The African Press, Civic Cynicism, and Democracy

The African Press, Civic Cynicism, and Democracy


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Winner of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award in Research

This book explores the thesis that civic cynicism in African countries is a major obstacle to the consolidation of democracy, and that the African press should address the problem not just among leaders, but also among the general populace. Finding that corruption has extended from leaders and governmental institutions to the populace itself, the author asserts that the growing independent press needs to intensify its critique of the public attitude and civic orientation, the fertile soil on which corruption in public life has thrived. 

Minabere Ibelema is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“This book makes a significant contribution to the discussion and debate on the role of the media in the consolidation of democracy in Africa. The author analyzes the topic from a perspective that has been too often ignored by many scholars. The author points out that the role of the press in [re]orientation and inculcation of civic, moral, and other values are important elements in democratic consolidation. It is an outstanding piece of research work for students and scholars of media studies, African studies, political science, historians, and others.”—Chris W. Ogbondah, Professor of Journalism, University of Northern Iowa

“With this book, Minabere Ibelema sheds much-needed light on Nigeria’s unsung heroes of its democracy movement: the nation’s irrepressible media. Ibelema’s urging the Nigerian media to take a greater role in disseminating civic values in the public in order to combat cynicism is sure to stir a provocative and necessary debate among observers of the media both in Nigeria and across Africa.  Scholars and practitioners promoting democratic deepening in Africa are certain to find this book to be not only an important tool for understanding the Nigerian media, but also a useful roadmap for assisting the Fourth Estate in meeting its democratic responsibilities to the public. Ibelema’s work is certain to contribute to a vigorous debate on the civic role of the African press.”—Darren Kew, Assistant Professor of Dispute Resolution, University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Uncertain Prospects for Democracy * The Emergent Independent Press * Journalism Values and the African Press * Civic Cynicism and African Press’s Mission * Consolidating Democracy: Issues and Challenges * The Press and Democracy in Nigeria’s First Republic * Press Support for Military Interventions * Press Re-embrace of Democracy * Civic Cynicism and Chaotic Democracy * Combating Civic Cynicism

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Weight 1 oz
Dimensions 1 × 6 × 9 cm