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This research work will investigate the public perception of the role of the radio in curbing corruption in Nigerian society as well as
the problems encountered in the process of performing this role.

Media plays an important public accountability role by monitoring
and investigating the actions of those who are granted public trust and who may be tempted to abuse their office for private gain.

The objective of the study is to assess public perception of the role of radio in curbing corruption. Based on this, the researcher
would adopt survey research method in carrying out this investigation.




Qualitative, independent media reporting on corruption can play an important role in pressuring the government to act in the
public interest. By drawing the attention to behavior that is generally perceived as acceptable and exposing such behavior as
corrupt media can raise public awareness, activate anti-corruption values and generate outside pressure from the public against
corruption (Rose Ackerman, 1999).

The impact of media reporting on corruption can be “tangible” and “intangible” (Stapenburst, 2000). It is tangible when some
sort of visible outcome can be attributed to a particular news story or series of stories for instance, the launching of investigation by
authorities, the scrapping of a law or policy promoting opportunities for corruption, the impeachment or forced resignation of a
crooked politician, the firing of an official, the launching of judicial proceedings, the issuing of public recommendations by a
watchdog body and so on.

It is intangible when checks on corruption arise. From the broader social climate of enhance political
pluralism, enlivened public debate and a heightened sense of accountability among politicians, public bodies and institutions that
are inevitable by the product of a hard hitting, independent news media.

How well media can perform the role of watchdog on corruption, however, depends on a number of factors defined by the
politicians, economic and legal environment in which media operates. Media freedom of expression access to information
ownership competition, credibility and outreach are some of the key factors that have been identified as effecting the quality and
effectiveness of media performance on corruption (Vogi, 1999, Djankov, 2000 Stapenburst, 2000, Ahrend, 2002, Brunetti and Weder,
2003, Suphachalasai, 2005).

This paper will review how these factors can affect the role and performance of media in curbing corruption and relate that
discussion to Uganda during president musevenis no “party” rule between 1986 and 2006. The paper will examine how the political
and institutional changes that occurred during those years have redefined the boundaries of media’s performance, how and to what
extent media were able to exercise a role as a watchdog on corruption within those boundaries and what are the prospects for a
more institutionalized role of media in that regard in the future.

The paper will first discuss the type of impact that media can have on corruption and the factors affecting that performance. It
will then focus on three main periods under Museveni’s “no party” system during which important political and institutional
changes took place that affected the role and performance of media in (significant ways 1).

The transition and consolidation of the new regime and the establishment of “no party” or “movement” system (1986 – 1995)
the entering into effect of the new constitution and the first presidential and parliamentary elections (1996 2001 and 3). The
transition to a multi-party system (2001 – 2006) media can play an important public accountability role by monitoring and
investigating the actions of those who are granted public trust and who may be tempted to abuse their office for private gain (Eigen,

In the media’s role in curbing corruption Rick Stapenhurst provides a useful list of tangible and intangible affects that
aggressive and independent journalism can have on corruption (Stapenhurst, 2000).

This list provides a useful tool to assess the role
and effectiveness of media as an instrument of public accountability in Uganda, which will be used throughout this paper.

Tangible effects are those that can be readily attributed to a particular news story or series of news stories for example, the
launching of investigations by the parliament or other authorities into allegations of corruption the censure, impeachment or forced
resignation of corrupt politicians, the firing of public officers, the launching of judicial proceedings, the issuing of public recommendation by a
watchdog body.

The scrapping of a law or policy that creates an environment conducive or even contributing to corruption.
Media coverage of corruption might also contribute to shape public hostility towards corrupt behavior that might result in the
electoral defeat of individual politicians or of an entire government and laws that otherwise create the conditions for corrupt

News stories assessing the work and exposing flaws, weakness and even corruption in accountability institutions, such
as courts, police and anti-corruption agencies might lead to public pressure to reform these institutions.

The products of all these actions might be to increase the cost of corrupt behavior among public accountability to enhance the
legitimacy of watchdog bodies and their independence from vested interest within the power structure that might otherwise
interfere with their work and to encourage witness of corruption to come forward.

Media aggressive reporting on corruption on
corruption might also prompt pre-emptive responses by authorities eager to protect their reputation and the public image of their
institution before any allegation is aired. More intangible and indirect effect of media reporting on corruption have to be seen in the
context of the broader role that media plays in society particularly in context of weak political competition as in the case of Uganda
and of many other Africa countries these contexts aggressive and independent journalism act as an indirect check on the sort of
corruption that would otherwise flourish in the absence of political competition.

By simply informing the public and presenting a variety of points of view media can promote public debate and enhance political
and economic competition.

Such competition might enhance accountability open up alternatives to dealing with corrupt networks
and create incentives for political leaders to move against corruption. It might also encourage public participation and inform the
debate by taking the lead in pressing to enhance civil liberties such as freedom of expression.

By disseminating knowledge about
public decisions and procedures beyond a small elite group of decision makers, media can also play a major role in undermining a
precondition to corruption which is the “shared knowledge” among a restricted circle of beneficiaries of corruption.

How effectively
media work and report on corruption depends on a number of critical factors such as freedom of media professionals to access,
verify and publish accurate information and their ability to access independent source of financing. Competition, outreach and
credibility of media are other important factors affecting media performance factors affecting media performance which will be
examined below.

The widespread popularity and profitability of radio in Uganda ensure that once the political restrictions were lied in 1997,
private FM radio stations proliferate rapidly from 6 licensed private radio stations at the end of 1997 to 68 in 2003, to 100 in 2004 and
to 118 in 2005.

Radio is the primary soured of information and entertainment in the country. Although no station has national coverage, radio
has been able to broadcast from the most remote areas of the country and in all languages. In the strifectorun north for example,
mega fin supported by the UK department for international development has become trusted for information about the war, peace
talks and the whereabouts of missing relatives (financial time, 2007).

Local radio in Uganda have effectively carried out government promoted campaigns, such as the campaign against poverty and
HIV/AIDS popular call-in talk shows have increased access to other sources of information such as newspapers, television and
internet and to other views in the country by giving voice to a majority of Ugandas.


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