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1.1 Background of the Study

As a profession that serves the interest of the public. Journalist has degree responsibilities in the society. Every day, journalist face challenges that test their ethical values and responsibility to truth telling despite professional code of ethics, journalist may violates the rules by accepting bribes white covering news or features. this is some cases lowers the journalists credibility and undermines a professional career. corruption is dangerous to society and can be extremely devastating to media.

Therefore while acknowledging the attempt by the federal government to fight corruption and economic and stake holder to adopt zero tolerance attitude to corruption in the media and indeed in the society at large. Some protagonists of African tradition have argued seriously that corruption in its presents would and character is part of our colonial heritage. According to Sanni (2009. P.39) assert that gratification is the greatest albatross and the most virulent log militating against good governance and national development in Nigeria. it remain anal pervading vivid afflicting all tiers of government in agreement with this point of views. It has been observed that bribery and corruption as a form of anti-social behavior by individual and social group which confers unjust or fraudulent is a big problem in Nigeria society affirms that “effects of bribery” or “gratification” in Nigeria society cannot be overemphasized.

Gratification is indeed a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigeria society. It is a monster that all sundry blame for the economic woe facing the country. This is because bribery and corruption is seen as one of the major impediments of the economic development of the nation. It is perhaps, the only reason why nothing seems to be working.

Journalist may use the media for their personal ends or for greater social good to serve the public. As human needs are insatiable, there are chances were some may sacrifice the public interest for their selfish motives ignoring the social responsibility. Such miss behavior damages journalists and the profession’s integrity and reputations. According to Crider (1983, P.422) in this view poised that journalism practice involves the gathering packing and disseminating of news to general public, general in today’s society the mass media are seem as veritable instruments of information dissemination, social mobilization and control. It is one of the means through which the public is educated and sensitized about important issues affecting the live of people. And as such our ethical pitfalls like “gratification” money and favor journalist collect their source to journalists in the hope of attracting or shaping information. Such reporting may colour news content or brighter stories with hidden agenda. However, journalism practice as noble profession demands for discipline and ethical behaviour to uphold the crucial and dependency  of the society on the mass media for survivals. The public requirement information according to UNESCO (1981, P.432) this is indeed in order to react knowledgeably to personal conditions, as well as be in a position to take appropriate decision. Through numerous educational programmes, Such as quizzes, debates and document arises the public can be concretized on the need to accord people their proper position. Unfortunate due to government pressure on the journalism, poverty and lack of training, may cause journalist to engage on some unethical practices such as sensationalism, invasion of privacy particularly brown envelop. It also observed that the development affects credibility media audience, listeners, readers viewers etc. has lost confidence on mass media content owing to influence of gratification on journalist news judgement and objectivity. As opposed to the journalist ethics of the professional that should guide practitioners at all times.

Ukozor (2002, P.133) poised the ethics should give the journalist a standard by which he can judge action to right or wrong, good or bed, responsible that journalist today needs to know their limitation so as not to abuse the power of the media in coronation of this view. Okunna (200, P.76) describe ethical journalist as in Bastion of democracy.

Regrettably, communication in Nigeria is mainly influence by economic extremism on one hand and government pressure on the other hand, in developing nation like Nigeria, poverty debases human dignity and causes the scale of  honour and trust for money through gratification to influence news as opposed to editors of sense of too poor considering their enormous task they perform in sociality thereby making him or her to compromise. According to Godwin and Ron (1994, P.83) there are a lot of which this is against ethics in broadcasting. Ethics according to Dominik (1994, P.434) are rules of conducts or principles of morality that point us towards the right or best way to act in a situation. Despite the consistent exhortation of the ethics codes against gifts, favours, free travel, special treatment and privileges, there is nothing rendered. the problem with favour is more than a practical one than one of ethics. Taking a four may or may not be bad but mind of the person offering on what is ion the mind of the person offering it and journalist.
Some media organization places a monetary limit on accepting these gifts; to other this practice may seem in hypocritical. There are those who feel that any gift regardless of how small should not be accepted on the other hand, nothing more than more politeness may be involved. Sambe and Ikoni (2004, P.182) points out that many media organization forbid their journalists from receiving gifts, free tickets and there are also free admission to theatre or cinema, or exhibition, show or paid events. Such rewards sometimes get journalist emotionally entangled and present conflict of interest situations. 

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Journalism practice in Nigeria is increasingly becoming difficult to situate within the mainstream of what journalism ought to be in the real sense of its professional practice as guided by its ethics. The concept of citizen journalism has further compounded the problem of properly defining the profession based on its ethical principles.

Today, there are internal and external factors that pose a great challenge to the  practice of journalism as a profession. Arguably, studies have shown that the absence of a prescribed qualifying test has made it difficult to moderate the standard of journalism practice in Nigeria (Adaja, 2012; Oso, 2012).

The self-censorship syndrome, inducement through gratification, pressure from individuals, groups and organizations, laws and administrative decisions, poor remuneration for journalists, absence of technical know-how amongst others, have all combined to make the journalism profession a mockery of its standard of practice.

Certain inadequacies among the regulating bodies and non-professional filtration of yellow journalism practice and other unprofessional approaches to the profession have reduced and threatened the code of ethics upon which the journalism profession is expected to thrive.

It is on this premise that this study sought to investigate the influence of gratification which can also be called brown envelop on the practice of journalism in Nigeria, using Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states as focus areas, with a view to providing valuable solutions to the ugly  trend.

1.3    Objectives of the Study

·       To ascertain the extent to which external factors  influence journalism practice in Nigeria.

·       To determine how gratification influences journalism practice in Nigeria.

·       To find out factors responsible for gratification practice in Nigerian journalism.

Research Questions

·       To what extent do the external factors influence journalism practice in Nigeria?

·       To what extent does gratification influence journalism practice in Nigeria?

·       How have brown paper and non professionalism affected journalism practice in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

There is no significant relationship between external factors influence and journalism practice in Nigeria.

There   is   no       significant   relationship between gratification in journalism influence and the practice of journalism in Nigeria

There is no significant relationship between gratification and non- professionalism effect on journalism practice in Nigeria.

Significance of the Study

This research is timely and it is imperative in the sense that ethical journalism practice must be observed to boost the strength of professionalism in Nigeria.

However, the research is good for administrators, government functionaries,  legislators, House of Representative members and State Assemblies, State governors, Counselors, Local Government Chairmen and public servants as it provides a  prescribed qualifying test that helps to moderate the relationship between journalists and representatives of these bodies.

It is significant to the news and media house owners, journalists, firms and business executives, organisations and corporate business, individuals and the general public. This is because it provides the needed impetus to boost professional standards in journalism practice based on its ethical principles.

Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms are operationalized as used in this study:

Ethics: Set of concepts and principles that guide behaviours and conducts of a particular group of people (i.e. Journalists). They are also seen as motivation based on ideas of right and wrong.

Gratification: rewardrecompense/monetary gratification for a job well done especially:gratuity.

Journalism: The process of gathering, processing, and  disseminating of information to mass heterogeneous audience through the mass media. It also entails reporting or photographing or editing news stories for the media.

Practice: A way of operation that is customary. It is the exercise of a profession (i.e. Journalism Profession).

Challenges: Demanding situations that hinder the operations of journalists based on their principles of behavior and conduct of operation

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