Mass media is a medium of communication that is designed to reach the mass of the people. Mass media includes newspapers, magazines, radios, internet and televisions, used in the business of sending information to the mass of the people.
The business of government and the opposition; the political and economic lives of a nation are usually discussed by the mass media.
The mass media engage in every aspect of human activity but our concern is mainly on political, social and economic areas engaged by government attempt to better the lives of her citizens, protect government interests and the interests of international bodies.
In contemporary Nigeria, the newspapers that play significant role in national life, as a watch dog on government business includes the Vanguard, Channels, the Nations, Guardian, Tribune, Sun News, Punch etc.
These newspapers capture the activities of government in their front page and also the opinion of the citizenry.
The journalist write articles in newspapers to expose the happenings in the society, the conduct of government, the impact of government policies, the criticism of the government by opposition, international commentaries of the general performance of government and other activities.
Through advertisement the public are better informed of what happens in the society. The general public could also write to the editor of any newspaper on any matter for publication.
The newspapers act as a measure of public opinion. It also enquires through its searchlight into various activities of both the government and the citizens.
The reporters examine various aspects of their area of research and enquire into the details of all information. Through newspapers the voice of the politicians, the parties, the government and the oppositions and the clergy are heard.
The activities of newspapers and magazines: televisions and radios in National life are comprehensive. Just like tee newspaper, the radio performs similar function but with wider outreach.
In present Nigeria, private radio station and private station are on the increase but the national Radio Station, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria is dominant. The Federal Radio Corporation and its branches throughout the country educate the citizens on government programmes and policies.
The radio stations through their hourly news inform the citizens of the activities of government. Likewise, the opposition parties use the same medium to inform the citizens on the inactivity of government through constructive criticism.
Another aspect of news media is the television. Nigeria has a National Television Authority with branches all over Nigeria. Most States in Nigeria also have independent television that informs the masses of the activities of government actions.
Interviews are conducted with either the president or the Governors on the activities of government. During such interviews both masses and the opposition are allowed to query either the president or the Governor on certain activities of government.
The news media brings the knowledge of governmental activities to the masses, through the sense of hearing, seeing and reading. Without the mass media, the masses would hardly know about the activities of the government.
It has been properly stated that the executive and the legislature are adequately represented in the news media while the judiciary are occasionally covered.
It is perhaps important to note that the growth of any society depends on how the activities of government are brought out for constructive scrutiny.
Also, not all aspect of government action is subjected to the watch of news media for fear of enemies’ interest or the eyebrows of the international community.
The mass media only focuses on the activities that are more essential for the growth of the political, social and economic wellbeing of the Nation.
The role of news media to national life is to check on the activities of government and an inevitable means of growth in all arms of government. Little wonder the mass media is rightly described as the fourth estate of the realm.
In conclusion, the online media (internet) has over taken the print media in term of means of sharing information. All the Newspaper in Nigeria that are into printing of news on papers now has presence in the internet, because most young people prefer to read news online to going to vendor to buy a newspaper.
The internet world has made the sharing of information very easy, anybody can stay in comfort of his home and drop information about a particular thing, and before you know it, it has gone round the globe.
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