TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.2 Background of the study
1.3 Objective of the Study
1.4 Statement of Research Problem
1.5 Research questions
1.6 Research Hypothesis (including the Null hypothesis)
1.7 Definition of terms
1.9 Limitations of the Study
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Sources of Literature
3.0 Reassurances Methodology
3.1 Research method
3.2 Research design
3.3 Measuring instrument
3.4 Data Collection
3.5 Data Analysis
3.6 Data Analysis
3.7 Expected Result
4.0 data analysis and results
4.1 data Analysis
4.2 Hypotheses testing
4.3 Interpretation and discussion
5.0 Summary and recommendations
5.1 summary and conclusion
5.2 Recommendations for further studies
PROPOSAL ON THE EFFECT OF NEWS COMMERCIALIZATION
ON NEWS CREDIBILITY IN THE BROADCAST MEDIA
This prefect work tends to assess the effect of news commercialization
on news sedibility in the broadcast media , with particular reference to Federal
Radio corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) National Station Enugu and the Nigerian
Television Authority (NTA) channel 8 Enugu, using them as a case study.
The study intends to find out whether the commercialization of news
affects its credibility and objectivity and equally to know if it encourages the
“Brown envelope syndrome, accuracy, balance, fairness etc. whether those
who cannot afford to pay the media the opportunity and chances to broadcast
their events on air via Mass media of communication, such as the electronic or
This study, will also enable the researcher to known if the news
managers, News editors and Reporters (journalists) persistently carryout their
gate – keeping roles and at the same time still carryout their watchdog roles.
In other words, whether they still maintain the ethics and laws of the
profession or not or they are being influenced by the news sponsors and their
The study will also endeavour to Findus if the audience / publics have it
in mind that the news they listen and watch in these broadcast media are owned
and are pared for by the sponsors since they are not normally mentioned during
news broadcasting and information dissemination.
The work will be divided in to five chapters. The first chapter starts
with the introduction and background of the study, (the research problems and
research questions, hypotheses and definition of terms, objectives, significance,
limitations and assumptions of the study).
Chapter two will look into the literature review. This means that the
researcher will consult the works of different authors in the course of this
study. Whereas, the third chapter will focus on the research methodology
making use of survey method and designs.
Chapter four will analyze data collection and interpretation, the findings and
results finally, chapter five will deal on the summery of the study and
recommendations for further studies.
1.1 BACKGROUNDOF THE STUDY
News according to the advanced learner’s dictionary means, a new or
fresh information, reports of recent events. It has so many different definitions.
From different authors and scholars.
According to edition Ude in his book introduction to Reporting and news
writing 1998 defined news “ as the timely report of facts or opinions that hold
interests or importance or both for a considerable number of people.” Also,
Nkem FAB – Ukozor 2003 in her book: Fundamentals of interpretative and
investigative Reporting, defined news “as something new and unusual.
Stressing further, news according to Kamath (1980: 33) “is any event, ideas or
opinions that is timely, interests, or affects a large number of people in a
community and that is capable of being understood by them”.
The standardized coterie for judging news value as discussed by Nkem
Fab – Ukozor encompassed the followings: consequences / impact,
prominence, proscurity, timeliness, Action, novelty, conflict, Human interest,
and currency. – consequence is the most important cnterion in determining
news value. It has to do with news events that affect the lives of the largest
number of people. It should be considered at every level, both for good news
and bad. It is the grater effects.
- prominence deals on the well known people (important personalities),
institutions in the society etc. proximity bothers on the events that happened
within the locality of the deadens /audience.
- Timeliness means that news should be reported to the public which it is
fresh e as soon as it unfolds lest it become stale news.
- Novelty means the unusual or odd issues that happened in the society
- Human interest has to do with stories that most often touch human feelings.
The technical committee on privatization and commercialization (TCPC)
decree no 25 of 1988 grouped the FRCN and NTA as a partially
commercialized enterprise, during the president Ibraluin Badamasi
Babangida’s Military refine. The chairman of the then commercialization
committee was Dr Hamza R. zayyad. He opined that these organization
really will cherish some high level of autonomous mode of operation and in
accordance with the decree establishing them, having the authority to
operate on strict commercial basis and subject to regulate powers of the
government be able to among others fix rates, prices and charges for goods
The commercialization of news in the simplest form means that news
reported or aired in these media is being paid for. It is referred to as “let them
pay (LTP) in NTA and News commercialization in FRCN.
The issue of LTP in NTA according to the Assistant Director news, Mr
Lay Ademokoya is the out come of the dwindling of the federal government.
This is because, the subventions from the federal government are insufficient in
assisting the activities and operations of its parasols where it concerns funding.
Initially, coverage of certain events like Animal general meetings of different
companies were free of charge. But these companies in their journals cannot
promote NTA or assist them financially for these humanitarian Siroccos.
The practice has greatly reduced the social and public services roles of
the media organization. Nigerians do not know that news commercialization as
FRCN and LTP as NTA would put it is not the same with advertising. Though
these stations disguise adverts as news, in broadcast industry, the much effect
adverting on its news bulletin has been during commercial break. But centrally
not to disguise commercial items as part of the news aired for its social and
The then assistant director of finance, FRCN Enugu Mr J.C Egbu posits
that “commercialization was made possible due to the harsh economic
circumstances and government inability to maintain the organizations any
loryer.” Because of this, the government subvention insufficient to run these
organizations, hence the Commercialization of news.
With this members of the public such as government ministries,
communities, individuals, Public and Private organizations can only have the
Services of the media when they can pay some stipulated fees. Although, these
media are government owners, its agencies are amongst those who should pay,
but this has limitations because they can still negotiate. The radio link network
Phone- in -proframme in FRCN is a typical good instance. This proframme is
an avenue through which Public office holders showcase their image.
One of the system employed by these media before an individual or
organizations news can be aired, is that it will be included in either the network
news bulletin as news analysis only if they are able to pay.
Network commercial news are in the three categories as A,B,C. category
A encompassed quoted companies and parasols which attract quite some huge
amount of money which is said to be half of what set a pays. Whereas the C
category comprises of charity and no – profitable organizations of which the
amount they pay is negotiable.
In the words of with Nnorom (1994) “News commercialization is a
Phenomenon whereby electronic media reports news or news analysis, a
commercial messages by an unidentified sponsor, by giving the audience the
impression that news is fair, objective and socially responsible.” Viewers and
listeners see this as a cheat on the audience and look on such practice as the
same to the much condemned brown envelope journalism.
The payment for news stories is said to be the official brown envelopes
which are paid to the media house, as forbids the one given to the reporter at
the scene of his beat. This is contrary to the code of conduct of journalism
which states that “ it is the duty of the journalists to refuse any reward for
publishing or suppressing news or comment”.
The news commercialization negates the basic principles of the ethical
precepts in journalism. This implies that it is unethical for different broadcast
media to accept any payment from news sources before their items are aired or
covered. Such news stories are aired with others which editors have selected
for their pure news value and the unsuspecting audience internalize such
information as pure news instead of as an advertisement.
Researchers have seen that new paid for affects the objectivity and thus
credibility of such news as well as encouraging the brown envelope syndrome.
This is because the editor will like to satisfy the client.
In the highs of the foregoing, this paid news are many attains unedited
by the radiators which makes them to deviate from the gate-keeping roles.
Making the mass media to loose their credibility as the watchdog of the
This study is therefore to show how news commercialization affects the
professional ethics. And how it has as well affected the gate keeping functions
of the news editors. Equally to know, if the publics are aware that FRCN and
NTA news are commercialized.
1.2 STATEMENTS OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMS.
Critics hare identified distortion of news, imbalanced report and the
growing tendency for the public not to believe the media news (lack of
objectivity) as a major problems inherent in the use of the FRCN and NTA for
news and other information.
This is the key problems the researcher wishes to establish is this research
Objectivity as an ethical standard is one of the most pervasive in all of
journalism. Objectivity in news gathering and presentation is the reporters aims
What objectivity is and how the broadcast media have been using it in
its news reporting was established in this project.
Different scholars have seen objectivity in different way, but every
definition of objectivity revolves arround “the state of quality of not being
influenced by personal bias, Prejudice, feelings and opinions.” objective news
reporting is that which lack inferences, judgement and slanting. New
journalism is not altogether a professional practice in which the practitioner
became simply independent. That is unthinking feelings and without emotions.
Because of this, objectivity remains relative to the system that exists mostly
like news commercialization of the FRCN and NTA.
In the course of research, the researcher’s focus is drawn to two
opposing schools of thought concerning media objectivity on whether
objectivity is food or bad and if it is even possible or not. With this opposing
views, the position used in this study is that objectivity in news presentation is
not myth but an attainable media aims of which the journalists must strive for,
even in the face of opposing realities.
The word credibility is the trust worthiness or believability which the
individual has on the media disseminating information to him. In the same
vein, a source perceived to be credible is seen as telling the fact and this facts
in the source could arise from a number of factors such as perceived
objectivity, expertise and attractiveness of the source. In view of these central
role which the mass media occupy in every society as professional
communicators, their credibility is of great importance in the reception,
acceptance and use of the information they provide day in and day- out for the
maintenance of human civilization (Edeani : 1990).
In the light of the above, the researcher wants to see how the news
commer cialization has affected the credibility of the news source.
The universal dedication of human rights posits that “everybody has the
right to freedom of opinion and expression this right includes freedom to hold
opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and
ideas through any medium and regardless of frontiers.”
The researcher will as well try to know, if these commissioned human
rights have been neglected by the Nigerian mass media.
Related to this is the censorship and perhaps the gates keeping problems
which commercialization of news institutes for the editor. It affects editorial
judgement, because, stories an editor would not have used will be used because
the it had been paid for. Even the way in which the reporter would have been
written it will no longer be written, due to the same reason. They will like to
mite and present the stories in favour of the client which proves the adage that
says “he who pays the piper dictates the tune.”
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The core aims and objectives of this study to assess the credibility of
broadcast news in both FRCN and NTA Enugu since its partial
commercialization brought the emergence of news commercialization.
Policy of commercialization is not for private and cooperate
organizations to be stake holders in media organization but for such means to
be sources of fund for the running of the activities of the media, for the fact
that government subventions is sacredly seen it is litter or less to keep the
organizations afloat. Therefore, the standard set up on news commercialization
is another means by which funds can be raised within the media, for the upkeep
of the its activities.
What is being argued here is that, the media should made commercial
news known for the audience, for them to be aware that news they listened to at
that point in time is sponsored, by an unidentified people.
What the researcher meant is that the paid news and news not paid should be
Observations made shows that there are limitations in gate keeping
functions of the editor. “the gate keeper is any person or formally organized
group directly involved in relaying or bans ferring information from one
individual to another through any medium of mass communication.”
Such person or individual has the ability to limit the information the
public receives by editing the information, before it is disseminated. Etc.
The researcher equally wants to find out whether the above mentioned is
practiced, for the fact that news paid for are edited as the sponsor wanted.
Notvinding its news value.
Objective news is an unbiased news which is fair and accurate. The
researcher wants to see how objective the mass media are because the
commercialization policy is a vital issue in this study.
The study tends to discover how the radio and television audience view
and respond to news credibility and objectivity. Message and source credibility
are what the researcher puts in to consideration while discussing broadcast
Message credibility in this aspect means ability of radio and television
news report to be believed by the audience. On the other hand, the researcher
will know if the news makers (sources) have any influence on credibility rating
of news report. Radio and television audience, do they see them (oracle) as
being able to present less credible news.
In a nutshell, the study’s objective is to discover the followings:
i. How the commercialization of news has tend to committee to the
perceived low level of media news credibility.
ii. How news commercialization has reduced the news objectivity
iii. Whether news commercialization encourages brown envelope
iv. How commercialization policy has affected the gate keeping roles.
v. Whether the commercialization of news has deprived those who cannot
pay, access to media.
vi. Finally, to know if the eviler publics are aware that they listen to paid
news in FRCN and NTA Enugu.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.
Many are unaware that news aired in radio and television are not merely
because of its value. In a journalistic profession, there are criteria for news
judgements which make events, ideas, personalities etc is become news
worthy. But these days, such criteria are giving way to a situation whereby
“important developments, especially in the country side are pushed aside by
unimportant, even trivial news items concerning urban events and activities of
personalities (Mac Bride report 1980).
The social responsibilities role of the media mostly the broadcast media
have reduced drastically, meaning that it is the highest bidder that has access to
media. This practice termed “commercialization of news” as distinct from
advertising in the media, is the most recent but dangerous developments in the
Nigerian media industry dating from 1988 (See Uchenna Ek). Mass media and
marketing communication 1996 page 61).
The study is vital because it will investigate on which the radio and
television news credibility and objectivity stand.
It will equally enable the Sudanese in drowsing whether to listen to
radio/ television news.
Moreso, it may enable the government to reschedule its policy of
The study may be of great importance to the media, for them to be working in
accordance with the professional code or conduct especially in edify a paid up
The study will further be use full in widening the audience audience horigors
on the commercialization of news and the way it affects them.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS.
The following questions will be asked by the researcher:
1. News in radio and television, has such news lost its credibility due to
commercialization of news.
ii. Hare journalists been subjective in their news reporting because of news
iii. What is the effect of news commercialization on the perceived “Brown
envelope syndrome” and how has it affected the news credibility of these
iv. Has news commercialization, deprived those who cannot afford the
stipulated amount access to media?
v. Has the gate-keeping role as the news editor, been restricted to
limitations because of news commercialization
vi. Do the audience know that the news they listen in FRCN and NTA are
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES (ADDITION OF NULL
In the light of the aforementioned stated research questions, a few
hypothesis which shall be tested in this study will equally be included.
HI commercialization of news tends to affect news credibility in the
HO commercialization of news does not tend to affect news credibility in
the broadcast media.
H2 commercialization of news tends to reduce news objectivity in the
Ho Commercialization of news does not tend to reduce news objectivity in
the broadcast media.
H3 News commercialization tends to encourage the brown envelope
syndrome in the broadcast media.
H0 New commercialization do not encourage the brown envelope
syndrome in the broadcast media.
H4 News commercialization tends to deprive those who cannot pay
access to the media.
H0 News commercialization do not tend to deprive those who cannot
pay access to the media.
H5 News commercialization tends to reduce the gate keeping roles of
the news editor in the broadcast media
H0 News commercialization do tend to reduce the gate keeping roles of
the news editor in the broadcast media.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS.
The conceptual definitions of variables or concepts consist the literary
meanings. Whereas the operational definition consists the specification of the
data representation of the variables or concepts. Furthermore, operational
definitions are the working definitions for the study.
Definition of the identified variables are as follows:
CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION: it is a kind of dourness of fund from
sales. Where money in generated from something in form of sales.
A situation whereby the broadcast media generate income from the news
by selling air time for news instead of broadcasting the news based on accepted
Credibility is the which can be believed operational definition: Audience
acceptance to believe the news contents of the broadcast media
3. GATE KEEPING
CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION: Any person or formally organized
group directly involved in relaying or disseminating information from one
individual to author mass medium via a
Mass media audience perception of gate keepers incapability to limit
information, removal of unwanted areas of the news story and to widen paid
stories in the broadcast media.
4. BROWN ENVELOPE
CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION: A means by which news sponsors
give money inform of bribe to journalist and editors.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION: Audience view that editors and
journalists collect money in terms of bribe from news sponsors, thereby
preventing them from carrying out their unique roles unbiased.
Not being influenced by personal feelings, ideas, or bias.
A state of being influenced by personal feelings or bias.
The study assumes that broadcast media news is mostly affected and
influenced by the source or sponsors, making it to reduce its coldilility. Even
though the editors play their our roles by editing the stories, it is being edited in
favour of the sponsor.
That is why the researcher stands on the adage that stays “He who pays the
piper, dictates the tune” which is factual in this condition.
The researcher equally assumes that the brown envelope received by
editors and journalists make the news coverage to be done in accordance with
the sponsor’s directive. And this makes the broadcast news to loose its
It is also seen that the origin of news slants started with the news sponsor.
The study equally assumes that avoidance of those who cannot pay to
have soccer to media has make their opinion and ideas to be neglected.
This study too, assure that there is no difference between “commercials per se”
and commercial news that audience find it difficult to distinguish between the
two ie sponsored or paid news stories are not clearly stated.
1.9 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY.
The study concentrates mostly on credibility and objectivity of news in
FRCN and NTA news.
These factors will be linked up with the brown envelope syndrome amongst
journalists and news editors. It will look into the gate keeping roles of the
editors, in so for that news has been commercialized. It will also center on the
way news commercialization has deprived those who cannot afford to the
services of the broadcast media.
Due to time constraints and inadequate finance, this study is limited to
Enugu necropolis. Where all the findings would be generalized alone for the
residents of Enugu metropolis.
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