The Press In Nigerian Politics, Analysis Of Issues And Patterns Of News Coverage

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Press In Nigerian Politics, Analysis Of Issues And Patterns Of News Coverage


Dedication


This work is dedicated to the memory of my late father Mr. Ugwu Joseph for his love for education, but did not live to see me attain this height.


Acknowledgement


My special thanks go to ALMIGHTY GOD have in His infinite mercy and love have been sustaining me.
My sincere thanks also go to my supervisor, Mr. Omeje and my HOD, Mr. Ameh for sparing time to read through my work. Their corrections, advice and invaluable suggestions really helped me to finish this work.

I also extend my sincere thanks to all those that have been too helpful and kind to me in one way or the other, especially Mrs. Chioma Umeh, Mrs. Cordelia Egelonu, Charity Enebeh, and Mr. I.K. Agwubuike. I appreciate your kind gesture.

My immense thanks to my loving and caring mum, Mrs. Maria Ugwu for her moral and financial support. And also to my sweet brothers and sisters for their understanding in the course of my studies.

I wish also to acknowledge the efforts of the following lecturers for helping to mould me. They include: Mr. Agboeze, Mr. Udeh HOD Mass-Comm, Mr. Boble Chukwu, Mr. Aliede, Mr. C.C. Ezeh, Mrs Eluwu Benson Virgina.

I extend my appreciation and thanks to my special friends, Chinwe Orji, Ugwu Chinasa Jane, and Ifeoma Ugorji for their sisterly advice. I am grateful indeed.

Finally, my sincere thanks go to my numerous course mates for their homely contributions and encouragement. I am very much grateful to Ogbugo Ngozi, Olemad, Charity, Egwu Monica, Ede Samuel, Ochie Angela, Chukwuebuka Chika, and Okafor Jacinta.
May God Bless you all.

Ugwu Anthonia Ozioma
Mass Communication


Abstract


This project is on “the press in Nigerian politics: with analysis of issues and patterns of news coverage.

The aim of the study is to find out whether or not the Nigerian press is selective in its report of similar political issues that affect the progress and functioning of the nation or not.

To carry out this research, the research, the researcher adopted the survey research method.  A total of 200 samples were used to represent the sex (male and female) of Enugu Metropolis.

A questionnaire was constructed for the study.  The questionnaire is made up of 17 questions that were administered to respondents.  They were later collected.  The data contained in them were carefully analysed.

There was the review of relevant literature for the study.  Summary of the finding was given, conclusions were drawn, while the researcher made some recommendations at the end up the study.

Among the many findings of this study, is that the press in Nigerian politics is a direct force in creating awareness, shaping perception, informing and educating the general masses.


Table Of Contents


  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents
  • Abstract

Chapter One

  • 1.1 Introduction/background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of research problems
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Research hypotheses
  • 1.6 Definitions of terms
  • 1.7 Assumptions
  • 1.8 Significance of the study
  • 1.9 Limitation of the study
  • 1.10 Theoretical frame work

Chapter Two

  • 2.0 Review of literature
  • 2.1 The review
  • 2.2 Media ownership and control
  • 2.3 Pre independence press
  • 2.4 Press in 1998 election and transition
  • 2.5 Summary of literature

Chapter Three

  • 3.0 Research methodology
  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Population
  • 3.3 Samples
  • 3.4 Measuring instruments
  • 3.5 Nature of questionnaire
  • 3.6 Data collection
  • 3.7 Data analysis

Chapter Four

  • 4.0 Data analysis and result
  • 4.1 Sample characteristics
  • 4.2 Testing of hypothesis

Chapter Five

  • 5.0 Summary and recommendation
  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • 5.3 Bibliography

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

The development of Nigerian politics is interwoven with that of the press. The early press, notably Townsend’s Iwe Irolin fun awon oti Egba Yoruba, the Nigerian first newspaper was used as a political progranda tool to fight the colonial administration in Lagos during the struggle for Independence. Idowu (2001:55) reports that the newspaper was so effective that the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in England found it necessary to caution Townsend over his “excesses” in 1963. he further comments that a year later, governor freeman complained to the home government that Iwe Irohim was “aggravating problems of foreign policy”.

This explains why the press is viewed as a very powerful weapon in the hands up both the government and the governed. It is the seeming efficacy of the media that Ngene (2001:1) writes that “As an institution, the press has been described variously”. Some people see and perceive it as the “watch dog of the society”, some describes it as a “mirrow” through which society sees itself as it is. In similar vein, others describe the press as “the unrecognized fourth arm of government”.

This later description of the press gave rise to the tag on the press all over the world as the “fourth estate of the realin”, thus being accorded the fourth position on the hierarchy of leadership in a democratic society. The other arms of government being referred to include the executive, judiciary and legislature.

As the fourth estate of the realm, press enhances not only the smooth operation, performance and interactions between the various arms of government in the service of the people, but also prevents any operation of the people by these arms of government.

Similarly, the press in performing its “watch dog role”, Edeani (1993:80) posits that press the press is supposed to keep a watchful eye on what the government is doing and has the obligation on behalf of the public to criticize the government whenever it thinks that the government has not performed in the public interest.

This not withstanding, the pen profession, like any other profession can also affect a society – negatively or positively. On the positive side, the press (mass-media) appear to possess unequalled and unparallel capacities and capabilities to unveil, portray and reflect the society in which it operates.

On the negative aspect, Kenneth Kaunda, a Former Zambian President explains “given appropriate conditions, the press can cause war or create peace. It can promote development or create difficulties in ways of development”.

What the above statement by Kaunda simply means, is that it is counter productive for any society to create conditions that would provide the press the opportunity of exhibiting its negative traits since the consequences are always far-reaching.

Mahatma Ghandi acknowledges this much when he said “the press is a great power but as an unchained torrent submerges the whole country side and devastates crops, even so an uncontrolled pen serves but to destroy”.

Okunna (2001:75) supports the press for its roles in politics when she says the history of the press in many societies shows that journalists have always been in the forefront of the struggle for freedom. The best journalists, that is, those who distinguish themselves and stand out among their peers are journalists who speak for the people/or grant people access to the media.


1.2 Statement Of Research Problem

This work sets out to determine the role of the press in Nigerian politics particularly its patterns of reporting and analysing political issues, crises and struggle since their pre-independence era. For quite a long time now, as could be observed from the preceding studies, the press have proved to be a potent tool used in shaping, altering, perceptions and causing attitude change.

The press (radio, television, newspapers, and magazines) are used to lend credence, support, and authenticity to certain political issues, political office holders and parties yet, little or no effort has been made to find out the impact of continuous press participation in the nations politics.

Based on the above, the researcher therefore deem it expedient and purposeful to investigate the role of the press in politics. A historical analysis of issues and patterns of news coverage.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objectives of the study is to find out whether or not the Nigerian press is selective in its report of similar political issues that affect the progress and functioning of the nation or not.

The study will also find out the circumstances and the reasons for the performances of the press especially in periods of political crisis. This study will further strive to ascertain what was responsible for the dearth of investigative reporting during the period and the in updating of the payes of newspapers and magazines with personalities who hold and support similar views as the newspaper organizations they work for.

Similarly, this study will determine the implications of using the press for pure sectional, ethnic and religions biased coverage’s of events.


1.4 Research Questions

For the purpose of carrying out this study effectively, the following research questions have been formulated to guide the study.

  1. Do Nigerians thinks that the press was selective in its coverage of similar political issues in the country?
  2. Does ownership and location of a media organisation affect its patterns of news coverage on politics, events, and political issues?
  3. What implication does investigative reporting and a high preponderance of views/opinions in the press holds for the Nigerian press?
  4. Is sectional, ethnic and religious bias glaringly observe in the pattern of news coverage and analysis of issue by the Nigeria press?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. H1: The Nigeria press is selection in its coverage of similar political stories and issues.
    H0: The Nigeria press is not selection in its coverage of similar political stories and issues.
  2. H2: Ownership and location of a media organization affect its pattern of news coverage on political issues and events.
    H0: Ownership and location of a media organization does not affect its pattern of news coverage on political issues and events.
  3. H3: Absence of well-investigated reports and stories have adverse effect on the image of the Nigerian press.
    H0: Absence of well-investigated reports and stories on political message does not affect the image of the Nigerian press.
  4. H4: The patterns of news coverage and analysis of issues by the Nigerian press do manifest incidents of sectional, religions and ethnic bias.
    H0: The patterns of news coverage and analysis of issues by the Nigerian press do not manifest cases of sectional, ethnic and religion bias.

The Press In Nigerian Politics, Analysis Of Issues And Patterns Of News Coverage


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