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Imagined StatesLaw and Literature in Nigeria, 1900-66$
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Katherine Isobel Baxter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420839

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420839.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

‘Sensational Coverage of a Sensational Trial’: Treason, Journalism and the State

‘Sensational Coverage of a Sensational Trial’: Treason, Journalism and the State

(p.130) 6 ‘Sensational Coverage of a Sensational Trial’: Treason, Journalism and the State
Imagined States

Katherine Isobel Baxter

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Six provides an extended examination of the newspaper reporting of the treason trial of Obafemi Awolowo, the second major treason trial after independence. How the Nigerian press covered the trial illuminates the ways in which legal process as a mode of nation formation was woven into the daily lives of newspaper readers. Moreover, attending to that press coverage illustrates the importance of narrative and literary form in the process of national self-construction. The chapter begins by outlining the relationship of politics and the press in Nigeria before looking at the defining features of the trial itself. The chapter examines how the trial was presented in the press and the readerly engagement that the press sought to foster. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the larger significance of the trial and its coverage in the media at the dawn of Nigeria’s first Republic.

Keywords:   Obafemi Awolowo, Treason, Law, Nigeria, Newspapers, Action Group

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