Commercialization of news began in
Nigerian media houses as a result of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)
introduced in 1986 and the eventual withdrawal of subsidies from government
owned media houses see Ekwo (1996) and Ogbuoshi (2005). With the increasing
rise in production cost and dwindling circulation, the media houses resort to
all kinds of tricks including commercialization of the news to make money (Oso,
2000). Majority of the respondent admitted that media houses kills hard news to
accommodate commercial stories. The situation has led to a lot of compromise,
with sensationalisation of news stories and half-truths reaching alarming
stage. Citing an instance with the Daily Times, a one time leading newspaper in
Nigeria, Idowu (2001:15) noted the situation became so bad that: This
commercialization at the institutional level is thriving because editors,
publishers and owners of the broadcast stations/ print media see the
organizations, or their investment, as a profit making venture that should
yield the required financial return. Increasingly, commercial-oriented news
stories are taking the place of hard news reports. Hanson (2005: 140) is right
when he notes that: "reporters and editors are supposed to be concerned
not with profits but rather with reporting the news as best they can. But that
barrier is coming down, and editors are increasingly looking at their newspaper
as a product that should appeal to advertisers as well as readers. Therefore,
this work focuses on the effects of news commercialization on the contents of
private media with Africa Independent Television (AIT), Lagos and Nigeria
Tribune as case study.
Table of contents
to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significant of the Study
Scope of the Study
Limitations to the Study
Definition of the Terms CHAPTER TWO
Meaning of News
History of Print Media in Nigeria
History of Broadcast Media
in Private Broadcasting
of Private Broadcasting Station in Nigeria
Constitution and Media Law
History of African Independent Television (AlT)
The Concept of News Commercialization
2.13 News Commercialization, Ethics and
Objectivity in Journalism Practice in Nigeria
Commercialization Operates at Two Levels in Nigeria
does news commercialization thrive in Nigeria?
Commercialization: Any Gains?
Implications of News Commercialization
Opinion and Media
Restatement of Research Questions
Characteristics of the Study
Sampling Design Procedure
Data Collection Instrument
Validity and Reliability of Study
Administration of Data Collection
Rate of Return of Questionnaire
Data Analysis Procedure CHAPTER FOUR
Data Presentation and Analysis
Data Analysis and Table
to Research Questions
Conclusion and Recommendations
to the Study
This work intends to assess the effect of news
commercialization on news credibility in the broadcast media, with particular
reference to Africa Independent Television and Nigerian Tribune using them as a
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 have the
opportunity and chances to broadcast their events on air via Mass media of
communication, such as the electronic broadcast media.
This study, will also enable the researcher to known if
the news managers, News editors and Reporters (journalists) persistently carry
out their gate – keeping roles and at the same time still carry out their
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 money.
The study will also endeavour to find if the audience /
public have it in mind that the news they read in newspapers and watch in these
broadcast media are owned and are paid for by the sponsors since they are not
usually mentioned during news broadcasting and information dissemination.
of the Research Problems
Critics have identified distortion of
news, imbalanced report and the growing tendency for the public not to believe
the media news (lack of objectivity) as major problems inherent in Africa
Independent Television and Nigerian Tribune for news and other information.
This is the key problems the researcher wishes to
establish is this research work.
as an ethical standard is one of the most pervasive in all of journalism.
Objectivity in news gathering and presentation is the reporters’ aims and
of the Study
The core aims and objectives of this study is to assess
the credibility of broadcast news in both Africa Independent Television and
Nigerian Tribune since its partial commercialization brought the emergence of
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 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
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.
the researcher meant is that the paid news and news not paid should be
made are shown 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 ferry 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 receive by
editing the information, before it is disseminated.
The researcher equally wants to find out whether the above
mentioned is practiced, for the fact that news paid for are edited as the
following questions will be asked by the researcher:
is the effect of news commercialization on the perceived “Brown envelope
syndrome” and how has it affected the news credibility of these media?
news commercialization, deprived those who cannot afford the stipulated amount
access to media?
the gate-keeping role being restricted because of news commercialization?
the audience know that the news they watch on AIT and read on Nigerian Tribune
are paid for?
of the Study
The significant of this study aims at revealing to the
media practitioners and broadcast students, the importance of commercialization
to the media and professionalism. The study of commercialization in media
houses will assist the concept and to know its role in enhancing the success or
failure of broadcasting industries.
of the Study
A lot has been said about commercialization on the
contents of private media, however, little is known about ratifications and
implications of the organization of this measure and how far it has affected or
will affect the operation of the organization, their performances and
fulfillment of their obligations and responsibility to the Nigerian public.
Although, the primary aims and objectives of the project
are to examine the effect of commercialization on the content of private media,
this can not be effectively talked without considering the demographic factor
of AIT and Nigerian tribune staffs and sample number of the public that respond
to the questionnaire of this study. Experience, education background,
professional training, age, sex e. t. c must be considered before the
distribution of research instruments.
of the Study
The study concentrates mostly on credibility and
objectivity of news in Africa Independent Television and Nigerian Tribune.
These factors will be linked up with the brown envelope syndrome amongst
journalists and news editors. Time constraint has posed a lot of limitations to
this work, inadequate finance of this project is another hindrance. This
project is also limited to AIT and Nigerian Tribune where all findings would be
of the Terms
Commercialization: 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 news values.
Credibility: Credibility is which can be believed operational
definition. Audience acceptance to believe the news contents of the
Gate Keeping: Any person or formally organized group directly involved
in relaying or disseminating information from one individual to another
mass medium. 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.
Brown Envelope : A means by which news sponsors give money inform of
bribe to journalist and editors. 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.
Objectivity: Not being influenced by personal feelings, ideas, or
bias. A state of being influenced by personal feelings or bias.