COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE PERFORMANCES OF GOVERNMENT OWNED AND PRIVATELY OWNED BROADCASTING MEDIA ORGANIZATION (A STUDY OF FRCN AND RAYPOWER FM ENUGU)

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE PERFORMANCES OF GOVERNMENT OWNED AND PRIVATELY OWNED BROADCASTING MEDIA ORGANIZATION (A STUDY OF FRCN AND RAYPOWER FM ENUGU)

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Abstract

This project examines the comparative study of the performances of government owned and privately owned broadcasting media organization (A study of FRCN and Raypower Radio stations Enugu). To achieve this, the survey method was adopted as the research method while the instrument of data collection was the questionnaire. The sample size was drawn using the stratified sampling technique. Two hypothesis tested were accepted leading to the conclusion that the emergence of private broadcasting media in Nigeria improves broadcasting generally and that the entrance of private broadcasting is a challenge to government owned broadcast media in Nigeria to a great extent. The researcher recommends among others that private individuals should enter into broadcast media ownership in order to further improve broadcasting in Nigeria especially in the rural areas (rural broadcasting).


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background of he Study

The role of the broadcasters and the broadcast media as agents of rural and national development, especially at the information dissemination level is now generally recognized and accepted by experts and policy makers. What seems quite unresolved in many developing countries is how best to utilize the potentials of the broadcasters and their media to achieve developmental objectives (Nwosu, 1990:119). In Nigeria, there are three main types of media ownership namely; government ownership, private ownership and partnership. In the case of government ownership, the government establishes controls and finances the media outfit, private ownership is when an individual or a group of persons establish, control and finance the media outfit in partnership both the government and private individuals are into some sort of co-ownership regarding the establishment, financing and controlling of the media house.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the media and the society. It is in the interest of the society to have strong and robust mass media as it is in the best interest of the media to uphold the values and protect the interest of the society from which they derive their impulse, support and patronage. No media institution can survive if it is perceived to be working against its own society (Onukaba 2005:3).

It is the duty of any media institution to keep the public aware of what is going on around them by providing accurate, factual and timely information at all times. It is also the duty of the media to warn and alert the public about

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impending dangers to interpret events or provide information needed by the public to make every day decision that will make them participate actively in the political, economic and social activities of a community and to assist the public in determining current trends.

Media institutions are also expected to use their products to educate, entertain, modify public opinions, reinforce attitudes and set agenda for the society. In many societies, people depend on the media to know where to find jobs, where to shop, where to eat, seat out, who to note for etc it is therefore, safe to say that the influence of the media extends to every aspect of human life and society.

But for media institutions to be able to play these roles effectively, they are expected to uphold the values of objectivity, fairness, justice, accuracy, balance, moderation and decency. The reason governments have often given for their involvement in the media is that the private ones cannot be trusted to faithfully uphold these values of the profession. They accuse them of fostering unrealistic expectations among the populace, heightening anxieties about conditions in the country, mongering etc. of course, these are general criticisms against all media institutions, whether private or public. State media institutions are set up ostensibly to address these weaknesses of the private media as well as to bring government programmes and policies closer to the people and promote peaceful co- existence among the different groups in the society in which they operate. But they are usually limited by their methods of operation (Onukaba, 2005:5).

The “battle cone” seems to be drawn between those who argue unflinchingly that the best way to use the broadcast as a facilitator of development

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in the third world is to have them owned and controlled by the government and those that believe that the best result will be achieved by making the electronic media dominantly a private sector affair. It is on this fact that the researcher’s topic finds it footing, hence “the comparative study of the performance of government owned and privately owned broadcasting media organization” (a study of FRCN and Ray Power Radio).

Somewhere between the two extreme rolls are those who belong to what seems to be more pragmatic position that government ownership and control of the media should co –exist with private media ownership and that commercial broadcasting should exist with private media to facilitate the job of broadcasters in the area of socio- economic development of their nations.

The origin of the current government ownership and control of the broadcast media in Nigeria can be traced to the history, purpose and nature of colonial broadcasting services. It was mainly used for catering for the information and entertainment needs of the predominantly colonial political and educated elites in colonial Nigeria as well as the needs of the very few Nigerians educated elites (Nwosu 1990: 120-121)

Nigeria has since had its independence in 1960 and has undergone many changes that make it imperative that the broadcast media should change its operations and structure to reflect the change situations. Although, the broadcasting system of Nigeria has changed or broaden its aims, objectives and mode of operation but the ownership and control structures or pattern still remains the same.

So many reasons have been given by many Nigerian experts and policy makers for the perpetuation of the ownership and control status quo. One of such

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reasons is that the airwaves are limited and should, therefore, be regulated by the government to ensure equity, order and fairness it has also been argued that the role of broadcasting as an instrument of nation- building and development is so important that it should not be left in the hands of private individuals or organizations.

The fear has also been expressed that because radio and television are powerful instruments of politicization, they careful into the hands of some unscrupulous politicians or political groups who may misuse them to gain and hold political power unfairly or propagate parochial political ideologies or ideas. There is the question of funding proponents of government control and ownership insist that broadcasting in Nigeria can never survive financially if it does not depend on its government for financial subventions.

It is believed in many quarters that it is the above reason given for exclusive government ownership and control broadcasting in Nigeria that has kept the system unchanged until 1992. Hence, many Nigerians have yielded abundant reasons in support of privatization of broadcasting.

The dominant belief of those who advocate privatization of broadcasting in Nigeria seem to be that the electronic media practitioners would render the best service when those media are operated as privately owned business or a commercial enterprise. Among the reason given for making this conclusion is that the electronic media would then be able to avoid unsuitable government influence that content of broadcast news or current affairs in today’s Nigeria tend to be politically biased.

The point that some people make is that private ownership of broadcast media allows for healthy competition which could lead to improved services to

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the masses of Nigeria. Related to this service of the masses is the argument that

privately    owned    broadcast    media    encourages    diversity    in    production,

programming and other areas of broadcasting.

By 1992, there was a lot of debate and protest against the monopoly of the government in broadcasting business. Thus, there were clarion calls for deregulation and decentralization of broadcast media establishment and ownership. Hence, it was the contention of the people that a media system that

does  not  suffer  undue  restrictions  and  interference  from  government  would

definitely become the best for the development democracy in the country (Nwosu

1990:22)

It was not until 24th  of august 1992 that the federal military government

under  





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