Publisher: University of Nigeria, Nsukka

issues In The Nigerian Press Laws Versus Press Freedom

Michael Ukonu
KEYWORDS: ISSUES IN THE NIGERIAN PRESS LAWS VERSUS PRESS FREEDOM

ABSTRACT:

Press freedom was one of the most prominent, but thorny issues discussed in media and in government circles in the zo' century. The discussions dwelt on what should be accepted as the best definition of press freedom as well as the orbit within which it should operate. The discussions, nay, debate never got to a definitive compromise. Thepress, unfortunately though, was on receiving side, with lawmakers always ready to hand down gagging laws cum judgments at the slightest provocation of any (highly placed) person.
The debate rages on. This work is, therefore, an effort to revisit the debate, with the view to providing update on it and proffering lasting solutions to the yet seeming debacle. Press laws, press freedom and the ingredients ofpress freedom are duly highlighted. Thepicture painted is that of the suitable environment for entrenching meaningful freedom for media men and how to bring in the lawsfor equally meaningful control onpress activities.
Lawmakers and indeed government ought to recognize the professional status of the press. They should make adequate legal provisions to protect the press from the extremities and dangers of some laws as well as the excesses, and I dare say vagaries, ofjudicial interpretations. The above is a necessary condition for effective administration ofjustice in any democratic society

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