ABSTRACT: The study assessed news credibility between government and private broadcast media in Osun State with a focus on the audience of OSBC & Rave F.M. It is established that “he who pays the piper dictates the tune” media owner especially government tends to use its media to satisfy state objectives and personal needs of those at the political helm of state affairs. Similarly, due to the absolute control of the mass media, that is why the majority of the Nigerian especially politicians are establishing their private media especially newspapers and radio station so that they can get their ideas, views, and others known to the general public. The study was anchored on Source Credibility and Uses and Gratifications Theories. The research used survey research method coupled with 150 copies of questionnaires that were administered to respondents in Osogbo who were selected using non-probability sampling technique (accidental) while 142 copies were returned and analyzed using frequency and percentage method. It is evident that majority of the respondents (50%) listen to Rave F.M and OSBC radio between 1-4 hours. It is also noted that information credibility brings trust (28%), promote adequate information (23%) and (38%) increase people knowledge about happenings around the world objectively. Majority of the respondents admitted that Rave Fm is more credible and that is why they prefer it over OSBC programmes. It is recommended that radio industry should, as a matter of fact, create many decent educative programmes that will continue to promote the educational values of Nigeria and be inline with youths taste while journalists working in government-owned media stations should realize that they are serving the public and not the state chief executive alone, and so must pay adequate attention to social responsibility principle of the press.
Keywords: NEWS CREDIBILITY
1.1 Background to the Study
It was no longer a news that broadcast media in Nigeria made debut when the British Colonial Administration established the first radio channel called Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in 1933 in the form of diffusion. The Radio Diffusion Service (RDS) was launched in 1933 after which in 1959 a television station was established called Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) by the then Premier of Western Region Government, Chief Obafemi Awolowo making it the first and oldest television station in Nigeria and Africa (Alao and Olayinka, 2018).
However, the government had been in the control of broadcast media (ownership) since 1933 (70 years) from the colonial, federal, regional or state government until 1993 with the Decree No. 38 of 1992 by the then military regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida when the private broadcast media was allowed in the country for the first time, with this development, Nigerians hope that it will increase news credibility and some forms of news balance to news reportage (Eddie, 2006).
Meanwhile, in Nigeria and in almost all the societies, people depend on the media to know what is happening around them and beyond; it is therefore, safe to say that the influence of the media extends to every aspect of human life and society. But for media institutions to be able to play this role effectively, mass media particularly broadcast media are expected to uphold the values of objectivity, fairness, justice, accuracy, balance, moderation and decency (Chukwu, 2015).
On the contrary, the reason that government have often given for their involvement in the media is that, the private media cannot be trusted to faithfully uphold societal values, other reason advanced is that, the airwaves are limited and should, therefore, be regulated by the government to ensure equity, order and fairness, adding that it has also been argued that the role of broadcasting as an instrument of nation-building and development is so important that it should not be left in the hands of private individuals or organizations.
The fear has also been expressed that because radio and television are powerful instruments of politicization, they need to be careful in order to avoid been in the hands of some unscrupulous politicians or political groups who may misuse them to gain and hold political power unfairly or propagate parochial political ideologies or ideas. There is the question of funding proponents of government control and ownership insist that broadcasting in Nigeria can never survive financially if it does not depend on its government for financial subventions (Oyekanmi, 2008).
However, communication scholars and practitioners do not play with media credibility as it is very important in the media acceptability by the audience. Numerous academic research on media credibility has been carried out and revealed the significance of media credibility to the media industry in the communication process and its effects (Flanagin & Metzger, 2000).
Media credibility is connected to increasing viewership, readership, listenership and usership (Tao & Bates, 2009). The importance of media credibility cannot be denied or over-emphasized as it deserves more attention from both academic and industrial work for maintaining the reputation of media outlets. Several ideas have been used to study audience perceptions of news media credibility, including “media credibility,” “confidence in media,” “media skepticism,” and “media cynicism.” In general, media scholars interested in the concept of credibility are more concerned with audience impressions of news media (Daniller, Allen, Tallevi & Mutz, 2017). It is against this background that research is evaluation of news credibility between govt & private broadcast media focusing on the audience of OSBC & Rave F.M.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is a common saying with regards to mass media ownership (control) in Nigeria and elsewhere, which has become a cliché, that “He who pays the piper dictates the tune”. This means that the owner of mass media channel controls what the medium broadcasts and how it broadcasts it. Thus, ownership of the media house, its control and recruitment of its principal staff has formed the influential factors consequent upon the programme (news inclusive) quality of the media house since the owners of the media house usually determine the aforementioned factor.
The media ownership has in some ways influenced the media programmes (news inclusive) and this has posed problems to journalism practice. In this case, the broadcast media have to function in tune with the whims and caprices of the owner(s).
However, media credibility study has been one of the major spheres and hot chapters in mass media in Nigeria among mass communication and journalism scholars. It has been a wide research sphere due to its interrelatedness with the message, messenger, media source and receiver of the message because of its overall impacts on credibility of mass media (Roberts, 2010). Media credibility’s perception study centers on why differing in news sources, media organizations with higher media spin, have more trust and high viewership than media with low media spin. Audience perceives the credibility of media organization on characteristics of messages, authenticity of sources, accuracy and balance of news etc.
However, several studies have been carried out on media credibility in other parts of the world and Nigeria from different perspectives but none has been carried out on audience perception of news credibility of broadcast stations in Bayelsa stations. It is against this background that research is evaluation of news credibility between govt & private broadcast media focusing on the audience of OSBC & Rave F.M.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to evaluation of news credibility between govt & private broadcast media. Therefore, the specific objectives of the research study include the followings:
- To ascertain the degree of news credibility among the audience of OSBC & Rave F.M. in Osun state.
- To investigate how audience perceive news credibility between OSBC & Rave F.M. in Osun state.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to explicate those aforementioned objectives, the listed questions need some examination:
- What is the degree of news credibility among the audience of OSBC & Rave F.M. in Osun state?
- How audience perceive news credibility between OSBC & Rave F.M within Osun state?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Findings of this study will bring out new research methodology because most of the study of this either used survey method or in-depth interview method. But this study combined both methods namely (survey method and in-depth interview) in order to have robust and in-depth background information on media credibility.
Also, through the theories employed in this study namely: Source Credibility Theory and Perception Theory which are not new in the field of Mass Communication. But the application and explanation on this study will afford other researchers to know how they can apply these theories when researching into audience perception of media credibility in future and it will be a reference point for related studies and also add to the already existing pool of knowledge.
Since this study centers on a contemporary issue, it will be of benefit to the society because a credible media outfit will tells story that society believe, trust and such society will depend on such media for societal development.
The study will be of immense benefit to all broadcast stakeholders namely journalists, mass communication students, policy makers, government and the parastatals that are involved in the affairs of the broadcast media in Nigeria such as National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Voice of Nigeria (VON), Federal Ministry of Communication and Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON).Lastly, the study will also benefit other researchers, as it will be a reference point for related studies and also add to the already existing pool of knowledge.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study evaluation of news credibility between govt & private broadcast media was narrowed in scope to the to the audience of OSBC & Rave F.M. in Osun State. Thus, the geographical scope of this study shall be within Osun state.
The choice of residents (listeners ) in Osun state is due to the proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all listeners and viewers in Nigeria among other logistics. Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will carefully study before the administration of research instruments such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
For the purpose of clarity, key words, concepts, terminologies and acronyms as it is used in this study were operationally defined.
Audience Perception: In the research, these are the views or understanding of broadcast media in terms of news creditability among broadcast media in Bayelsa State.
News credibility: In this study’s context means audience’s confidence in TV/radio as a mass medium of information dissemination.
Osun State: These are all the people living in Osun State, Southwest, Nigeria who actually listening/watching news reports in broadcast media in Bayelsa state.
“EVALUATION OF NEWS CREDIBILITY BETWEEN GOVT & PRIVATE BROADCAST MEDIA“
Format = MS Word, Price = ₦4000, Chapter = 1-5, Pages = 52, References = Yes, Questionnaire =Yes, Table of Contents = Yes and Abstract = Yes