Press: Nigeria's Free Press

Independence is often a searing experience to new nations, bringing on along with the proud new flags, inept governments, shattered economies, confused people and misery all the deeper because exposed by freedom. But on Africa's west coast, the continent's newest and largest free state, Nigeria, last week was settling down to self-government with the same solid serenity that had marked its birth a fortnight ago. It is no coincidence that peaceful Nigeria possesses the freest and most responsible press in black Africa.

Even by Western standards, the quality of the Nigerian press is good. Despite a national literacy rate of only about...

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