History Of Nigeria Press

The historical background and development of the nigerian press commenced with the printing media on 3 rd december 1859 by a christian missionary named reverend henrytownsend who established the first newspaper in nigeria called “Iwe iroyin fun awon egba ati yoruba” which literary means “A newspaper for the egba and yoruba 2 nations.

Ese malemi, 1999 in today’s abeokuta the capital city of ogun state to promote literacy and build up elites among the then egbas 3 and not with current serving political motive but as a matter of fact succeeding newspapers choose contrary with an indelible footprint as far as political history of
Nigeria is concerned.

The demise of twe iroyin’ later resulted to the em ergence of other newspapers like anglo-african, lagos time and gold coast advertiser, lagos observer, the eagle and lagos critic, the mirror, the nigerian chronicle, the lagos standard, lagos weekly record, african messenger, the west african pilot, nigerian tribune {reuben abati, 1998}.

In 1914, the newspapers in nigeria had constituted themselves into a potent opposition to the british administration of the west coast of africa, particularly nigeria. The newspapers often will filled with vitriolic comments about the policies of the administrators.

By the beginning of the 20th century the various administrations in nigeria had enacted a series of repressive laws to stem the growing power and popularity of the press.

One Of The important characteristics of the nigerian press before independence was that it was, with the exception of “Daily times,” owned by, or largely identified with, political parties. Upon independence, petty jealousies afflicted the newspapers.

What had united them was colonialism, the common enemy. Because the newspapers were toeing party lines in their coverage of events and the opinions they reflected, it became difficult for the federal government to get its activities adequately covered by all newspapers.

This naturally led to government involvement in the newspaper industry, a trend that has persisted since independence.

Soon after independence the federal government established the national press, which published the “Morning post” and “Sunday post.”

The regional government followed suit. Since independence nigeria has experienced extended periods of military rule.

Although military rulers have not proclaimed a formal censorship, other restrictions have existed to curb the “Excesses” of communicators.

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