Climate of permanent violence

Nigeria is now one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists, who are often spied on, attacked, arbitrarily arrested or even killed. The campaign for the elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari obtained another term in February 2019 was marked by an unprecedented level of disinformation, especially on social media. The all-powerful regional governors are often the media’s most determined persecutors and act with complete impunity. In 2018, one governor had part of the premises of a radio station razed after a series of reports criticising his handling of local affairs. Online freedom is restricted by a 2015 cyber-crime law that is widely used to arrest and prosecute journalists and bloggers in an arbitrary manner. Three journalists have been shot dead while covering Islamic Movement in Nigeria protests since July 2019 without any proper investigation to identify those responsible. The police are often the direct beneficiaries of impunity and were blamed for the death of a young trainee journalist after arresting him in October 2020. The major street protests in 2020 were accompanied by violence against the media. Several news organisations were torched and many reporters were attacked. With more than 100 independent newspapers, Africa’s most populous nation enjoys real media pluralism but covering stories involving politics, terrorism, financial embezzlement by the powerful or conflicts between communities is very problematic. This was seen yet again in 2020, when an investigative reporter was threatened and several of his sources died or were killed after he investigated massacres in the northern state of Kaduna.

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



115 in 2020

Global score


35.63 in 2020

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2022
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2022
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2022
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