The Role of the Media and Civil Societies in Nigeria's Elections.

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THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA AND CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS IN NIGERIAN ELECTIONS. The London School of Economics & Centre for Civil Societies defines Civil societies as a body of individuals carrying out collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. Civil society groups also known as non-governmental organisations commonly embrace a diversity of spaces, actors and institutional forms, they vary in their degree of formality, autonomy and power. Civil society groups include organizations such as community groups, women's organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, trade unions, self-help groups, social movements, business associations, coalitions and advocacy groups, etc. Mass media on the other hand refers collectively to all media technologies, including the internet, television, fliers/handbills ,billboards, newspapers, and radio, which are used for mass communications, and to the organizations which control these technologies. From these definitions, we can deduce that both the media & civil society groups play an inevitable role in fashioning various facets of our society ; including the machinery of governance, which needless to say can only be sustained by the existence of a viable transition programme – elections. However, Elections in Nigeria over the years, have been marred by various irregularities such that it now seems impossible to have a credible transition programme devoid of all the inconsistencies that have been associated with elections in the past. As a panacea to this problem, the media & civil society groups must wake up to their responsibilities towards ensuring credible elections, they must synergise to carry out certain functions expected of them such as whistle blowing ie checking corruption and abuse of power, ensuring free flow of information, synthesis in diagnosis and feedback, design and implementation of programs that are distinctive in style, symbiotic in interest and complementary...
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