Impact Of Deregulation Of Broadcasting Media On The People

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Impact Of Deregulation Of Broadcasting Media On The People


Abstract


This study examined the impact of deregulation of broadcasting media on the people of Boripe Local government area of Osun state. With the privatization and deregulation of broadcast industry in Nigeria by the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida regime in 1992 in order to allow private participation in broadcast media which was dominated, control and exclusively for government. Survey research method was adopted and questionnaires were administered to the selected respondents residing in Boripe local government area of Osun State. Findings shown that the main gains of deregulation is multiple access to broadcast channels by Nigerians, high level of watchdog on government and more objectives information about government that public media cannot taunt. Researcher recommends that for the industry to strive well and contribute meaningfully to national development, government must not unnecessarily interfere with its operations. In other words, all attempts to officially censor or gag the media must be discouraged.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Various professions the world over have identity carved for themselves in which they depend on for pride. Some are known for routine, some are famous for their unity of purpose salutation while some are known for their esprit de corps. The Nigerian print media has taken a new turn in this 21st century though a large percentage of print media ownership is still in the private hands while government clung to monopoly of the broadcast media is gradually giving way. Notwithstanding, concern from the scholars’ perspective is more on the issue of non-professionalism which is more rampart in journalism. It is not uncommon for politicians who have no knowledge of journalism to establish one, two, three and even numerous media houses purposely to prosecute their political ambition and sometimes establishing such for financial gains.

The constitution of Nigeria does not guarantee specific press freedom, it only guarantees freedom of expression including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information. Several professional bodies such as Law, Engineering, Accounting, Medicine, etc today enjoy a high sense of respect because they are clearly identified and defined by the Nigerian constitution, adhered to ethical values and governing rules. Ironically, journalism, which is widely seen as the conscience of society is yet to be certified a profession, judging by the yardstick on what a profession should be. The practice of journalism in Nigeria has courted great controversies especially in relation to ethical regulation and adherence to professional precepts. Journalism is an esteemed profession that has a lot to offer in the reformation of society; unfortunately in Nigeria, it has become an all comers affair.

The former Abuja Bureau Chief of the Tide Newspaper, Alloys Nweke, during the January 2008 Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Summit in Port Harcourt, frowned at the numerous untrained people bestriding the streets with pen and paper claiming to be journalists. Nweke’s speech revealed that the number of fake journalists in Nigerian society is higher than the real practitioners, this is really painful and embarrassing because it depicts journalists as beggars and irresponsible whereas, genuine Nigerian journalists have remained in the forefront of democratic change and social re-ordering through doggedness and abrasive posture.

Akinfeleye (1990) quoted an American critic, Dean Rosco Pound who once wrote that every profession is governed by certain rules, and the absence of such rules makes it a vocation (Akinfeleye, 1990). For a very long time Nigerian scholars, professionals and practitioners have argued as to whether journalism is a profession or not in Nigeria. Some scholars and practitioners of journalism in Nigeria say journalism is a trade, others say it is a craft or an occupation while the rest simply say it is a vocation. According to Akinfeleye, (1990), the confusing state of affairs as to whether journalism is a profession or not in Nigeria has been partially brought about by the colonial rulers, particularly Britain where until recently, journalism was regarded as “an unqualified profession” (Akinfeleye, 1990).
In another development, every profession is being governed by its deregulation and code of conduct. The early and the nationalist press were not governed by any formal deregulation and code of conduct. For example, editorial policies didn’t exist, from the four paged, bilingual Iwe Iroyin to many paged Daily Times. On deregulation and code of conduct in early Nigeria broadcasting media, Udoakah & Nnadi, (2007) position that there was no regulation in the profession and anything went through. This accounts for one of the reasons why up till today, journalism in Nigeria is still not being seen as a profession, it is an all-comers affair. Responsible regulation came with the ethical code of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in 1962. This was after the journalists have established themselves as trade unionists on March 15, 1955. It started with 12point functions and 12-point code for members.

It is noteworthy that the integrity of the media has hardly ever been on the line when issues of national importance are involved. Challenges come mainly when issues revolve around individuals or group and, at that point, the media, in its entirety, is overwhelmingly castigated over the perceived offence or professional misconduct of few practitioners.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Broadcasting media 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 regulation. 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 broadcasting media in Nigeria (Adaja, 2012; Oso, 2012).

The self-censorship syndrome, inducement through brown envelope, 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 broadcasting media and other unprofessional approaches to the profession have reduced and threatened the code of deregulation upon which the journalism profession is expected to thrive.

It is on this premise that this study sought to investigate the ethical challenges of broadcasting media in Nigeria, using Boripe Local government area of Osun state as focus areas, with a view to providing valuable solutions to the ugly trend.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

This study aims at evaluating the ethical challenges facing broadcasting media in Boripe Local government area of Osun state specifically, it seeks:

  1. To find out the extent to which broadcasting media has been regulated in Boripe Local government area of Osun state.
  2. To ascertain the extent to which external factors influence broadcasting media in Boripe Local government area of Osun state.
  3. To find out how ethical challenges and non-professionalism affects broadcasting media in Boripe Local government area of Osun state..

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions are formulated to guide the study:

  1. To what extent is broadcasting media deregulated in Boripe Local government area of Osun state.
  2. To what extent do the external factors influence broadcasting media in Boripe Local government area of Osun state.
  3. How have ethical challenges and non-professionalism affect broadcasting media in Boripe Local government area of Osun state.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research is timely and it is imperative in the sense that ethical broadcasting media 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 broadcasting media based on its ethical principles.


1.6 Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms are operationalized as used in this study:

Deregulation:

Set of instructions 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.

Mass Media:

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.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

There are evidence from the results and findings of the study that there are discrepancies existing in the actualization of the perfect practice of journalism due to the presence of poverty, and corruption in the region.

The study observed these discrepancies in the area of ethical challenges and nonprofessionalism, internal factors and broadcasting media, external factors and broadcasting media and managerial incompetence and broadcasting media in Nigeria.

Since there are problems discovered in the process of evaluating this topic, media practitioners should understand the system in Nigeria and Boripe Local government area of Osun state in particular to enhance the total shift to proper professional practice and activities.


5.2 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Expert services should be engaged in the evaluation of the journalism profession to handle most especially, Boripe Local government area of Osun state, to endeavour to do that in order to ensure that the profession is up to date on regular basis to meet the required standard of the society.
  2. The regulatory bodies of the journalism profession should endeavour to see that the fundamental objectives and philosophies of the profession are clearly adhered to so as to avert non-professional conducts. This will aid the proper implementation of ethical principles to boost and maintain integrity of the profession.
  3. The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) should establish an institution or degree programmes which should engage the service of experts in the evaluation and curriculum studies to constantly review the curriculum content of their programmes to ensure true and sound professionals that will contribute greatly toward economic development.

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