Format: MS WORD | Chapter: 1-5 | Pages: 65-80 | Price NGN3,000
This project on the impact of Freedom of Information Act: A study of journalism practices in Uyo community – from January to June, is aimed at finding out how Freedom of Information Act impact positively on the life of practicing journalists in Uyo community. In carrying out the study the researcher used survey design method, while questionnaire was the instrument of the study. Simple tables and percentages were used in analyzing and presenting the data collected. The researcher made some recommendations to support that Freedom of Information Act encourage investigative journalism, balance reporting, openness and transparency in the decision making process which will improve citizens trust in government action. The researcher also made few numbers of suggestions for further studies which will continue to inform people about the impact this topic (Freedom of Information Act) has on our society. And from the conclusion drawn from the questionnaire tables, it is shown that Freedom of Information Act impact positively on the life of working journalists in Uyo community and strengthens the constitutional guarantee of freedom to receive and impact information and ideas without any hindrance. Again, the respondents proved that Freedom of Information Act empower the professionalism and the ethics of journalism.
1.1 Background of the Study
Freedom of information is both a concept in journalism an issue in contemporary medical practice. This controversial concept establishes that media practitioners‘ especially journalist reserve the freedom to probe, to dig, to pry for the purpose of obtaining information, news, opinion and publish same without hindrance. It proposes that the gathering and reporting of news and opinion should operate without any limitation or constraint. In other word journalist, like every other Nigeria have the right to hold opinion, receive information and impact ideas without interference. This is a fundamental human right guaranteed every individual by the constitution including journalists.
Again, freedom of information is an essential right for every person; it allows individual and groups to protect their right. It is an important guard against abuses, mismanagement and corruption. It benefits government themselves in terms of openness and transparency in the decision making process and improve citizen trust in government action.
For the important of the freedom of information, survey had shown that nearly seventycountries around the world including Nigeria have not adopted comprehensive freedom of information act to facilitate access to record held by the government bodies and another fifty have pending efforts. A few countries have issued decrees or used constitutional provision. Many countries have adopted others that can provide for limited access their own records held by the government agencies and private organization, specific statutes that give right of access in certain area such as health, environment, government procurement and consumer protection.
Freedom of information could be traced to the age enlightenment and development of democracy in America.it is a product of libertarianism which derived unarguably from the libertarian theory of the libertarian approach to the ingredient of libertarian approach of media. Freedom of Information stoutly opposes the authoritarian philosophy of the press in which absolute power and control over ownership, content and the use to which the media could be put resided with the monarch.
As pointed out in chapter five of GOKE, (2003) mass media and the society. issues and perspectives the authoritarian system pre-supposes that; truth was conceived to be not the product of the great mass of people but a few men who were in a position to guide and direct their fellows thus, truth was thought to be centered near the center of power .The rulers of the time used the press to inform the people of what the rulers thought they should know and the policies the rulers thought they should support.
The role of the press then therefore was chiefly to support and advance the policies and thinking of the government in a society where criticism of the political machinery and officials in power through the media was forbidden. This contradicts the beliefs of the libertarian that man is a rational being capable of choosing between truth and falsehood, deciding between bad and good, and when face with alternative choices, capable to unerringly choose the truth and the good. The press therefore, must be free to feed the people with information and allow them to judge because they are rational beings.
According to Siebert pater so et al ―the libertarian liable assume that in a democratic society, there would be multiplicity of voices available to, if not actually reaching the public.‖ Let every man who has something to say on public issues express himself regardless of whether what he has to say is true or false and the public ultimately decided.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Before the signing of freedom of information act (FOI) by president Good luck Jonathan on the 28th may 2011,the press went through a lot of criticism in the hands of people/government especially the military government which as a result many journalist/media practitioners were imprisoned, assassinated and assaulted. However, this research work aim at studying;
The effect of government censorship on journalists.
Non access to public information kept by government, public institution and private bodies.
Criticism and government suppression.
1.3 Objective of the Study
It is a well-known fact that Freedom of Information Act (FOI) was to strengthen the constitutional guarantee of freedom to receive and impact information and ideas. The law encourages investigative journalism, balance reporting, and objectivity, verification of stories, openness, transparency, fairness and accuracy in media presentation. Therefore, the researchers consider the following objective relevant.
1. To find out the Impacting of Freedom of Information Act (FOI) on journalist practices in Uyo Community.
2. To know the extent of Freedom of Information Act Practice in Uyo Community.
3. To determine how Uyo L G A (local government area) encourages Freedom of Information Act.
1.4 Research Questions
The researcher‘s attend in the research work will be focused on how to answer the following questions;
1. What are the impacts of freedom of Information Act on journalists in Uyo community?
2. What are the extents of Freedom of Information Act among practicing Journalist in Uyo Community?
3. How does the government of Uyo community encourages Freedom of Information Act?
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