Nigeria's press is traditionally free to write almost anything about anyone — whether it's true or not. But reporters fear a government sensitive to criticism is now cracking down, especially on coverage of the battle against Boko Haram.

After 15 years of democracy, journalists believe the state is trying to tame the vibrant, prolific media during its faltering campaign to stamp out the militant Islamist group.

One Friday last month the army seized newspaper print-runs, halted distribution vans across the country and ransacked offices of newspaper distributors and agents, detaining staff for several hours, the Nigerian Press Organization said.