Some publishers in Nigeria expect that the journalists working in their media get their salaries through payments from individuals or organisations in exchange for publishing their stories, denounces bbc.com.
The article interviews the editor Pau Ibe, famous in the country after an Abuja court awarded him damages against his former newspaper’s publishers, who expected him to work without pay.
‘Brown envelopes’ containing cash are handed out during press briefings, the article says, a practice “that has been going on for so long that many young journalists with whom I have spoken have no idea that it is unethical”, According to bbc.com, “you cannot expect the average Nigerian journalist to be fair in the presentation of facts”.
Direct payments and montly salaries to editors by Nigerian politicians, together with a dysfunctional judicial system, influence reporting and prevent investigative journalism.
According to the article, “established newspapers are paid to keep big stories off the front page [while] adverts are supposed to buy silence”.
The article also reminds the financial difficulties of the now defunct Next newspaper, funded by Pulitzer-winning journalist Dele Olojede, and with a clear policy against brown envelopes. After one revelation about corruption in the oil trade, scores of advertisers instantly pulled out and any organisations began to distance themselves from the newspaper, for fear of being seen to be supporting the enemy of their friends.
Source: Nigeria’s ‘brown envelope’ journalism (5 March 2015) Bbc.com http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31748257