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Nationalising People and Spaces: The Critical Discourse Analysis of Nigerian Newspapers between 1906 and 2007

By Onyeche Elisabeth Douglas

Abstract

While contemporary western Journalism works towards the ideals of objectivity in reporting\ud and democratisation in the reporting and development of news stories, for postcolonial\ud societies like Nigeria, print journalism remains an elitist part of the public sphere,\ud predominantly constructing and representing the worldviews of a small politico-economic\ud group. While this might be regarded positively as the media working as a social watchdog,\ud such intense focus on a small section of the society to the exclusion of others is deserving of\ud accusations of bias. Aside from issues to do with the unhealthily close relationship between\ud the state and the newspaper industry due to political elites constituting those who own or\ud control the country’s newspapers, there are also questions to do with the exclusiveness of\ud participation through the predominant use of English as the language for publication to the\ud exclusion of other indigenous languages.\ud This narrow approach to journalistic practice is inconspicuously embedded in discourses on\ud national practice, with elite actors and actions dominating any discussion on the nation-state.\ud The masses on the other hand, are denied any form of social agency from these discourses\ud which might make them relevant actors. Instead, they are spoken for by elite actors. This state\ud of affairs is not restricted to any particular socio-historical context and is to be found to have\ud been an integral part of journalistic practice across the country’s Colonial, Latter colonial,\ud First Republic and Military moments on the one hand, and even now in contemporary times\ud is still observable

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9508

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