1.1 Background to the Study
Before information can be disseminated to the public, it undergoes strict examination by certain people. These people are known as gate keepers. They limit, expand and recognize or interpret the information the audience receives. This information can be in form of news, film, graphics art and photographs e.t.c.
However, there are lots of scholarly definition of what gatekeeping and who gatekeepers are. The term “gate-keeper” was first used by the Austrian Psychologist, Kurt Lewin. He defines gate-keeper as the individual or groups of persons whose role is to monitor the traveling of news in the communication channel.
Expanding Lewin’s definition, Bittner (1989:12) defines gate-keeper as any person or formally organized group directly involved in relaying and transferring information from one individual to another through a Mass-medium.
Akindele and Lamidi (2001:52) says “A gate-keeper is anybody who has the propensity to start Mass communication industry”, Lewin’s definition of gate-keeper is centered on the people who govern the movement of news within the communication channel.
Bittner in his definition asserts that gate-keeper is any person or formally organized group who has the job of transferring message from one person to another. Analyzing this definition further, we will see that gate-keeper is not graphic communication, censorship etc.
In his word, Bittner asserts that a gate-keeper can be a film producer who cuts scene form a prime time show because it is perceived as being too sexually explicit, a director who determine what segment of film to use in a documentary, a newspaper executives who determines the topic for editorial, or any other individual in the processing or control of messages disseminated through “Mass-media”.
The definition of Lamidi and Akindele emphasized the influence which gatekeeper can have on the final product in the Mass communication industry.
Black and whitney (1983:15) cited in Akindele, Lamidi (2001:52) says gatekeepers “determine what the public read the event they bypass are events that never happened as far as the public is concerned, society exposure to the days reality and fantasy is in the gate-keepers hands”.
Gate-keeper, in my own word is any person or organized group of person who control the flow of information in the mass-communication channel this include reporters, proof-readers, editors and host of others. ‘ This work is concerned with the news disseminated by the press to the public at large. The Nigerian tribune was established and rolled out on Wednesday November 1949. The first issue of the Nigerian Tribune began with a political education project with the serialization of the autobiography of pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian leader whose lifestyle and approach to political was an inspiration to many Nigerian nationalist.
The study will allow people to understand the full role of the Nigerian press and gate keepers in our society. The roles to receive, destroy, treats letters to editors and interpret information shall be stated. However, the primary reason for establishing the Nigerian Tribune is politics and also one interesting things they do is that it has survived strong water. The Nigerian press is a concept which predates states and society.
It is run from the evangelical church journalism in Calabar, alongside of Reverend Henry Townsends Iwe Iroyin Yoruba which had been n the year 1945. The illiteracy and esthetical behavior and ignorance on the part of gate keeper in our media organization have culminated into a state of chaos, ethic and religion clash.
This problem can only be tackled when the gate keepers know their function and follow ethic and law relation to their profession.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The major problems facing the Nigerian press arise from ignorance and negligence on the part of the gatekeepers. It is even universally believed that anybody who possesses the talent irrespective of his education can practice journalism, we can see people from different fields such as English Language, History, Economic, Accountancy e.t.c. to name just a few.
Although, eloquent at speech and skillful at grammar without journalism, he or she may not practice according to the ethics of the profession. Many Nigerian pressmen are half baked because they undergo meager education.
Another worthy problem facing the Nigerian newspaper is their negligence to their duties. Most of the news aired or published nowadays is not well edited, some news which can bring hatred and tribal crisis in the country are still being published. To this end the research will examine the place of gatekeepers on the success and downfall of a newspaper outfit using the Nigerian Tribune as a case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether Nigerian Tribune commit mistakes in its publication.
- To x-ray why Nigerian Tribune commit mistakes in its publication.
- To know the extent which newspaper industries recorgnise the role of reporter, proofreaders and editors as gatekeepers.
- To understand some of the challenges facing newspapers’ gatekeepers in performing effectively and efficiently in newspaper outfit.
- To know the extent in which gakekeepers make Nigerian Tribune newspaper contents error free.
- To highlight whether lack of press freedom negatively affected the investigative and gate-keeping spirit of journalists.
- To examine whether Nigerian Tribune journalists have sound formal education in the field of journalism.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Does Nigerian Tribune newspaper commit mistakes in its publication?
- Why do newspapers commit mistakes in their publication?
- Does Nigerian Tribune newspaper recognize the role of reporter, proofreaders and editors as gatekeepers?
- What are the challenges facing newspapers’ gatekeepers in performing effectively and efficiently in Newspaper industry?
- To what extent is Nigerian Tribune gatekeepers make newspaper contents error free?
- Do Nigerian Tribune journalists have sound formal education in the field of journalism?
- To what extent do Nigerian Tribune really performing gatekeeping roles in its publication?
- What are the roles of the press as the gate-keeper in the publication?
- To what extent does ownership interest influence the gatekeepers news judgement?
- Does advertiser’s interest affect the gatekeepers decision making?
1.5 Scope of the Study
This research work has been limited in scope through the topic itself i.e “Place of gatekeepers on the success of a newspaper outfit using the Nigerian Tribune as a case study”.
The discussion in this project will view the importance of press men as gatekeepers in our immediate society.
Nigerian Tribune was chosen since it is not possible to study all newspapers in Nigeria within the limited time available.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will go a long way in helping researcher, student of journalism, students, lecturers and people studying mass communication and the large public to follow the way or make use of this research topic to know the way they will follow to their respective research.
Print media: Print media outfit will see the need to train and retr
aining their staff especially those that are saddled with news gathering and editing.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This research is limited to a print media i.e Nigerian Tribune, one of the Nigerian foremost newspapers while other factors stated below also contributed to the hindrance of the research.
Time: Time factor has posed limitations to this work because there is no enough time to carry out the research while other class activities is competing with the available time.
Inadequate Finance: Problem of fund is another major challenge to the study because to travel frequently to the study area.
Literature Material: At present there is no enough previous work done on the subject matter as a result of this, the researcher find it difficult to source for relevant materials.
However, despite the challenges the researcher will not allow the limitation to affect the success and validity of the study.
1.8 Definition of Terms
- Gate-keepers: These are people that protect wrong information from getting to the public.
- Nigerian Press: people that bring news from an event or visitation to the public and audience.
- Roles: This means part a function of a character in a topic or a play.
- Editors: An editor is a person who edits the unwanted part of a news or report.
- Nigerian Tribune: it is the one of the best newspaper which large of people gets information like sport, music and also about politics.