Buttressing the Need for Ethical Guidance for Online Reporting in Nigeria

Edith U. Ohaja


There is a rapid growth in mobile Internet data subscription in Nigeria and an accompanying proliferation of online news outlets hoping to cash in on the attendant lucrative business potentials. This study is informed by the worrisome activities of these online reporting platforms. The study is an analytical discourse enriched with examples derived from a qualitative reading of relevant online news reports and interactions with some online reporters in Nigeria’s North Central, North West, South West and South South geo-political zones under the auspices of a National Orientation Agency project. The study examines benefits and ethical violations noticeable in online reporting in Nigeria. It identifies such benefits as providing avenues for immediate feedback, more diverse public input leading to more comprehensive stories and serving as a platform for social activism. However, it notes the prevalence of ethical infractions like misinformation, sensationalism, plagiarism/copyright infringement, very little consideration of public good and indecency. It recommends the establishment of associations of online reporters according to their genres and an overarching body to fashion out ethical guidelines and ratify them for their work in order to forestall severe censorship and legal regulation by government.

Keywords: Online Reporting, Ethics, Benefits, Ethical Violations, Ethical Guidance

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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