Journalists Perception of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in Nigeria: A Study of Journalists in Imo State
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Keywords

FOIA
Journalist
Law
Perception
Press
Imo State
Nigeria

How to Cite

Obayi Paul Martins, PhD, Anorue Ifeanyi Luke, PhD, Onyebuchi Alexander Chima, PhD, Umeokeke Chinaza, & Etumnu Emeka Williams. (2020). Journalists Perception of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in Nigeria: A Study of Journalists in Imo State. Media & Communication Currents, 4(2), 108 - 128. Retrieved from http://journals.unimaid.edu.ng/index.php/mcc/article/view/111

Abstract

This study examined the perception of journalists’ in Imo State on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).The specific objectives are to: determine whether journalists in Imo state have knowledge of the FOIA; find out whether journalists in Imo state use the FOIA; determine the perception of journalists in Imo state of the FOIA on protection, supremacy of the law, social barrier and withholding of information. The study was anchored on the libertarian theory of the press and knowledge gap theory. The survey research design was used. The population of the study was 180 registered journalists and the sample size was also 180 because it adopted the census principle. Questionnaire was adopted as instrument for data collection. The findings of this study revealed that journalists in Imo state have knowledge of the FOIA. It also revealed that journalists in Imo state have positive perception of the Act on protection, supremacy of the law, social barrier and withholding of information. It is therefore, concluded that FOIA though with its own limitation of not disclosing information that is injurious to the country can also be used to compel public institutions to release government records to the journalists. The researchers recommended Sensitization of journalists on the FOIA should be constantly encouraged by most of the professional bodies of the media in collaboration with legal experts so as to keep them informed and knowledgeable about the Act and when appropriate to use it when discharging their responsibility. Journalists should not abuse the privilege they get from the FOIA while making use of it.

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