THE IMPACT OF NEWS COMMERCIALIZATION ON MANAGEMENT OF BROADCAST MEDIA IN NIGERIA(CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA TELEVISION AUTHORITY NTA ENUGU)


 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

The advert of broadcasting in Nigeria was ushered in, in 1932 with the empire services transmitted from the British broadcasting Co- operation, (BBC) in Daventry, England, to entertain  and inform the colonial masters. Also Stella –Joan Ebo (1994:p43-44), further stated that Nigerian station began experiment with rediffusion sets. Then the Nigeria posts and telegraphs department was authorized to work out plans for the distribution of programmers to subscribers in Lagos, Kano and Ibadan. It was in the phase of this that brought about the establishment of broadcast media outfit both Radio and television in Nigeria which Nigeria television authority (NTA) Enugu was one of them. Even since the inception of broadcast media in the country, ownership pattern shows that investment into the establishment of the industry was the exclusive preserve of the federal and state governments in Nigeria. This is the reason why NTA is owned both at federal and state levels. That is to say that prior to decree 38 of 1992, no private ownership was allowed in Nigeria. But before then, the down turn in the economy of this great nation brought with it certain changes. Some of these changes were mostly stringent, that various government were always decrying, lack of money to prosecute their programmes. Electronic media organizations which NTA Enugu is not exempt from-the area government was finding difficult to spend the organization that can fund them if given the enabling resources. Then, the government of general Ibrahim Babangida through the amended decree No 25 of 1988 empowered the media organization to commercial broadcasting through which they would be augmenting the meager subvention that subsequently be coming from government.  News stories put out by Nigeria television authority (NTA) Enugu with implicit confidence, the channel enjoyed high credibility rating from them. However, some serious questions readily come to mind at this juncture. With the introduction of news commercial as a measure of improving the financial standing of the organization, have news producers remained objective? Does the channel still enjoy the confidence of the audience? Does it still maintain the audience level it had before news commercialization?

How has this and more affected the ethics of the profession? And the newsworthiness of some of the materials that are include in the news packages. What is the current credibility rating of the station?. Does it generate substantial amount from commercial news stories to justify its maintenance as a veritable source of income to it. Has this move not limit news packages. News commercialization has affected the principle of news packages as a humanitarian service. This has led the sponsors of news stories having some measures of control over the station. This they do through the understanding that their news stories take precedence over unpaid ones. As stated by Raph Efiong (1999:70) the implication of commercializing news in the Nigeria media has effect on the media credibility and consequences on the citizens participatory rights in the communication media.

1.2          Statement of research problem:

The primary function of the Nigeria press council is to review problems that might lead to the  restriction of flow of information and advice on measures aimed at remedying such problem. The code of ethnics for Nigeria journalist (1996) says in its article 12 that “ a journalist shall promote universal principles of human rights, democracy, justice, equity, peace and international understanding. The same document says that to demand for payment for the publication of news is inimical to the notion of news as a fairly accurate, unbiased and factual report of event.

The crucial question at this juncture is this- why must broadcast industry be commercialized?  Broadcast media managers are well aware of their essential role in society. They have been tutu red according to the best strategies to manage social information. They are conversant with social information needs. These forms their guidelines in managing media resources to produce media sole offering-information.  Initially the production of news package in Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Enugu, was based on the principal of items that are newsworthy. Also it was guided by what is ethical in journalism profession and according to the house style of the organization. The producers of news packages would then go out to cover an assignment, and when they return they would write news stories objectively. They were always careful not to include in their news stories materials that were based on wrong news principles. Also they avoided writing or converting some stories to be newsworthy.

1.3          Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are as follows:

(a)    To examine the nature of the relationship between the commercialization television programmes and the perception of the viewing public.

(b)    To establish the impact of commercialization on journalists working in the broadcast industry.

(c)    To identify the key players or  participants in the commercialization process in an effort to pinpoint their underling motives.

(d)    To ascertain if the commercialization has reached an alarming stage and the general impact on the psychic of the general public.

  1.4 Research Questions

1   Does the NTA channel still enjoy the confidence of the

audience?

2   Does it still maintain the audience level it had before news   commercialization?

3   How has news commercialization affected the ethics of

the  profession?

4   How has it generated substantial amount to commercial news stories?

1.5  Research Hypothesis: 

The following hypothesis will be used in the study:-

HI –Positive Hypothesis

HO- Negative Hypothesis

(1) HI: The  NTA channel still enjoy the confidence of the

audience.

 

HO: The  NTA channel does not enjoy the confidence of

the audience.

(2)   HI:  The  NTA channel maintain the audience level it

had before news commercialization.

HO:   The  NTA channel does not  maintain the

audience level it had before  news  commercialization.

(3)    HI:  The  news commercialization has not  affected the

ethics of the Profession.

HO: The  news commercialization has  affected the

ethics of the profession.

(4 )     HI: The NTA channel has   generated substantial

amount to  commercial news stories.

HO:  The NTA channel has   not generated substantial

amount to  commercial news  stories

1.6   Significance of the Study

The aim of this study is to bring to the notice of the management the impact of their decision to engage in news commercialization. They will realize that their news packages are not enjoying the confidence of their audience. Also they will have knows that they have not been disseminating adequate amount of information their audience members are expecting through their news packages. The management will later understand that this condition has adversely affected their credibility rating.  The journalists will realize the importance of maintaining their professional standard in news coverage and writing of news stories. While on the other hand, the audience will start to receive the type of news stories they have been expecting from Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Enugu. However, this will only become possible if the management rescinds its policy of news commercialization.

1.7    Operational Definition/Conceptual

i.       Commercialization

Conceptual definition: The payment made and received by a firm to carry out an action for the total benefits of the person who paid.

Operational definition: The sell of programme by Nigeria television authority NTA, Enugu to advertisers who now determine how and when  such programmes should be relayed.

ii.     Broadcast Media

Conceptual Definition: Any mass communication establishment that makes use of the electro-m-aquatic wave or spectrum is disseminating information  to viewers.

 Operational Definition. Nigerian television authority (NTA), Enugu

 

iii. Impact

Conceptual Definition – The impact of commercialization  of television programmes on the broadcasters.

Operational Definition: the impact of NTA Enugu’s

commercialization  of it’s programmes on various resident  Enugu.

iv.       Management

Conceptual Definition: The management of NTA Enugu lacks planning especially in organizing, staffing, directing and controlling of something or person.

Operational Definition: This is the act of Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing & controlling of something  or persons. For instance in media organization such as Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Enugu.

 

v    News

 Operational Definition :This is timely report, facts and     opinion that has interest or importance                        both on a considerable number of people.

Conceptual Definition: there is no timely report, facts in the management of NTA Enugu, in news broadcast.

1.8  Assumptions

It is assumed that news commercialition will make the media to be class oriented. Because only those who can afford to pay will be heard while majority who are poor will not, thereby making it a case of he who pays the piper dicate the tune.

From the above, it is assumed that the listener ship or viewer ship will fail because that appeals to the majority are not telecasted neither area they. Given a look at.

The vast majority of people in the rural area shall be left out because they cannot pay for their effectiveness. Commercial news stories normally displace humanitarian news stories. It is equally assumed that the reason while the media NTA decided to involve in commercialization of news policy is because of financial problem facing it.