the print media cartoons and social commentary in nigeria


Cartoons are non verbal graphic communication channels that express the opinions, views and findings of a media organization.

They are used to advance an opinion in funny ways and are often based on current, burning and topical issues. They are used basically to educate, inform and entertain the audience by the print media (Emi, 2008).

Also, the need for investigative journalism has placed emphasis on the watchdog role of newspaper due to the fact that there are two sides of human namely: the godly and the animalistic side of human to behave in good manners but the animalistic side of the human is the evil side which can be seen in different wrong doings or atrocities of man.

It also shows the human urge to dominate, satisfy base instincts of huger, wealth acquisition and their evil or erotic desires.

Human beings are expected to be rational but their rationality cannot always guarantee good conduct because most times, the animalistic tendencies in them prevail.

Hence the needs for mass media to expose evil and t bring perpetrators to justice so that the human societies do not become the animal kingdom and full of evil.

There is also the need to check the excesses of the powerful or privileged people against the less privileged ones to hold rulers accountable to their people to bring about social reforms to expose crime and other wrong doings and to act as voice for the voiceless etc. (Aina 2001).

Also, the belief in the saying that Nigeria is one of the most corrupt nation of the world is not an exaggeration. International organizations have consistently testified to this undeniable fact to confirm the claims of these organizations, the country has witnessed different types of corrupt practices. This must have baffled the past regime led by chief Olusegun Obasajo so much that he thought it is necessary to establish organizations that could fight corrupt practices among citizens two of these organization are independent corrupt practice commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial crimes commission (EECC). After operating for few years, many have come to describe these as an organization of toothless bulldog.

The only organizations that Nigerians can fall back on or depends on, is the press which has been battling corruption with its in-depth news reporting opinion, comments, editorial, editorial cartoon etc.

Watson, (2008) Says that the media is prominent among the public arbiters for our behavior. Many have also found cartoons on newspaper to be equally up to the task of acting as the society watchdog. This is what the researcher hopes to answer.


The study will examine the effects and significance of crime illustration in enhancing the role of print media cartoons as watchdog in Nigeria and the quest for development.

It is to ascertain the impact of comic illustration on readers and the level to which cartoons have acted as watchdog of the society.

1.3            1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

1.       To know the frequency of cartoons in the print media

2.       To determine if print media cartoons can actually pass information

3.       To determine the extent at which newspaper cartoons can identify culprits/evildoers

4.       To also determine whether print media cartoons can serve as the mouth piece of members of the society.

5.       To evaluate how social reality is constructed through the use of newspaper cartoons in the print media.

1.4            1.4    RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.       How frequent do we see cartoon in the  newspaper?

2.       Do newspaper cartoon identify or reveal the true identity of culprits or evil doers?

3.       Do people actually find newspaper cartoons meaningful?

4.       Do newspaper cartoons serve as the mouth piece of the society?

5.       Do the captions of the  newspaper cartoons actually perform the watchdog role in the society?

1.5              1.5   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

There are certain newspapers that features cartoon in Nigeria. It is thus to analyse the entire print media .

1.6             1.6   SIGINIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The significance of this study in the field of mass communication is that it helps to determine the effect of mass communication message and media content on the people. It also helps to play an intermediary role between what is true and our experience, especially those beyond our constant. It also acts as the windows to the walls of information.

The significance of this study to the society can be traced to the Lasswellian media function of surveillance of the environment i.e. the journalistic service of collecting, dissemination of information of news by surveying the environment through monitoring trends, talks or giving early warning signals of an impending danger, reporting evil deeds that have been done, etc.

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