The Nigerian Press Under the Military: Persecution, Resilience and Political Crisis (1983–1993)

By Adeyinka Adeyemi

A paper by Adeyinka Adeyemi, fall 1993  fellow, analyzes Nigeria’s media landscape and finds that despite outward signs of a modern and vibrant press/government relationship, the country’s press is still not truly free. Adeyemi traces the oscillation between subtle and unsubtle forms of coercion and cooptation used by a series of military governments since the early 1980s, meant to bend the press to their wills. Carefully documenting the shifting styles adopted by the regimes as their power evolved, Adeyemi examines both direct and indirect forms of manipulation that have ranged from selective assassinations, extraconstitutional decrees, and passage of retroactive laws to bribery, self-censorship, and the offer (and acceptance) of lucrative press relations jobs in the governments themselves.

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