An assessment of the Nigerian Christian magazine's response to oppression in Nigeria as an advocacy journal 1967-1987
For twenty-three years, the Christian Council of Nigeria made plans for a newspaper with which to plead the cause of the disadvantaged in Nigeria. In April 1967, it eventually launched the Nigerian Christian magazine as a Christian journal for reporting and reflection on matters of importance to the nation. This thesis assesses the Nigerian Christian magazine's response to oppression in Nigeria, in order to determine whether the magazine lived up to its foundling vision. The study is delimited to 1) the Nigerian Christian's reporting and reflection over a twenty-year period beginning from its debut, and 2) the following issues: (i) national ideology, (ii) the rule of law, (iii) constitutional view of subsistence rights, (iv) official corruption, and (v) the strike phenomenon. The concept of advocacy press, a journalistic category, currently articulated and promoted by the World Association for Christian Communication, was adapted and used as a normative frame of reference, for assessing the Nigerian Christian's response to oppression in Nigeria. Having established that the criterion is both a journalistic category and a socio-ethical tool with a sound theological basis; its news-worthiness criteria were adapted and reformulated for this study as follows: 1) alternative time-frame, 2) alternative social actors, 3) alternative narrative. The analysis shows that the Nigerian Christian, in its reporting, lived up to its founding vision with respect to the first news-worthiness criterion. It was less faithful to its vision with the second. With reference to the third criterion, the Nigerian Christian betrayed its founding vision because its reflection on the five issues was an echo of the status quo.