Appraising The Effect Of Commercial News On Journalism Profession In Nigeria (A Case Study Of NTA Ile-Ife And Orisun F.M Ile-Ife)


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Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication


Dedication


I dedicate this project to God Almighty for his provisions.

I also dedicate it to my parents Mr/Mrs Essiet, my brothers and sisters Mrs. Gladsome Madukwe, Captain E.K Effiong, Mr. Kingsley Essiet, Miss Ima-Obong Essiet, Miss Horo Essiet, Mr. Kufre Essiet Mr. Sunday Essiet and Miss Beatrice Essiet.


Acknowledgement


Thanks to my parent and my family members who contributed immensely in my Education.

My special thanks go to my amiable project supervisor and HOD, Mr. Golden Oparaeke who contributed immensely to the success of my project work through his remarkable supervisory role.

I also appreciate those who prayed for me during the time of this research work. I say may God Almighty bless them all.


Abstract


Commercialization of news began in Nigerian media houses as a result of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) introduced in 1986 and the eventual withdrawal of subsidies from government owned media houses see Ekwo (1996) and Ogbuoshi (2005). With the increasing rise in production cost and dwindling circulation, the media houses resort to all kinds of tricks including commercialization of the news to make money (Oso, 2000). Majority of the respondent admitted that media houses kills hard news to accommodate commercial stories.

The situation has led to a lot of compromise, with sensationalisation of news stories and half-truths reaching alarming stage. Citing an instance with the Daily Times, a one time leading newspaper in Nigeria, Idowu (2001:15) noted the situation became so bad that:This commercialization at the institutional level is thriving because editors, publishers and owners of the broadcast stations/ print media see the organizations, or their investment, as a profit making venture that should yield the required financial return. Increasingly, commercial-oriented news stories are taking the place of hard news reports.

Hanson (2005:140) is right when he notes that:“reporters and editors are supposed to be concerned not with profits but rather with reporting the news as best they can. But that barrier is coming down, and editors are increasingly looking at their newspaper as a product that should appeal to advertisers as well as readers.

Therefore, the research work appraised the effect of commercial news on journalism profession in Nigeria” (A case study of NTA Ile-Ife and Orisun F.M Ile-Ife). The researcher adopted survey research method in eliciting data from the selected respondents.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Commercialization of news began in Nigerian media houses as the result of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) introduced in 1986 and the eventual withdrawal of subsidies from government owned media houses (see Ekwo 1996, Ogbuoshi 2005). With the increasing rise in production cost and dwindling circulation, the media houses resort to all kinds of tricks including commercialization of the news to make money (Oso, 2000). The situation has led to a lot of compromise, with sensationalisation of news stories and half-truths reaching alarming stage. Citing an instance with the Daily Times, a one time leading newspaper in Nigeria, Idowu (2001:15) noted the situation became so bad that:

The workers threatened not to board the company’s staff buses unless the company’s name was wiped off from the buses. Even the company’s cars were no longer branded. It was meant to be a precautionary measure to save the staff and the company’s vehicles from being attacked by an irate public which could not reconcile itself to the half truths being published in the Times. The company heeded the worker’s call.

Just as the organisation is subjected to economic pressure and tries all means not to sink, so too are individual journalists. The greatest problem besetting Nigerian journalists is that of poverty which scholars agree need to be addressed if the ethical professional standards are to be maintained Rather than do so, however, the current practices in most media organisations in Nigeria seem to be encouraging unethical practices. Publishers in Nigeria, rather than pay attractive wages to the journalists, refer to their identity cards as a meal ticket. In other words, the journalists are encouraged to make money on their own in whatever manner they deem fit, thus encouraging the popular brown envelope syndrome within journalism parlance in Nigeria.

In some media organisations reporters are officially made to function as marketing officers in addition to main reportorial duties. “For instance, those in charge of specialised pages or columns are made to source for adverts or supplements to support `their’ pages or the pages are dropped and probably with the reporter. In broadcasting, producers are asked to scout for sponsors for `their’ programmes with a promise of commission” (Oso 2000:30)
Journalism practice wields such enormous powers and calls for the highest standards of ethics and commitment to truth. Ethics and truth in journalism have assumed global concern as scholars recognize that their basic constituents of objectivity, accuracy, fairness and balance have merely assumed mythical qualities as journalists battle to assign credibility to their news stories. Tuchman (1978:2) describes objectivity as `facticity’ (a mechanism which allows the journalists to hide even from themselves the `constructed’ and `partial’ nature of their stories).

This view seems to have garnered force as increasingly scholars suggest that news even when professionally `selected’ is guided more by organizational needs than by professionalism. The journalist thus becomes `a walking paradox’ (Nordenstreng 1995) as one cannot fail to see that journalism is so full of contradictions that “we have to question even the most fundamental dogma of the profession – truth seeking – because the way it has been conceived and practiced in journalism serves as a deceptive filtering device preventing as much as helping the truth being discovered” (Nordenstreng 1995:117). News commercialization practice in Nigeria media industries adds to this contradiction and deception, creating a continuous dilemma for ethics and objectivity in journalism practice in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Commercialization of news has really affected journalism profession in many ways. This has been a problem to journalist in recent times in the discharge of their duties. This studies has also come to investigate or outlined some of the problems, which includes:

Commercialization of news violates the ethics and code of conduct of journalists, which states:it is the duty of the journalist to refuse any reward for publishing or suppressing news or comment.

News commercialization has affected information flow tremendously. As the majority of news is paid for, therefore, the news that sees the light of the day has to be induced by somebody or an organization, while those news that are genuine and authoritative are dropped because there is no inducement where such news emanates from. The greatest flaw in the practice of news commercialization as Ekwo (1996) surmises is that “news is narrowly defined against the weight of the news source’s purse” (p. 69).

News commercialization can lead to news distortion. The person who pays the piper often dictates the tune. Since the media would not like to lose a major customer, they will do all within their reach to satisfy such client that pays them enough money to have to his/her view projected. In return, the client may dictate how and what he or she wants out of the news packaging of the media house. This can extend to dictating to the media what makes news, thereby emasculating opposing views. This is often flagrantly displayed during election times as contestants often buy over one media house or the other, which at every news hour seize the opportunity to praise the `client’ and crush his/her opponents.

With the zeal to acquire more and more money through commercialization of news, many news organizations have lost their focus on investigative journalism. This has led to loss of variety in the news, monotony, etc. Many have lost their mission turning to praise singing and propaganda, which has dire consequences for the Nigerian society (see Ekwo 1996, Lai 2000, Ogbuoshi 2005).

Finally, The journalist thus becomes `a walking paradox’ (Nordenstreng 1995) as one cannot fail to see that journalism is so full of contradictions that “we have to question even the most fundamental dogma of the profession

– truth seeking – because the way it has been conceived and practiced in journalism serves as a deceptive filtering device preventing as much as helping the truth being discovered” (Nordenstreng 1995:117). News commercialization practice in Nigeria media industries adds to this contradiction and deception, creating a continuous dilemma for ethics and objectivity in journalism practice in Nigeria.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main purpose of this research is based on the following;

  1. To appraise the effect of commercial news on journalism profession.
  2. To identify the various challenges posed by commercials to journalist.
  3. To determine the influence of technological advancement on broadcast media station with special reference to commercials.
  4. To recommend an appropriate commercial scheme for goods to be made known using the broadcast media station.
  5. To determine the degree of stoicism towards news commercialization in the Nigerian news scene.

1.4 Research Questions

In an attempt to carry out this research work on “the effect of commercial news on journalist profession in Nigeria”, the following research questions were raised to help the investigation.

  1. Does commercial play important role in broadcasting?
  2. Of what significance are commercials in journalism profession?
  3. To what extent can broadcasting media or journalist survive without commercial?
  4. To what extent does geographical location of a broadcast media stations determine the increase in number of commercials and advertisers?
  5. Does commercial price of broadcast station determine advertisers’ choice of media?
  6. To what extent does commercials effects journalism profession in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This research work will enable journalists, mass communicants, newscasters, news editors and stakeholders to know the place of commercials in a broadcast media station in a computer age.

The research will serve as a useful guide to future researcher who will like to further the study on “the appraisal of the effect of commercial news on journalism professions in Nigeria or in any related topics. It will also add to an existing literature.


1.6 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

Scope

The effect of commercial news on journalism profession varies from a journalist to journalist and from media house to media house. This implies that it is practically impossible for the study to discuss all the effects of commercial news on journalism profession in Nigeria of all journalist and media houses.

Consequently, this study is limited to the appraisal of the effect of commercial news on journalism profession with a reference to NTA & Orisum FM in ile-ife.

Limitations Of The Study

This study was faced with series of constraints in the course of writing it. Prominent among the constraints are time spent in visiting the case study areas and time spent in compiling my findings.

Secondly, the finance in carrying out this activity was a big problem. Obtaining relevant data information was another limiting factor as almost all the required information obtained was sufficient. Even in situation where interviews were necessary, there was difficult in scheduling while some qualified personnel are either busy or ignorant over such interview.


1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms operationally defined in the course of this study to increase the understanding of people who may want to use them.

Commercials:

This refers to advertising, paid classified messages in newspapers, magazines, flyers, billboards and paid announcement over a radio or television to sell a product.

Commercial Broadcasting:

This is the broadcasting of television and radio programming by privately owned corporate media.

Broadcast Media:

This covers a wide spectrum of different communication methods such as television and radio.

Advertisement:

The creation of awareness about a product.

Broadcasting:

Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a disposed audience via any audio or visual means.


I bet you, the complete material is fully loaded. This is just an excerpt. The Material is in MS-Word Format which you can easily edit and is comprehensive for a complete research work for this topic


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How to nail it on the head during your project defence


You are through with writing that project. Now what?

You have found yourself at that point where you have to defend what you have written. Of course you have to stand in front of your supervisor and other literary personalities to prove that you know what you wrote in your project paper. Unfortunately, the more you think about it, the more it looks like you are about to face a legion. It is not a war. But the emotion of dread welling up inside of you makes it look like one. So now you are asking yourself questions.

  • How am I going to start?
  • I hope I will do well enough to get an A.

You really want to nail it, but you need to come to terms with exactly how to get everything in perfect control. Especially your emotions of fear that seem to make a wreck of you every time you think about public speaking.
So here is the deal. I want to help you avoid that feeling that would ruin your precious moment if you dare to let it. And we are going to do it together.

I am going to highlight some very important tips to help you get in control for you to be comfortable enough to move from that feeling of DREAD to CONFIDENT; and making an awesome Impression for that great rating your supervisors should be giving to you so freely.

Consider these tips as you prepare for your defence. We will be taking them one after the other so here we go.


Watch Your Body Language And Keep It Confident:

Can you tell that a person is falling apart if they look confident? … If I can second guess you rightly, am sure you answered no to that question. Remind yourself that you need to come out that way. Now this might seem like a huge big deal when you are dealing with the foreboding. Maintaining a poise of confidence is very important. So find your most comfortable position, sitting or standing and draw up your body. You must exude confidence. It is something you need to do for yourself. People can only see what you allow your body language to show. So you must endeavour to put that out. Remember the story of David and Goliath? … At the end of your defence day, you want to be David.


Dress In Your Most Comfortable And Impressive:

Am sure this one is a no brainer. However I must highlight that you choose comfortable pieces. You don’t want to look so good and yet look like you were forced to wear something that does not belong to you. It’s great to ensure that as impressive as your clothes are on you, that they are also very comfortable.


Speak With Authority:

Going hand to hand with that aura of confidence is your most powerful asset:your words. If you look that confident, your words must not come out like whimpers. To be able to pull this off, you definitely need to speak as deliberately as possible in expressing yourself. Let them also hear what they see.


Use, Your Gestures:

I have often found this to come to my rescue in dealing with shyness and conveying my confidence. Usually it gives you an edge to also drive home your point. You must, however, ensure that you do not over use it. It doesn’t mean that your hands should be flying all over the place. That would be absolutely unnecessary. If you do this well, after a while you will realize that you are not as self-conscious as you used to be at the very start. For most situations, it would have completely disappeared altogether; leaving a really confident you talking.


Have A Good Opening And Closing Line:

Make sure you have perfected a good opening line. You should also be armed with a good closing line too. Try and rehearse it to a friend. If for the first time you presented it, your friend does not say “wow, that’s beautiful” or something like that; just know you need to keep refining it until you get the perfect line. Both opening and closing lines will go a long way in how impressed your panel gets to rate you high.


Make Sure You Know Your Work:

Certainly you should understand how important it is to know your own work from start to finish. Not having in-depth knowledge of your own work is tantamount to a suicide mission. Why should you kill yourself?
When all is said and done, this is what you came to defend in the first place. You should know your work from A to Z.


Prepare For The Questions:

Now this part is truly essential. You must be sure you do not floor all the good work you did on your presentation by not answering correctly. You must pay attention to the questions you are asked to be sure you will give the right answer. Many people get it wrong at this stage and spoil their good presentation. When you do not understand any question do endeavour to ask the person to expatiate what they mean before you answer.


These tips are by no means exhaustive, but applying these tips will give you some necessary advantage you need for a great outcome. Of course that outcome would mean that you eventually earn all your points on this project.


The structure of a good project work


Undergraduate projects in Nigeria is a prerequisite for graduation amongst Nigerian tertiary students who will which to obtain bachelors degree in their respective courses of study such as accounting, banking and finance, business administration and a host of others. Writing an undergraduate project in Nigeria for final year students entails a lot both financially and otherwise. Being able to develop any final year project depends on getting a researchable topic whether it is Accounting Undergraduate project topics, Banking and Finance research topics or banking and finance project topics and materials and it all requires diligent hard work of students who are willing to develop best undergraduate projects in Nigeria and graduate in flying colors.

A typical Undergraduate project in Nigerian tertiary institutions can be said to be divided into five or six chapters depending on the format of the school and course of study which are


1. Introduction

The introduction of an undergraduate project states the main research problem and research argument. What precisely the study is all about and why it is important. It looks at the originality of the research work and how it will fill the gap in other studies. Justification for a research undergraduate topic should not be lengthy before it has been explicitly stated.

Below are the contents in chapter one of an undergraduate research project which includes;

  • Background of the study,
  • Statement of the problem,
  • Objectives or aims of the study,
  • The research questions,
  • Research hypothesis,
  • Significance of the study,
  • Scope of the study,
  • Limitations of the study and
  • Operational definition of terms.

2. Literature review

Literature review of any undergraduate research work, be it business administration project topics or Economics project topics just to mention a few is very critical to securing a high grade in one’s project work. The literature review of a research process uncovers what other writers have written about the student’s topic. A student’s undergraduate research work should include a discussion or review of what is known about the subject and how that knowledge was acquired. The review could conclude with a brief summary of the literature and its implications. The contents of the literature review are the theoretical review, conceptual framework, empirical review and summary of literature review.

3. Research Methodology

This section includes a description of the research methods used in the undergraduate research work such as the sample size, data collection methods, measurement instruments, research data analysis procedures and the population from which the sample was selected.  This section also describes the method used in selecting the sample or samples, validation and reliability of the instruments used in the research work. There are different research statistical techniques used in undergraduate research work such as SPSS, e-views etc.


4. Results & Discussion

This section presents and discusses the data analysis results used in an undergraduate research work, the results of each analysis is being summarized, tabulated, and then discussed for each research question.  Then for each research hypothesis, the statistical test of significance selected and applied to the data is briefly described, followed by a statement indicating whether the hypothesis was supported or not supported.  In presenting the result analyses/summary in an undergraduate project tables and figures and or graph are used to add clarity to the presentation.


5. Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations

This section summarizes the findings of the study in an easy to understand manner.  It also explains the practical implications of those findings, and points to recommended directions for future research in that area.


References:

This is where every source cited in the undergraduate research work is being included. Every undergraduate research work must be properly referenced for its authenticity.


Choosing A Good Project / Research Topic


Students in Nigerian universities these days wish to choose a very simple project topic/material. There is no issue choosing a simple project topic; the only problem is your ability to choose a good project or research topic that your supervisor will easily approve for you.

Most project supervisors really want to see how good his or her project student understands his or her surrounding through the kind of topic he or she chooses for their project work.

There are some project topic that are not reject-able; for instance in Nigeria of today; what do you think is the major issue on ground now?

If a project student can choose or craft a topic on the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. Such project topic will be very interesting to write on.

Now what are the qualities of a good project topic?

  1. The materials for the project topic must be easily assessable.
  2. The project topic itself must be meaningful.
  3. The variables must be able to give a clear aim of the project topic.

What do I mean by variable?

Well I am deriving my point from the area of project writing; the variables here are those main words in the project topic.

Like the above project topic; the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. You can see the main variables that really define this project topic are:dollar, increment and economy.

Before you present your topic to your project supervisor, first of all understand your project topic, and then secondly try to do some research for your topic to see if at least you can get up to 60% of what you need to write the complete project.

I said that above because you might have a very nice topic that the materials are not available online and there are no books as regard the topic; in this case the project topic becomes difficult for you even though the topic is catchy.

What do I mean by your topic being assessable?

Well what I mean is very simple and easy to understand. Simply pick your project topic, type it on google and see if you will have at least a good background for the topic you are writing on.

If you can have a good background for your project topic and you can understand the problem associated with the project topic, then I believe the aim of the project is not far-fetched.

SAMPHINA ACADEMY

SAMPHINA ACADEMY

Samuel Obiora Blessed is the CEO and founder of Samphina Academy (samphina.com.ng) a.k.a Nigeria Students Media, the youngest engineering graduate of Federal Polytechnic Nekede in 2017 and the engine brain behind this great platform. He is the man behind the scene, filled with many potentials, a musician as well as a pro developer with the interest of Nigerian students at heart.

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