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ABSTRACT: The research study analyzes the challenges facing the media in a capitalist economy with a focus on journalists in Lagos, the commercial nerve of Nigeria loaded with many private media establishments. The study anchored on the four normative theories of the press particularly the Social Responsibility Theory, Libertarian Media Theory and Social Communist Media Theory. Survey research method and questionnaire were used as a research instrument to gather the required data. 100 respondents among journalists in Lagos were randomly drawn using convenience sampling technique. The data were analyzed using frequency and percentage table.  Findings in the study show that ownership influence, inadequate funds, and press freedom can be attributed as major challenges facing the press under a capitalism economy. It is recommended that media proprietors should address the issue of proper funding for their stations so as to meet the expected production standards.



Title Page                                                                                                                                i

Certification                                                                                                                            ii

Dedication                                                                                                                              iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                                  iv

Table of Contents                                                                                                                   v-vi

Abstract                                                                                                                                  vii


1.0       Introduction                                                                                                                1

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                                           1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                                           3

1.3       Objectives of the Study                                                                                              3

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                                    4

1.5       Significance of the Study                                                                                           4

1.6       Scope of the Study                                                                                                     4

1.7        Operational Definition of Terms                                                                                5

CHAPTER TWO              


2.1       Definition of Mass Media

2.2       Forms of Mass Media

2.3       Functions of Mass Media

2.4       History of Broadcasting: World Perspective

2.5       History of Print Media in Nigeria

2.6       Ownership Pattern of Mass Media

2.7       What is Political Economy System?

2.8       Types of Political Economy System

2.9       Concept of Capitalism

2.10     Characteristics of Capitalism

2.11     Benefits of Capitalism

2.12     Problems with Capitalism Economy

2.13     Mass Media, Economy Nature, Political Structure and Media Performance

2.14     Press in Capitalism/Libertarian Economy

2.15     Effect of Capitalism Economy on Press

2.16     Potential Threats to The Press Under Non-Capitalism/Libertarian Press

2.17     Review of Travails in the Last Decades in the Press Circle to the Private Media under the Military Regimes         

2.18     Mass Media in Capitalist USA and Other Polar Regions of the World


2.19.1. Libertarian Media Theory

2 .1.9.2Authoritarian Media Theory

2.19.3 Social Responsibility Theory

3.19.4. Soviet Communist Media Theory

CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology                                                       

3.1       Research Design                                                                                                         24

3.2       Restatement of Research Questions                                                                           24

3.3       Characteristics of Study Population                                                                           24

3.4       Sampling Technique                                                                                                    24

3.5       Sample Size                                                                                                                 24

3.6       Administration of Data Collection Instrument                                                           25

3.7       Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument                                                        25

3.8       Data Collection Method                                                                                           25

3.9       Data Analysis Method                                                                                               25

CHAPTER FOUR: Data Analysis and Presentation                                                       

4.1       Data presentation                                                                                                     26

4.2       Data Analysis                                                                                                             26

4.3       Discussion of Findings                                                                                               37

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations                                     

5.1       Summary                                                                                                                     38

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                                  38

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                                      39

            References                                                                                                                  40

            Appendix                                                                                                                    41



1.1       Background to the study

            Capitalism is an economic system based upon private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Its characteristics include private property, capital accumulation, wage labour, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets (Wikipedia, 2018).      

            Nigeria is one of the countries operating a mixture of the capitalism and socialism until 1992 and later in 1999 when the government decided to follow USA style (capitalism system) leading to the deregulation and privatization of many sectors  including the broadcast media which is a medium for the illiterates and rural dwellers.

            Deregulation and privatisation of broadcasting media in Nigeria is a special turning point in the media history of Nigeria. Many see it a blessing whereas other see the other way round. Deregulation and privatization which is a step to send the country to the capitalist economy  makes private investors to establish their own radio and television stations in Nigeria.

            Meanwhile, for many years back, ownership of newspapers was both controlled by the government and private individuals, even the private ownership dominated the sector, yet the print owners was mostly the top politicians and business moguls who control the political and economic resources. Most of the earlier newspapers were established by politicians in the like of Awolowo (Nigerian Tribune), defunct Nigeria Compass by former Governor Gbenga Daniel, Champion Newspaper by Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Defunct Concord newspaper by Late Chief M.K.O Abiola, West African Pilot,  The Southern Nigeria Defender and Eastern Guardian was established by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and many more, the same goes to television and radio respectively.   

            However, since capitalists control the economy, few rich and political power holders also own and control the media. “He who pays the piper dictate the tunes” is a cliché that is best to express the level and the type of ownership and control of the press especially under the democratic and capitalist economy like Nigeria, where politicians sees the media as lubricant of their political wheals. They overshadow media for their political interest and wealth, no wonder majority of the media serves the power that establishes them.

            Although, it ends government monopoly of media, as people’s voice can be heard through private channels and prints especially where the government deny opposition access to the media, no wonder many (governorship aspirants) gubernatorial contestants are trying to establish media to disseminate their manifestos in case the incumbent government monopolise it.   

            In Nigeria, those that are rich and those that are holding political power apparatus are the one still controlling the media, because leaving the media uncontrolled might may be very suicider.  Therefore the media are owned, they even have media conglomerate; this which made it difficult to report them negatively. Even when you do, their media conglomerate will pick the news or event from another angle. Today political power, democracy and media are now inseparable aspect of our society.

            Meanwhile, establishing and maintaining a radio, newspaper, or television requires a huge capital otherwise the channel will seize to exist and that is why media are owned by the big business owners and not the poor. Also, for mass media organizations to make money and to survive in the long run, they must have constant sources or streams of revenue. Revenues come from sales, and the various categories of sales of a service or manufacturing firm are known as revenue streams. While measuring and reporting revenue is the domain of accounting and finance departments in organizations, determining new sources or streams of revenue is the responsibility of top management, strategic planners, and marketing forecasters.

            The core relationship here is that when there is more business, there will be competition, and when there are competition, they business will want to advertise and do other media relations to promote their goods and services, leading to the revenue generation for the media which it used in turn to survive financially, while the media owner or its associate can still use the platform for political mobilisation, sensitization and other politickings. It is against this background that the research is set out to analyse some of the challenges facing the media in a capitalist economy like Nigeria with the view to proffer a solution and suggested way out.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

            Capitalism is a form of political-economy where private individuals own, finance and control the means of production and distribution including the mass media because the normative press theories states that the press takes the forms and colouration of political milieu of the society where it operate i.e a capitalist society also practice democracy as they have free press.

            There is no a single research that has been carried out on the challenges facing the media in a capitalist economy, although, lots of studies have been carried out on the effect of privatization on media operations. It is against this background that the research is set out to analyse media operations in a capitalist economy with a particular focus on the major challenges hampering media in a capitalist society like Nigeria.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine whether mass media are facing any challenge in a capitalist economy like Nigeria.
  2. To ascertain some of the challenges hampering mass media performance in a capitalist society.
  3. To ascertain the degree of freedom enjoy by the press under capitalist economy in Nigeria.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. To what extent are mass media facing any challenge in a capitalist economy like Nigeria?
  2. What challenges hampering mass media performance in a capitalist society?
  3. How free are press under capitalist economy in Nigeria?

1.5       Significance of the Study

  1. The study will help media workers to understand the essence of media and the influence of ownership on the media operations.
  2. It will also enable media owners to structure their organization to make them more audience- oriented in order to improve popularity and gain more advertisers.
  3. This study will give a clear insight into why and how media workers must strive hard to survive in this competitive environment.
  4. Above all, this study will serve as an addition to existing literature on the topic. The research will serve as a useful guide to future researcher who will like to further the study.

1.6       Scope of the Study

            The study which analyse the challenges facing the mass media in a capitalist economy has been narrowed in scope to the journalists in Lagos State in order to be able to ask questions from many journalists as possible. Other factor for selecting journalists in Lagos State is because Lagos has the highest private mass media in Nigeria (over 25 newspapers, over 34 radio stations and over 15 television channels) being the commercial hub of the country. Proximity to the researcher is another considerable while inadequate time to study all mass media organisation in Nigeria make Lagos the most suitable for this study.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Analysing:  This is a critical examination of the various challenges inherent to the media practice in a capital economy society like Nigeria and USA.   

Challenge: These are some of the problems or limitation facing mass media in Nigeria and in other countries where capitalist control the economy and media.

Media: These are means of distributing information to a wide and large heterogynous audience such as newspaper, magazine, radio and television.

Capitalist Economy: This is a state where the means of production and distribution including the media is own, finance and control by private individuals rather than government.   



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