1.1 Background of the study
Prior to early 1970s Nigeria was one of the poorest countries in the world depending mostly on agriculture exports.But due to the oil Broom (1975 – 74) Nigeria became a major oil producer and enjoyed a boost in the economy when the oil market sneezed, the Nigeria economy caught pneumonia.The volume of oil output fell 2.3 million barrels per day in 1970 / 80 to 1.1117 in 1986.Therefore total oil earnings fell from about 126million in 1980 to 87.37 billion in 1985.
Since the structure of the economy was neither sufficiently diversified nor flexible enough to absorb the shock, government had to embark on measures to certain the situation solution (1995).One of them was the structural adjustment programme SAP introduced by Ibrahim Babanginda military administration in 1986.
The HamzaZayYad’s technical committee on privatization and commercialization (TCPC) was set up to find out ways to sustain the media.
The outcome of the committee was recommendation of various ways make money to pay salaries procure and service the dilapidated equipment amount other things.
Therefore a good journalist is expected to cross check all information and where in doubt forego the publication of the story.But who can a journalist perform this task judiciously when the money to maintain codes of professional ethics.There are also legal constraints guiding the operation of the mass media. The media practitioner has to contend to with all these issue of the same time attract money for the organization. A look into the reason for establishing the FRCN shows that profit motive is not the major reasons for establishing the media.
In fact, one the major reasons for flooding FRCN is to serve the public and provide them access to the mass media.
How can the media guarantee good service to the public is field to money?
Hence news values but on the basis of how much one can pay. Surely, implication of commercializing news in FRCN has far – reacting consequence, its effect on the station credibility and demoralization is catastrophic.
The public right to know of event of public importance and interest through not deemed but where paid stories are given more attention thereby reducing the number of stories of public interest in the bulletin is worrisome.
Commercialization of news in FRCN tends to compromise the integrity of the editors as it molates the code conduct of journalist, tends to compromise the integrity of the editors as a molates the code
Infact the ethical implication of news commercialization in the station are enormous.
1.2 STATEMENTS OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMS
Critics have identified distortion of news, imbalanced report and the growing tendency for the public not to believe the media news (lack of objectivity) as major problems inherent in Africa Independent Television and Nigerian Tribune for news and other information.
This is the key problems the researcher wishes to establish is this research work.
Objectivity as an ethical standard is one of the most pervasive in all of journalism. Objectivity in news gathering and presentation is the reporters’ aims and objectives.
One of the challenges of the mass media in this age of information society is how to resolve a basic contradiction that has emerged from the complex realities of their professional practice. All over the world, the mass media enjoy dual acknowledgement as a social institution and an industry. And herein lays the problem.
The mass media have invariably lost their essence as they have gradually departed from a social responsibility driven practice to an economic based journalism. There is an increasing commercialization of the media in Nigeria, the situation that has brought the integrity of the mass media enterprise to question. The social responsibility theory holds that while the press functions as a free enterprise, as guaranteed by the libertarian theory, it must be responsible to a society in which it operates. Based on this theory, the mass media are able to raise issues of public importance. Our mass media today do not seem to perform this social, duty as issues that set agenda for national development are compromised for “naira and kobo”. This abuse at practice has received the attention of mass communication scholars and other stakeholders who now advocate for a reinvention of our media contents to make the media realise their potentials as tools for national development (Okigbo, 1997). Johnson (2001,p.2), cited in Okigbo (1997) argues that balancing the cost of high quality journalism against corporate profit is one of the significant changes in journalism practice today.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The core aims and objectives of this study is to assess the efect of news commercialization on the public.
1. To find out whether the commercialization of news affects its credibility and objectivity and equally to know if it encourages the “Brown envelope syndrome”, accuracy, balance, fairness etc.
2. Whether those who cannot afford to pay the media have the opportunity and chances to broadcast their events on air via Mass media of communication, such as the electronic broadcast media.
3. To know if the news managers, News editors and Reporters (journalists) persistently carry out their gate – keeping roles and at the same time still carry out their watchdog roles.
4. To find if the audience / public have it in mind that the news they read in newspapers and watch in these broadcast media are owned and are paid for by the sponsors since they are not usually mentioned during news broadcasting and information dissemination
5. The researcher equally wants to find out whether the above mentioned is practiced, for the fact that news paid for are edited as the sponsor wanted.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following questions will be asked by the researcher:
H0:news commercialization on the perceived “Brown envelope syndrome” hasnot affected the news credibility of the Nigerian media.
H1:news commercialization on the perceived “Brown envelope syndrome” has affected the news credibility of the Nigerian media.
H0: news commercialization has not deprived citizens who cannot afford the stipulated amount access to media.
H2: news commercialization has deprived citizens who cannot afford the stipulated amount access to media.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significant of this study aims at revealing to the media practitioners and broadcast students, the importance of commercialization to the media and professionalism. The study of commercialization in media houses will assist the concept and to know its role in enhancing the success or failure of broadcasting industries.
A lot has been said about commercialization on the contents of private media, however, little is known about ratifications and implications of the organization of this measure and how far it has affected or will affect the operation of the organization, their performances and fulfillment of their obligations and responsibility to the Nigerian public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Although, the primary aims and objectives of the project are to examine the effect of news commercialization on the public, this cannot be effectively talked without considering the demographic factor of AIT and Nigerian tribune staffs and sample number of the public that respond to the questionnaire of this study.
The researcher encounters some constraints which limited the scope of the study;
FINANCE: Due to the nature of office and business within the scope, the researcher spends a lot of money on visiting, traveling from one location to another, from one office to the other and even had to repeat a visit more than three times to seek for information, all these involves money considering the financial constraint of the researcher and limited resources available to her.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION: Many registered and non-registered staffs of Africa Independent Television and Nigerian Tribune were reluctant to give out or provide information about the research, since they believe that tax payment is something very confidential and therefore could not open up to the researcher.
INADEQUATE RECORD KEEPING: Some of the respondents visited were unable to present complete and comprehensive records of their business .while some were not keeping proper records of their business activities and as such could not give adequate and correct information on the effect of vat on their businesses rippling on the economy of Nigeria.
TIME: Time constraint has been another vital limitation and obstacle towards effective realization of the main objectives of this study. Time was really not on my side since I have to combine the little time left with my academic work and preparation.
1.7 DEFINITION OF THE TERMS
Commercialization: It is a kind of dourness of fund from sales. Where money in generated from something in form of sales. A situation whereby the broadcast media generate income from the news by selling air time for news instead of broadcasting the news based on accepted news values.
Credibility: Credibility is which can be believed operational definition. Audience acceptance to believe the news contents of the broadcast media.
Gate Keeping: Any person or formally organized group directly involved in relaying or disseminating information from one individual to another mass medium. Mass media audience perception of gate keeper’s incapability to limit information, removal of unwanted areas of the news story and to widen paid stories in the broadcast media.
Brown Envelope: A means by which news sponsors give money inform of bribe to journalist and editors. Audience view that editors and journalists collect money in terms of bribe from news sponsors, thereby preventing them from carrying out their unique roles unbiased.
Objectivity: Not being influenced by personal feelings, ideas, or bias. A state of being influenced by personal feelings or bias.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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