Measuring Press Freedom in a Democratic Society: A Content Analysis of Nigerian Newspapers


  • Kamaldeen Arikewuyo Ahmed
  • Rasaq Muhammad Adisa
  • Isiaka Zubair Aliagan


Press Freedom; Democratic Government; Content Analysis; Private Press


The present plurality of ideas in the cornucopia of communicative space throughout Nigeria
does not make Nigeria a free and open society. As such, the country’s journalism practice is
characterized by intimidation by the state actors. However, anchored on development media theory,
this study therefore, investigated the extent of press freedom from the relationship between Nigerian
press and President Muhammadu Buhari’s first democratic dispensation. Using quantitative content
analysis, individual news story of 2016 fuel scarcity and Naira Devaluation and Dollar appreciation
reported in the Nigerian newspapers was used as unit of analysis while systematic sampling was used
in selecting the sample. Findings revealed however, away from the partisan relations between Nigerian
press and the government, the relationship between the press and the present democratic government is
critical with a very little attention to journalists’ repression. Further findings revealed that the press is
noticeably free since it repeatedly covered 57.6% and 74.1% of stories considered critical to the
government by giving such stories prominence on the front pages of the country’s popular newspapers.
The implication of this is that professionalism and objectivity can hypothetically be guaranteed in the
coverage of issues that borders on public affairs in any liberal African democracy.




How to Cite

Ahmed, K. A., Adisa, R. M., & Aliagan, I. Z. (2020). Measuring Press Freedom in a Democratic Society: A Content Analysis of Nigerian Newspapers: Array. Acta Universitatis Danubius. Communicatio, 13(2). Retrieved from