Effect Of Government Ownership And Control Of Mass Media Objectivity (A Case Study Of Enugu State Broadcasting Services)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Effect Of Government Ownership And Control Of Mass Media Objectivity (A Case Study Of Enugu State Broadcasting Services)


This research is conducted to provide insight on state owned newspapers and their challenges.

Chapter one stated the problem, its significance and the scope of the study.

Chapter two contains an extreme examination of secondary data provided by proven scholars of the concept.

Chapter three described how data were collected especially the use of primary sources as questionnaire and oral interview.

Chapter four presented a thorough analysis of the data collected. Finally, the research findings, summary, conclusion and relevant recommendations are contained in chapter five.

One interesting findings upon which the condition was autocratic non-academic countries with highly interventionist government that have some interest in controlling the flow of information.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of study
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of study
  • 1.4 Significance of the study
  • 1.5 Scope and limitation
  • 1.6 Research Question
  • 1.7 Definition of term

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Theoretical frame work
  • 2.2 Government ownership and objective journalism
  • 2.3 Summary of literature review

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research method
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Research sample
  • 3.4 Measuring instrument
  • 3.5 Method of data collection
  • 3.6 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.1 Data Analysis

  • 4.2 Data analysis questionnaires
  • 4.3 Results of hypothesis and interpretation

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1. Background Of The Study

Since the inception of colonialism, the government over the years enjoyed a monopoly of the proprietorship of broad casting stations with all the implications of that monopoly. That the right to private ownership of the broad cast media, implied in the right to freedom of expression, entrained in section 36 of the 1979 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria is circumscribed within sub-section 2 of that same section with states thus, provided that no person other than the federation or a state of any other person or body authorized by the president shall now establish or operate a broadcasting media for any purpose whatsoever.

The provision in section 38 (2) of the 1989 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria is the same as that quoted above. The various government of Nigeria declined the idea of private ownership of broadcasting media even with this concession in the above sections of the constitution a provision for establishment of private broadcast institution on the specific approval of the country’s president what was seen as the monopoly by the various government of the powerful organs of the electronic media to preserve their hold on power generated controversial debate as far back as the 1980’s when the issue of private insertion was a constant broadcasting outfit became the present NTA channel 8 Enugu.

Simultaneously, in 1981 – 1985, the both ABC radio and ATV so were merged into what was known as ABS without radio station in Enugu and Onitsha.

Consequently, they come to be known as the Enugu state broadcasting services ESBS with AM and FM studio in 1991. The Enugu state broadcasting services currently transmit on the following channel and frequencies.

  1. Enugu television (ETV) channel 50 VHF presently called “star TV”.
  2. Radio FM (1) = 585 KHZ in the medium wave band.
  3. Radio Fm (2) =96.1 MHz in the Fm band.

The ESBS comprises at present a functional radio station transmitting on channel 50 VHF since my study is in the effects of government ownership and control of the radio 2 fm of the ESBS again, the study will concentrated precisely on “news programme” of the radio 2 fm station. The reason for the cloze is obvious because news is the greatest programmes that determines the objectivity of any station moreover, information is power that shows that a national without appropriate in the information flow.

Similarly, it is vivid that radio is the true mass medium in third countries because it really reaches the masses. In Nigeria, the uses of radio as a source of information who make up the majority of the country’s make up the majority of the country’s population (OKUNNA 1992). The radio is enjoying greater popularity especially among the rural population because of its reach and also because of its being earlier to the media scene then the TV; it is affordable and realistic to media goals.

The most pre-eminent position of radio is the ability to bridge language barriers tool for social mobilization motivation sensitizing and knowledge development (Moemeka 1991).

If radio enjoys all these fm, radio enjoys more advantage. Mrs. Modlyn Opara, a one time acting director ESBS radio 2 fm said in her speech on the ESBS conference with then governor that the fm is mainly for playing music entertainment and advert because of the many advantages it enjoys over presently dead. Following the over-riding factors, the ESBS exploits the fm for its combined services broadcasts as news and state executives broadcast.

On the whole the fm enjoys the following advantages namely:-

  1. Freedom, from static noise and disruption
  2. Came in equal within reception range
  3. It provides understated reception
  4. It transmit with greater fidelity
  5. It better suited for community and city broadcast.

Besides all these sterling qualities, the fm electronic media makes great contributions towards societal improvements. It is among other things the sources of news information, education, entertainment, opinion leadership conferring status and creating symbolism. The way they did it, no matter the place determine their contributions to national development or otherwise.

The government always exploits this medium avenue to sell its political policies and program propaganda to the society. And since the government funds this medium it sets up the organizational structure of the managements as to control and mange it the way it likes and the manner it pleases them posits victor Anyaegbudike in a lecture of radio. Television production ad broadcasting in Nigeria (2003).

It is integrity to note that in as much as the station is referred to as the station with the right attitude. It is not very accessible to all and sundry its accessibility depends on whether one’s view is for or against the government the day. For most state government, infact not government like chimaroke regime, the rule has always been that “those are not for us are against us” Hence, their views bad not best find place in the government media (or say megaphone or paramount). The boards of directors, news editors and presenters etc. all these personal are accredited government loyalist who protect the interest of the government always.

Due to the fact that their appointment was made by the government and likewise their salaries, they desisted from reporting against the government for fear of being fired.

Concluding, Mr. Osi Rockfellers Ogboso caped it up by describing feature in most write-up, professional seminars and conferences touching on the media.

Not withstanding, the private ownership are still controlled and influenced by the government and they works in the direction of the government because of their close relationship, that why Mr. Osi Ogboso, he chairman of the Nigerian union of journalist (NUJ) Enugu chapter stated that ownership and control of mass media objectivity has gone beyond government owner that even the private media are influenced by the government due to financed support.

The inception of the federal communication commission in 1934 to regulate broadcasting in the public interest began to tighten the obligations of the “fairness doctrine” in 1970 required that broadcasters who present a series on controversial issues or who editorialize invite specific spokesmen to state contrasting views.

Nevertheless, Nigerians of the contemporary time are increasingly decrying ownership and control of radio and television stations because the stations are increasingly loosing its creditability and respectability.

The era of objectivity stressed factual, accurate balanced, straight and colonization of any sort. As from the 1940s to data, objectivity has been under serious fire. It is characterized by the following vizs.

  1. The separation of facts from opinions
  2. The strive for fairness and balance
  3. The presentation of an emotionally detached view of the press among others.

The style lasted for quite some time before the authoritarian control of the mass media by the government was in existence and probably gave way to other style of journalism. Consequently the ownership and control of the electronic media has not been without some hindrance on the media operations and its integrity. Mr. Marshel Ngene is one of this lecture said that government owned media lack creditability and objectivity.

The changing of NUJ, Mr. Ogboso described the caliber of workers that government owned media parade with as “professional learn dogs” he gave an instance when he was assigned to cover “the 2002 governor’s impeachment”. According to him he said that the report was fairly and truthfully covered but was killed or buried by the people in the balms of affairs at ESBS. Ogboso. Further described them as “poorly educated editors and reporters”. These half baked staff are ill remunerated making them have lane and financial base and thus easy targets for manipulation by the government and it’s agents.

Following this background therefore I have resolved to seriously determine the effects of the age long ownership and control of the Enugu state broadcasting services by the interest at the fm arm of the establishment. Knowing full well that “A nations press or media system is closely tried its politician system because the system of government conceived the system of the press since a nations journalism cannot exceed the limits permitted by the society.

History Of ESBS

According to “A brief history of ESBS Published on the official commission / launching of Enugu state broadcasting services (ESBS) stations, independent layout Enugu on 20th march 1992.

What is today known as Enugu state broadcasting services (ESBS) has undergone a great of metamorphosis. It was first opened on October 1st 1960 as one of memorable ceremonies to glamorize the Nigeria attainment of independence and was then Easter Nigeria broadcasting corporation (ENBA). At the end of curl war in 1970, the aged and badly over-used ENBC was charged to east central state in Nigeria in ECBS in charged to Anambra broadcasting services ABS and in 1977 it was modified to Anambra broadcasting corporation ABC divided into two i.e ABC 1 at ninth mile corner and ABC II at the Hill top station

In 1978, the federal military government took a decision of taking over all TV stations in the country, the TV arm of the ABC, ESBS and the government owned media as “he who plays the pipe dictates the tone”, therefore government in power crippled them loyal who pretends to be journalist without the call practice, of objectivity which connotes actual facts, fairness and balance and un-opinioned views.

1.2 Statement Of Research Problem

The concept effect of government ownership and control of mass media objectivity, is of great important and indispensable in the life of government and its ethnic. Government did not own exert control of the mass media for its sake but a definite purpose of using it as a megaphone to tell it own story. Most state owned media organizations are land locked with creditability and objectivity question for the way they have handle it. Information / propaganda dissemination for the government at the expense of the opposition and indeed the people.

For this reason media audience is today known to take state owned media message with a pinch of salt. For marsheal machuhan once posited that “media is the massage”. The problem that necessitated to its research is the need to uncover how government influenced on its own megaphone has been able to faster and deride the objective principle of journalism and how it affects the mass.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

Every research problem worthy of academic status must have a definite purpose. The purpose of these study includes.

  1. To find out how objectivity the ESBS discharges it’s duty in the light of government ownership and control.
  2. To identify ways by which their objectivity has affected the stations status.
  3. To offer suggestions on how government owned media should be handled to achieved letter result.
  4. To reinforce creditability and objectivity of mass media to the light of future and present journalist.
  5. The researcher is undertaking to make contributions to knowledge generally.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

At the end of this research, it will be useful to all especially mass communication scholars and practitioner. It will also be beneficial to government owned media organizations, who are still bedridden by objectivity problem.

  1. The study will help to provide adequate insight to meet the charging demands in the dynamics media environment of our society, thereby helping media managers to make a better management policy.
  2. This work, however, will also prefer suggestions in how the media should create awareness on maintaining it’s continued standard.

1.5 Scope Of The Study

Particularly, this research work focuses on the effect of government ownership and control of mass media objectivity using Enugu state Broadcasting service (ESBS) as a case study.

1.6 Research Question

Certain questions were formulated to bring solutions to the problem;

  1. Does the influence of government help in the progress of ESBS.
  2. Do ESBS programmes reflect its bias to government or media objectivity?
  3. Has government influenced the station helping it to achieve its aim of informing, educating and entertaining the audience?
  4. Does the ownership and control live room to media practioner make them to operate optimally?
  5. What factors, if any could compel government and private sectors media to pursue their duty towards societal objectivity.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

The study on the effect of government ownership and control of mass media objectivity obviously is an advanced and diverse topic that should study all the mass media owned by both government and private. More also, different categories of people and prominent politicians to be able to elicit and extracts of factual point as it concerns the topic. But it has it’s problem of time, finance, challenges and getting respondents permits to access relevant information regarding their operations. However, the information are very accurate not withstanding.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

1. Print:

Refers to journals, magazines, newspapers and other book materials that are published

2. Control:

Refers to the powers to direct and take decision on something.

3. Meua:

Refers to a particular channel through which people receives information.

4. Government:

Refers to the leadership of state or control government of Nigeria

5. Journalism:

Refers to the job of collecting and writing news for news papers or magazine

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Recommendation And Conclusion

1.1 Introduction

My aim in this study which has manifested in forgone and analysis is to carry the effects of government ownership and content of media on media objectivity. This study becomes necessary due to unbridled desecration of the journalistic ethnics of objectivity. In the present democratic dispensation the government has involved the media under its control as propaganda machinery. The effect has been a situation where the media have left their task of providing balance news, information and education to selfish ends, rather than to understand their underlying obligation to follow up and understand critically everyday event more thoroughly than any other set of people do in the society and therefore are in a better position to analyze and interpreter the events to others in society.

In the beginning of achieving my aim in this study, I grove adequate background of mass media practice by giving an interview of the general field of mass communication. To provide better background and for adequate precaution of the study, I traced the origin of mass media in Nigeria as well as the genesis of Enugu state broadcasting services (ESBS) that I selected a case study.

In order to make the study more objectives, I received different works of prominent authors and experts in the field of mass communication purpose is to determine expert views on the relationship of government ownership and media objectivity. This review helped me to illuminate the problem at hand concerning theoretical perspective used as framework for the study. I utilized the authoritarian theory to address the research problem.

In testing the hypothesis, I employed statistical tool of chi –square test and contingency table, I rejected the null hypothesis and accepted the research hypothesis if the total chi-square table of responses given is greater than table value and would be rejected if it less than value.

At the end all the hypothesis received statistical according to the rule stated above.

5.1 Summary

The analysis and interpretation do not are distracts them, but rather strengthen, objectivity if they are done with honesty fairness and in partiality.

It is in the effort to eradicate UN objectivity and UN responsibility of the journalist in the mass media in respect of government ownership and control that took our time and money to evaluate properly this subject matter.
In the beginning of achieving our aim in this study we gave adequate background of mass media practice by giving and overview of the general finding of mass communication. To provide better background and for adequate precaution of the study, we traced the origin of mass media of Nigeria as well as the genesis of Enugu state broadcasting service (ESBS) that we selected as a case study.

In an attempt to define the working tools, we provided a retrospective view of the topic we also defined the problems that necessitated the study clearly defined the direction, we mapped out the objectivity in carrying out the result we state some question which we hoped if followed will proffer solution to the problem, we equally formed a working hypothesis on the effect of government ownership and control of mass media objectivity.

In order to make the study more objectives, we received different works of prominent authors and experts in the field of mass communication. The purpose is to determine expert views on the relationship of government ownership and media objectivity. This review helped us to illummate the problem at hand concerning theoretical perspective used in framework for the study. We utilized the authoritarian theory of address the research problem.
In choosing research method since the survey research method since the problem could be solved through the sampling of opinion, the sampling was done on randomly selected ESBS staff and audience. Our data was collected through specially prepared questionnaire.

The analysis of collected data was based on mean frequency and with other statistical analysis tools. We accepted result, which has the highest agree occurrence.

In testing the hypothesis we employed statistical tool of chi-square test and contingency table, we neglected the null hypothesis and accepted research hypothesis if the total chi-square table of responses given is greater than table value and would be reflected if it is less than table value. The hypothesis received statistical support according to the rule stated above

5.2 Recommendation

The effect of government ownership and control of media should be able to objectivity inform, educate and entertain the audience adequately. More so, the 1947 report by the Hutchins commission says that the social responsibility of the press is the devotion of the press of the service and public interest through the provision of accurate, truthful and complete accounts of the day’s event to the public and by it’s acting as a forum for members which the individual journalist assumes voluntarily because the government of the day decrees that members of the public inset that it should be done.

Finally, the press should be economically stressful and prosperous and must be financially independent of government and any special interviewed groups. In this school of thought the financial independent will enable the press to perform effectively and responsibility in the public interest in orderly ensure media objectivity.
Unfortunately, there are usually many formidable problems which often make it very difficult for the press to perform sufficiently objectively not minding the pattern of ownership and control whether government or private such problems seem to be remarkably peculiar to the less developed countries like ours Nigeria, they include.

  1. Lack of sound professional educating and training
  2. Lack of experience
  3. Sheer incompetence
  4. Use of the mass media for propaganda purposes
  5. Pressure from special interest groups.
  6. Politicalization of the press use of repressive laws
  7. Outright censorship
  8. Excessive secrecy by government official
  9. Lack of effective internal profession control

All these are the problems facing media objectivity despite the government and the public at large should contribute to fosters when this involved absent, the press cannot be said to be truly performing its functions in society.

In order to accomplish this objectivity sound professional training and experience as well as enforcement of codes of ethics has to be involved because if the journalistic care trained professionally they will be able to withstand any controversy and stand firm in their profession.

Since the press had an obligation to be economically independent in order to function effectively, journalists need to become more products order to contribute to the economic property of the press, without such economic property journalists cannot enjoy higher pay and good condition of the service not to talk of society of employment.

I also sincerely believe that the time has come for journalists to begin to participate in the ownership of the media of mass communication rather than be content with open up more employment opportunities to journalists minimize conflicts between non-journalists, media owners and professional journalists and stimulate the process of professionalization.

In view of its enormous resources on almost boundless powers, the government can contribute a great deal to the improvement of the performance of the press by providing and maintaining, be vitally needed infrastructures such as good roads, steady supply of electricity a functional telephone system.

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