The Press in most societies around the world is sometimes referred to as the fourth Estate of the real; virtually because they are as important and vital as the Executive, Legislative and Judicial arms of government.
The media is usually called the society’s watchdog.
Frankly speaking, the role and the objective of the media is to entertain, inform, sensitize the masses and also survey  the environment; it does so by remaining objective and impartial in a status quo mode. If you look at the great, progressive and advanced societies however, the media may have expanded its role by becoming an activist; advocating and campaigning for reforms for the overall good of the people. It goes about its activism by challenging conventional wisdom, engaging in investigative journalism, arousing the conscience of the state, doing the people’s biddings and helping to shape socio-political debates.
In other words, a nation without an independent media is a nation without conscience and hope. (Article written by Mr. Sabella. The Nigerian Press is becoming lazy).
The press has been a germane tool for checkmating abuses and political dictatorship through its non-aligned, unbiased reports and openness.
The world has recorded more martyrs in the field of Journalism than in revolution. The likes of Jose Luiscabezas, Paul Klebnikor, Marie colvin to mention a few have laid their lives to bring to public awareness the deepest truth and darkness of secrets that affects our lives. They face threats from powerful men of the world yet remain unshaken, they cover worlds most dangerous events and remain fearless.
In the same vein, Nigeria has its share of their great men and women of inks and cameras and other gadgets who stood their ground and fought endlessly for the sustenance or retain of democracy and civil liberty. In Nigeria, we have the likes of Dele Giwa, Eneche Akoguru, Baguda Kaitho, Chinedu Offoaro, Tunde Oladepo, Bayo Onu, Ike Chukwu Udendu, Paul Ogundeji Abayomi to mention a few, have confronted death right in its face and eventually gave up their lives for what they believe so much is the truth and the right thing to do. The manifestation of corruption among journalism is as a result of the sensitivity of the profession. Journalistic work is so sensitivity because it concerns the society at large. Government, corporate bodies and organization, even individuals are aware that the media is perhaps the strongest force in shaping public opinion on issues that concerns the  public. The media can channel its whistle-blowing function and the ability to influence policies and government action to in turn bring about the much- needed development and good governance.
However, this was when journalism in Nigeria was still about the news and truth that those men and women stood their ground for what they know and believed was right. This  was when the press was free from political control and capitalist influence or will I say when the press were not faced with so much threat, it was when journalists derivesd pleasure and joy going under cover to unravel the hidden truth about a particular things. This was when there was so much joy in bringing real time update on news right from the scene.
The Nigerian media as it currently stands suffers, itself, a compromised entity. Our press has a generally negative attitude towards corruption and a cursory glance at their pattern of coverage reveals this. Moreso,  they  treat corruption issues merely anecdotally and screaming as headline issues. Part of the reason is technical, and the other is ethnical. While the media itself are undergoing a pressure of an ethnical complexion on their own which tends to compromise effective and insightful coverage, there is a structural challenge to improve the capacity of those writing about corruption so that they can see it in its  complex political, economic and cultural dimensions. If this must happen, as the saying  goes, the educator itself must also be educated.
The Nigerian Press was an activist in years gone by.  It pains me to know that Nigerian journalism is not as crediable as it’s used to be. Nigeria has  a good reputation, and also had a visible role in shaping and re-shaping national debates.
The Press to a large extent have failed in its watchdogs function. It has become a shell of its once plump  self that is it has lost its way. The Nigerian Press has become lazy and fearful and very corruptible, we are not talking about the “Brown envelop syndrome” rather the effect or impact the brown envelop have on press against its primary function. Most of the Newspapers and Magazines in circulation today do not hide their allegiance to the party or government in power. The truth of the matter is, it is increasingly becoming difficult to distinguish one paper from another as most of these papers are home to some third – rate columnist and reporters.
Yellow-Journalism, sensational news, coronation news, congratulatory message, and   the likes have become the order of the day. And in most cases, the media ignore real stories coming out of villages and rural areas in favour of advanced city news.
Let’s ask ourselves, when was the last great investigative journalism done in Nigeria? With the Obscene amount of legal and illegal money floating in and through the political Landscape, did the media even attempt to investigative their sources? When was the last time the Nigerian press really affected the thinking and decision policy-makers in high and low places? The question can go on and on without a very credible and convincing answer.
One popular edge say’s a toad does not run in the day time in vain”, it is either it’s pursuing something or something is after it” another one says, “There is no smoke without fire, That is to say that the manifestation of corruption among journalist or journalism in Nigeria is as a result of the nature of political practices and governance that’s been put into place in the country.
An average member of this country is aware that the role of the press in Nigeria according to the Nigerian constitution is to uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.
If that is the case, what then are reason’s why the media cannot follow suit to a large extent the ethnical  standards and codes as stipulated by the constitution. The truth of the matter is that there are factors impeding the role media play in strengthening democracy and these factors have compelled or rather, subjected them into indulging in different kinds of ill practices. Some of the factors include the limited press freedom, press ssecurity, low income among journalists, fear of death, neglect by government and many more.
The press freedom and security, is one of factors obstructing press function in Nigeria. The press as the fourth Estate of the Realm has failed in it’s watchdog as stated earlier not because they so desire to do so but because the government does not allow them to operate freely. The government influence over the media has affected  the media and many of them, we mean, the journalists who could not withstand the pressure have to use other means to make an ends meet.
The Press is threatened on daily basis because the government who suppose to secure and protect the journalists are now a misery to them. The journalists in Nigeria are like a lamb to be sacrificed, they face different humiliation from the police and other forces. The press have been muscle in such a way that they do not engage in anything close to investigative journalism.
All these subjected them into participating or practicing some of the things people refer to as unethical. They collect brown envelop which one cannot say or see anything wrong with that is because someone can volunteer to offer you a ride. The problem among the Journalists is not just the acceptance of the brown envelop but the impact the envelop is likely to create. Does the brown envelop make the  press to paint what is blue or black; that is the question only the press can answer.
Most times, journalists had to collect brown envelop not because they want to buy because someone or some group of people somewhere might have made a big threat to the person or the family, believe it nobody want to die for something that he is likely not to be remember for. What will you do it someone finds out that you know about the cockroach in his cupboard, he / she will definitely not let you rest until he get the assurance that his secret is safe with you, anything less will result to a bigger threat to the journalist life. I (Kingsley) so much believe in the statement made by.
Professor Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri in his book, The Act of News writing and reporting, he said “if Publishing the fact will jeopardise your image and your personality, publish and be damned” but I tell you that publishing the fact will give you more security compare to when you keep it hidden. The questing is who want to be Jesus Christ of our time? Who want to be the Lamb of Nigeria to whose blood shall be used to save the country?  Who want to risk his life in exchange for revealing an ill in the society? If you throw this question among journalists in this country, the turnout of the response will be discouraging. Life is very precious to every human and journalists are humans too.
Nevertheless, the press is guilty of many things but let’s not forget that if there is maximum freedom and security for the press in this country, such mal-practice wouldn’t have been so in Journalism, Government should understand that the press should be autonomous, not in paper but in action   and I suggest the more activist who have what it stakes to set up  a media house should do so, so that most of the hidden a crime that is covered by some government owned media will be revealed.

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