectives in what was a groundbreaking summit.

Presentations centred on

State-Media Relations: Constraints on Freedom of Media
Democracy and the Digital Public Sphere
Democracy and the Broadcasting sector
Media as Watchdog: The Ghanaian Experience
Media as Watchdog: The South African Experience
Media as Watchdog: The Kenyan Experience
Media Reportage of Religious and Ethnic Conflicts: The Northern Nigeria Experience
Media Reportage of Religious and Ethnic Conflicts: The Southern Nigeria Experience
Corruption in the Media: the Brown Envelope Syndrome
The Road to the Freedom of Information Act and Beyond
Media as Watchdog: Overview, Economic and Technological Issues

Presenters included: Prof. Ayo Olukotun, Dr. Yinka Esan, Prof. Lai Oso, Mr. Lanre Idowu, Prof. Kwame Karikari, Prof. Abiodun Salawu, Mr. Edetan Ojo,Prof. Christian Ogbondah.

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