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1.1      Background of the study

This study sets out to investigate the role of third world News Agencies in the global dissemination of information using News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as a case study. News agencies are the bodies responsible for the dissemination are the bodies responsible for the dissemination of world information.  They have correspondents who play the role of carrying news across borders. Some correspondents such as those working for television and Newspaper report back to media in their own countries and they approach the news from the viewpoints of specific readers and viewers.  Others report to agencies which distribute their news nationally or internationally circulated magazines and they attempt to achieve a more universal outlook including details of interest to readers from many countries. News agencies are sometimes called wire services.  This is because their offices are literally lived to their clients by wires and cables over which news and pictures flow.  Some sophisticated system also employ satellite networks. News agencies gather, write edit and send news stories features, analyses and other materials to clients mostly newspaper magazines, radio and television stations.  The service is also available to commercial houses and individuals seeking news such as those wishing market information.  The clients depend on the agencies for the news or information that they cannot gather on their own for economic or other factors. There are three categories of news agencies.  The first category comprises of those agencies known worldwide and often referred to as trans-national news agencies or world news agencies.  The world news agencies include, Associated press (AP) United press International (UPI) felegraphorin Agenstro Sovets Kavo Soiuza (FASKS) Agency France Press (AFP) and Renters. The second category includes new agencies that have clients and correspondents in many countries but whose services are not spread to every part of the globe like those of the world news agencies.  For example, India Press Trust (INPT) pan African news agencies of individual countries of developing countries.  These news agencies are found in African Latin American and Asian Countries.  The news agency of Nigeria (NAN) belongs to the third would news agencies.  The third world National news agencies act as gate keepers in determining what information from the global flow gets their national media in some cases, deciding what internal news gets into the international system as well. They are as varied as the third world itself.  Some news agencies still exist mostly on papers and emphasis on development of national agencies by UNESCO and the I PDC quickly out dates printed summaries. A report to the MAC Bride commission based on data from the India 1970’s claimed that about 120 national had news agencies but that about not, including 24 with population in excess of one million people.  A more recent (SUSSMAN 1982) survey counted 104 third world agencies, there quarters of them operating under three quarters of them operating under some form of government control. NAN was founded as a state enterprise and began operations for about 8 years ago like most news organizations, its charter callers for it to report news and opinion in a professional and objective manner.  According to one assessment (Ugbaja 1980) NAN” must not act as an institutional opponent to say government or interest, but where it is in the public interest to report criticism or public policy, it must do so in a restrained and objective manner”. In most developing countries, news agencies are established, funded and controlled by government.  In most cases, they serve as an arm of the ministry of information or at most government information clearing houses especially for the purpose of exporting news about government to local and foreign media. Initially world news agencies also pre-eminent in the order of the flow were dominated by the European news agencies.  This to alleged unbalance in the news flow and reporting in the third world countries the inadequate and the high cost of telecommunication facilities the greatest obstacles to the foundation of viable news agencies.


Communication is the nucleus of all human activities and information dissemination is a vital and sensitive job which requires carefulness and effectiveness in order to achieve the required objective. News agencies occupy prominent positions and play important roles in carrying information and news across the borders.  Since the emergency of news agency journalism the news flow in international are has improved.  News agencies collate I process, edit and distribute news, news materials and features to subscribers either in the form of fees or exchange depending on an agreement. The international news agencies have been dominating the global dissemination of world news.  Agitations on imbalance in news flow led to the emergence of third world news agencies which were most established and controlled by the government.  They serve as information clearing houses in the exportation of news about government to local and foreign media. Development of news agencies in the third world countries is handicapped by lack of important communication equipment for the easy delivery of the news.  News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) is not left out in this area of concern despite these problems NAN has played active role in the global dissemination of world news.  


 The main objective of the study is to make critical analyses of the role of the third world news agencies in the global dissemination of information using News agency of Nigeria (NAN) as a case study.  The study will look into the functions of NAN, modes of operation, achievement, problems and prospects.  The study will also make a number of recommendations on how to improve the services of NAN as regards information dissemination.


  The study will provide a comprehensive analysis of the role of the third world news Agencies with particular references to NAN in the global dissemination of information. The study will be useful to other news agencies media institutions and government of the third world countries in the planning and implementation of their mass-communication policies. The study will also serve as a reference material to students and other researchers in the similar area of study.

1.4      RESEARCH QUESTIONS       

The following research questions were asked:-

1.         Does NAN report balanced news stories in Nigeria?

2.         Does the NAN transmit Nigerian culture?

3.         Does the NAN disseminate the world news?

4.         Does NAN agenda on international issues?

5.         Does the NAN justify its purpose of establishment?

1.6       HYPOTHESIS:        The following research hypothesis were formulated to guide the study

H1:      The NAN reports balanced news stories in Nigeria

H0:      The NAN does not report balanced news stories in Nigeria

H2:      The NAN transmits Nigerian culture

H0:      The NAN does not transmit Nigerian culture

H3:      The NAN disseminates world news to Nigerian citizens

H0:      The NAN does not disseminate world news

H4:      The NAN sets agenda on international issues


a.         Conceptual Definition:-

i. News Agency: - that collects news and sells it to the press.

ii. Third World Countries: - This refers to the developing countries of the world.

iii. Information: - This refers to message or news stories

iv. Global Dissemination: This refers to world or international dissemination of news.

v. Culture: -       This is the totality of beliefs, norms, and ways of life of a society.

vi. Balanced News Stories    this refers to the objective and unbiased report by any media organization or news agencies.

b. Operational Definitions:-

i. News Agency: This refers to news Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

ii. Third world countries: This refers to Nigeria and other developing countries like Asian or Latin America.

iii.    Information: This refers to news stories

iv.  Global Dissemination:      This refers to the international carrying of news from one country to another.

v. Culture: This refers to the beliefs and ways of life of Nigeria nation.

vi. Balanced News stories:   This refers to the projection and reportage of Nigeria news by the NAN.


The researcher made assumption that every staff in NAN office (Head quarters), has the opportunity of being included in the research sample and as such, the sample is representative of the whole staff population of NAN irrespective of sex, education, socio-economic status and other demographic criteria. The research also assumed that the result got from this study would be generalized to other news agencies in the developing countries.  They assumed also that the questionnaire used in this study is simple enough for easy understanding by the respondents. The researcher also assumed that this study will reveal many things about the third world news agencies and NAN in particular.

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