THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN PROMOTING FOREIGN POLICY IN NIGERIA, 1999-2015
Keywords:Media-government Relations, foreign policy in Nigeria, decision makers within a political structure
The mass media are often referred to as the fourth branch of government because of their oversight function. The media’s role in democratic governance has been recognized since the late 17th century, and remains a fundamental principle of modern-day democratic theory and practice. Democracy requires that citizens’ opinions play some role in shaping policy outcomes, including in foreign policy. The Nigerian media have been a vital source of government policy, news for opinion leaders and decision makers within a political structure as well as for foreign policy formulation and implementation. Every sovereign country requires a foreign policy perspective, which has as its attributes, the aspirations and desires of that country as well as the strategies for implementing them. Ever since Nigeria returned to democratic governance in 1999, the country has been bedeviled by numerous developmental challenges. The objective of this paper is to examine the role of the mass media in promoting foreign policy in Nigeria. The paper asserts that Nigeria needs a robust foreign policy framework in order to fully capture the emerging challenges and also to inject new dynamism into the country’s foreign policy.