THE EFFECTS OF NEWS COMMERCIALIZATION ON THE CONTENTS OF PRIVATE

Abstract

The research examined the effects of news commercialization on the contents of private media; with a case study of AIT and Channels Television, Lagos. 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. 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. The situation has led to a lot of compromises, with sensationalization of news stories and half-truths reaching the alarming stage. 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. 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 media as a product that should appeal to advertisers as well as viewers. Survey research method was adopted and 180 copies of questionnaires were administered to the respondents that were drawn through Yard Formula of 1971. It is recommended that if commercialization should continue there should be a minimum any broadcast house should be used daily.

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