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Title: The Political Economy of News Reportage and Presentation of News in Nigeria: A Study of Television News
Authors: Onoja, Igomu
Issue Date: Aug-2005
Series/Report no.: ;Pp.1-281
Abstract: This study investigated how ownership of television stations, the social structure of the Nigerian society and the deregulation of the broadcasting industry influence the reportage and presentation of news on television in the country. The research further investigated how preferential access in news reportage is given to different social classes in Nigeria. The methodology for this research is both through use of primary sources: Focus Group Discussions (FGDs); Semi-structured Interviews (SSI) and secondary source (Content Analyses). Using the former, news editors, reporters, station managers, and viewers were interviewed. An Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test the hypotheses for the content analyses for this research. Three stations, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Plateau Radio and Television (PRTV), Jos, and African Independent Television (AIT), Lagos were used as sample stations for the study. They were selected to represent the different ownership structures that exist in the country at the time of this study. Findings from the Content Analyses, the FGDs and SSI show that all the stations were protecting the interests of their owners. However, it was found that private stations had more balanced coverage than the government owned stations. Overall, it was found that stations coverage of the news didnot differ significantly from each other in terms of ownership, social class and the deregulation of broadcast industry. Owners of broadcast stations who also have economic power tend to be neutral in the management of their stations. However, their interests are entrenched and protected. This is because, such owners do not exist in a vacuum; they have interests, which are both economic and political. News reportage and presentation tend to support these interests. Hence, different television stations differentially report some obvious news items, the ethic of neutrality and objectivity as ethical values in news reporting was being compromised. This state of affairs tend to further perpetuate and legitimise the existing relations of production in the society. It was found that no matter the professional ethics and difference in the ownership structure, all broadcast stations have one thing in common: to preserve the existing relations of production in the state. It was further found that the existing differential access by different social classes in the country is exacerbated by the new commercialisation euphemism, of “Let them Pay”, which in local parlance, means those who have money to pay do have such access to news reportage more than those that cannot pay. The discussion is focused on the use of broadcasting for power and domination, and ensuring that the existing ideology of the ruling class is preserved. News items that may not meet editorial criteria filter into reportage because of its commercial value.The contribution of this study to knowledge is, in the finding that the general belief that the media is the neutral eyes and ears of the public is a myth in Nigeria. Thus, television stations, whether private or public, hardly adhere to cardinal ethics of fairness and objectivity in Nigeria. It is recommended that community ownership of broadcast stations will improve accessibility of the ordinary people to broadcasting; it is then that the voice of the ordinary people can be heard.
Description: Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, UNIVERSITY OF JOS, JOS, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (Ph.D) of the UNIVERSITY OF JOS.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/206
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences

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