(A CASE STUDY OF NTA PORT HARCOURT)
Complete Material Cost #3,000
The study examined the influence of news commercialization on the credibility in broadcast media. The objectives of the study are to examine the extent to which listeners have confidence in the broadcast media in terms of timeliness, proximity, prominence and interest which are news elements, to find out whether news commercialization thrive in Nigeria, to find out if receiving brown envelope prevents and tarnishes broadcast media credibility and creates instability in the society and to determine whether news commercialization affected ethical practice in journalism profession. The research design used descriptive and survey method of data collection in an attempt to empirically examine the influence of news commercialization on the news credibility in broadcast media. The population of the study was made of the entire staffs of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Port Harcourt, Rivers State which was 120. The sample size for this study is 80. The researcher adopted simple random sampling technique. The research instrument used for the collection of primary data needed for the study was mainly questionnaire. Findings reveals that listeners have confidence in the broadcast media in terms of timeliness, proximity, prominence and interest which are news elements. And that receiving brown envelope prevents and tarnishes broadcast media credibility and creates instability in the society. Based on the findings of the study, summary, conclusion and recommendations were made that Nigerian broadcast media should pay attention to the social sphere in order to adequately understand public opinion and popular interests of the people. The sanctity of the news should not be tampered with. Broadcast owners should be find alternative sources of funding its business such as airtime sale and commercial advertising.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
News commercialization has become a major trend in news treatment globally, and an issue of ethical concern in the mass media. It is a tactful strategy through which the media relegates its responsibility of surveying the society disseminating information on the event, and people of social interest aside for financial gains.
News is regarded as any report of current events which are of public interest and social significance. The concept of news was in existence long before the advent of newspapers and electronic media. For instance, Before the advent of the print and electronic media in Africa, people shared important information by word of mouth, and through traditional channels such as: the town crier, venue- oriented communication i.e. The village square, market, stream, beer parlour, the palace, and through signs and symbols.
These traditional channels of communication had a major limitation of the inability to disseminate information to a heterogeneous audience, and this gave rise to the advent of mass media channels of communication such as: newspaper, radio, television, and the internet. The news thereby took a different coloration providing an avenue through which individuals keep abreast with significant occurrences within one’s immediate environment, as well as monitor the international scene.
There is no better way of fueling ‘the need to know’ interest and yarn for information than through the mass media which presents news from around the world to a vast heterogeneous audience. Hartley (1982) opine that the codes and conventions of news enables media audience become ‘news-literate’ which is the ability to interpret the world at large in terms of the codes we have learnt from the news.
The broadcast media are tools for mass communication which have unique responsibilities to keep members of the society informed, educated and entertained, itis through the mass media that the society gets to know what is happening within and around the country and react accordingly. The basic functions of the broadcast media, according to Lass well in Peterson, et al (1965) is to act as the society’s watchdog, they are expected to mount surveillance over the environment and correlate the components of the society to ensure effective functioning of the system which will assist in the transmission of the social heritage from generation to generation. In carrying out these functions, the mass media make use of several methods of collecting and disseminating information which include straight news reporting, interpretative reporting and investigative reporting. (Bo, et al 2009). In Nigeria, the roles of journalists in the affairs of the nation is constitutionally recognized in section 21, sub section 150 of the 1979 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It states that the press must uphold the aims and objectives of Nigeria as a nation and that the press must ensure that all organs of government (Legislature, Executives and Judiciary,) upholds these aims and objectives and perform the duties imposed on them in furtherance of nation building; the press must hold the Government accountable to the people in the performance of its duties and responsibilities to ensure that the aim and objective of nation building are realized. The above provision recognizes and consequently assigns certain functions to the Nigerian media as partners in progress. In 1992, the Babangida military administration de-regulated the Broadcast industry, so as to usher in more participation and ensure more pluralistic views. The basic aim of this policy thrust was to empower those people who hitherto did not have access to the government owned media, for any reason, so that they will have the opportunity to express their views and opinions on national and topical issues. There is a general recognition of the fact that journalists have responsibilities toward the public. These responsibilities may include: contractual responsibility in relation to the media and their internal organization; a social responsibility obligation towards public opinion and society as a whole; responsibility or liability deriving from the obligation to comply with the law; and the responsibility towards national and international communities, to ensure acceptable values, (Ugwuanyi :2005). The media perform these functions in furtherance of their responsibilities to the general public. But a situation whereby media practitioners perform their duties based on financial promptings and reward negate the ethic and objectives of the profession.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Broadcast media managers are well aware of their essential roles in society. They have the strategies to Manage Social Information. They are conversant with societal information needs. These forms their guidelines in Managing media resources to produce media sole offering information.
Initially the production of news package in NTA Port Harcourt Rivers State, was based on the principle of items that are newsworthy. Also, it was guided by what is ethical in journalism profession and according to the style of the organization.
However, some serious questions readily come to mind at this juncture. With the introduction of news commercialization as a measure of improving new credibility in broadcast media.
The problems that prompted the study are as follow:
- Lack of listeners confidence in the channel in terms of timeliness, proximity, prominence and interest which are news elements.
- Poor audience maintenance of news commercialization in Nigeria.
- Regardless of the circumstance or situation, offering and or receiving brown envelope prevents, tarnishes media credibility and creates instability in the society.
- Disregard of ethical practice in journalism profession as news commercialization has affected the principle of news packages as a humanitarian service.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:
The main objective of the study is to examine the influence of news commercialization on the news credibility in broadcast media. The specific objective are as follows:
- To examine the extent to which listeners have confidence in the broadcast media in terms of timeliness, proximity, prominence and interest which are news elements.
- To find out whether news commercialization thrive in Nigeria.
iii. To find out if receiving brown envelope prevents and tarnishes broadcast media credibility and creates instability in the society.
- To determine whether news commercialization affected ethical practice in journalism profession.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Do listeners have confidence in the broadcast media in terms of timeliness, proximity, prominence and interest which are news elements?
- To what extent does news commercialization thrive in Nigeria?
iii. Does receiving brown envelope prevents and tarnishes broadcast media credibility and creates instability in the society?
- Does news commercialization affect ethical practice in journalism profession?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to examine the influence of news commercialization on the news credibility in broadcast media.
The study when completed will broadcast media’s realize that their news packages are not enjoying the confidence of their audience. Also, they will have to know that they have not been disseminating adequate amount of information their audience members are expecting through their news packages. The management will later understand that this condition has adversely affected their credibility rating.
The journalists will realize the importance of maintaining their professional standard in mews coverage and writing of news stories.
While on the other hand, the audience will start to receive the type of news stories they have been expecting from Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Port Harcourt.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY/DELIMITATION
The scope covers the influence of news commercialization on the new credibility in broad cast media. The study limits scope to Port Harcourt metropolis with special references to Nigerian television Authority (NTA), Port Harcourt River State.
The major limitation of the study is the short time frame the research lasted, coupled with the tight academic time table, which prevented a very comprehensive study. The fund available to the researcher was also limited and therefore the study was limited to a small portion of the survey population.
Another limitation is the difficulties, encountered by the researcher in obtaining all needed information and materials from the right source and compilation of data for the project.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
It is very important that the meaning of the topic at state is registers in the mind of the readers that is why the researchers decided to simplify for better comprehension/clarity.
BROADCASTING: It is the distribution of audio or video content or other messages to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves), in a one-to-many model.
COMMERCIALIZATION: Financed by charges made for commercialization advertisement in programmes.
CREDIBILITY: The quality of being convincing or believable.
MEADIA: The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively.
NEWS: News or fresh information is reports of what has recently happened.
INFLUENCE: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
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