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Nigerian Undergraduates’ Perception of Media Laws in an Era of Citizen Journalism

Abstract


No society can develop without the existence of laws and mores. However, the rise of citizen journalism has posed a serious challenge to the observance of media laws owing to the fact that citizen journalists (both in Nigeria and other climes), with the aid of any digital device write, copy, download and upload as well as post pictures, information and videos as much as they want on the Internet. This study therefore deals on “Nigerian Undergraduates’ Perception of Media Laws in an Era of Citizen Journalism.” Using the survey research design and the questionnaire as the research tool, a sample of 278 undergraduates from the department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria Nsukka were purposively chosen and studied. The findings reveal an increased level of awareness of media laws (87%) among Nigerian undergraduates leading to considerable level of familiarity of media laws. The findings indicate that Nigerian undergraduates observe media laws in posting stories in new media but do not observe the laws in posting pictures and downloading videos. The study among other things recommends concerted effort by all stakeholders in the new media era including the Nigerian Communications Commission, Internet Service Providers, GSM operators and mobile phone users to combat the erosion of media laws by citizen journalists.


Keywords

Nigerian undergraduates, citizen journalism, new media, perception, media laws

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