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Population: 211 million
Internet penetration: 73%
17th June 2024

The Nigeria media landscape features a blend of traditional and digital platforms, with over 80 locally owned digital news outlets or startups. Challenges include dwindling advertising revenues, greater regulatory scrutiny, and threats to press freedom. Social media are widely used for news, but misinformation and hate speech present integrity concerns.

Traditional media such as television and print have been losing reach and influence in recent years as digital and social media plays a bigger role in shaping public discourse. Even so, there are still around 100 national and local print titles, of which the best known include The PunchThe NationVanguardThe Guardian, and The Premium Times.

National broadcasting media in Nigeria, including both public and private entities, still remain primary sources of information for many Nigerians and often benefit from a perception of trust and credibility among viewers. The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), as the country's largest public broadcaster, maintains a wide reach through its network of stations across Nigeria. Private broadcasters like Channels Television, Arise TV, TVC News, and African Independent Television have gained prominence for their objective journalism and comprehensive coverage of news events, both domestically and internationally. In response to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements, Nigerian broadcast channels have embraced digital platforms to expand their reach and engage with audiences more effectively. Many of these national broadcasters now offer live-streamed channels on platforms like YouTube. Additionally, several broadcast channels operate 24 hours a day, ensuring continuous coverage of breaking news and events.

But in recent years many Nigerians have been turning to online sources, driven by the increasing use of smartphones by one of the youngest populations in Africa. Our survey shows that nine in ten (91%) of our respondents access news online each week from traditional websites, apps, or social media platforms. Platforms like Facebook (75%), YouTube (70%), Instagram (58%), Telegram (53%), and TikTok (46%) have become popular and many use them to acess bite-sized news updates and interactive content tailored to these mobile users. Additionally, podcasting has gained traction with popular news shows like Nigeria Politics Weekly and Nigeria Daily. Furthermore, media organisations are increasingly leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance content personalisation, to assist with fact-checking, and for customer support., which is one of the leading digital-born brands in Nigeria, uses AI to curate personalised news feeds, while organisations like Dubawa and The Cable employ AI to combat misinformation. These innovations underscore a paradigm shift in audience engagement and content delivery within the Nigerian media landscape.

The publishing industry faces significant economic challenges from dwindling advertising revenues, prohibitive licence fees, and rising costs linked to the devaluation of the naira. The National Bureau of Statistics reported a headline inflation rate of 32% in February 2024, exacerbating production costs, squeezing profit margins for media companies, and leading to layoffs.1 Salary arrears for journalists can reach months or even years, according to the human rights group RSF, and the economic weakness of news organisations, makes them vulnerable to undue influence by politicians and business people, it says.2

As businesses cut advertising budgets, several publishers, including THISDAY, The Guardian, and Vanguard, have introduced subscription models for their e-paper editions, but with charges as low as $0.30 per week revenue is limited and the exact number of subscribers remains undisclosed. Grant support from international organisations or non-profits such as the Nigeria Media Innovation Programme and the MacArthur Foundation helps support sustainability in the short term, but can’t be relied on over time. Initiatives include mentoring and capacity-building for digital startups and innovation as well as training support and advice on digital transition for the sector overall.

Beyond economic pressures, press freedom violations abound in the aftermath of last year’s general elections. These include physical attacks on journalists, bombings of broadcast stations,3 and government sanctions against media houses. Lawsuits against media organisations and journalists, often stemming from allegations of defamation or privacy violations, are not uncommon. Organisations like Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Committee to Protect Journalists, and civil society organisations (CSOs) are actively engaging in legal battles to safeguard journalists' rights and media freedom.4

The proliferation of misinformation, fake news, and hate speech on social media that was also a feature of the recent elections poses significant challenges to media integrity and ethical journalism standards. But newly proposed legislation, such as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act Amendment Bill and the Social Media Bill, have also raised concerns about censorship, prompting pushback from journalists and CSOs advocating for a free media environment.

Tolulope Adeyemo
Code for Africa

Methodology note

These data are based on a survey of English-speaking, online news users in Nigeria – a subset of a larger, more diverse, media market. Respondents are generally more affluent, younger (18–50 only), have higher levels of formal education, and are more likely to live in cities than the wider Nigerian population. Findings should not be taken to be nationally representative.


Trust in news overall



Brand trust in Nigeria has increased by 4 percentage points, ranking third across 47 surveyed markets. This surge is likely attributed to heightened reliance on legacy media during the recent election. Independent brands like BBC News, Channels TV, and The Punch continue to maintain particularly high scores, underscoring their credibility and influence.

RSF World Press Freedom Index


Score 51.3

Measure of press freedom from NGO Reporters Without Borders based on expert assessment. More at

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