Civic Journalism Initiatives in Nigeria TOKUNBO (TOKZ) AWOSHAKIN
Over the years, journalists and journalism have played different roles in Nigeria’s democratic journey. These roles changed as the country struggled during colonial rule and evolved after its independence from Britain in 1960. The journalism landscape in Nigeria continued to evolve in response to the oil boom era and the fi rst democratic government of the early 1970s, the series of dictatorial military rulers who led in the 1980s to the late 1990s, and the current struggle to grow Nigeria’s nascent democracy. Throughout these periods of change, Nigerian journalists’ major preoccupation has been with reporting politics and public life. Although military rule has given way to democracy, Nigerian citizens and journalists often express frustration that there is no place for their initiatives and actions. Politics and public life in Nigeria is often controlled by politicians and policymakers who speak another language, one that citizens describe as the language of avoidance.