IMPACT OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP ON THE PERFORMANCE OF PRIVATE STATIONS IN NIGERIA

IMPACT OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP ON THE PERFORMANCE OF PRIVATE STATIONS IN

Abstract: The assertion that says “he who pays the pipers dictates the tunes” agreed more with the outcome of this study because of the controls and influences exercise on journalists, especially those working with the private media. The impact of ownership structure on the performance of private stations in Nigeria (A case study of Channels TV). The study is anchored on System Theory, Source Credibility, and Political Economy Theory. The survey research method was adopted using a simple random sampling technique. Also, questionnaires were administered to 250 respondents and 220 were correctly filled and analysed. While the data collected were analysed and interpreted in the Frequency and percentage method. Findings show that Channels television is one of the most outstanding television stations with many awards of the best television of the year while many of the respondents admitted that journalists in the Channels TV have a free hand to operate to a reasonable extent. It was established that Channels television ownership does not influence the editorial contents of the station. The study recommended that media owners should not close their eyes to the material working conditions of their staff, for it is only a well-motivated workforce that can bring out its best. while journalists should act in the most professionally accepted way in their everyday assignment and uphold the ethical standard irrespective of who own their platform.  


CHAPTER ONE

 1.0       Introduction

1.1       Background to the Study

            Control of the electronic media is both internal and external, since there is nucleus of interdependence and co-existence. There is a common saying with regards to mass media control in Nigeria and elsewhere, which has become a cliché, that “He who pays the piper dictates the tune”.  This means that the owners of a mass media channel controls what the medium broadcasts and how it broadcasts it.

            In Nigeria, there are three main types of media ownership; namely: government ownership, private ownership and partnership.  In the case of government ownership, the government establishes, controls and finances the media outfit, private ownership is when an individual or a group of persons establish, control and finance the media outfit, in partnership, both the government and private individuals are into some sort of co-ownership regarding the establishment, financing and controlling of the media house.

            There is a symbiotic relationship between the media and the society.  It is in the interest of the society to have strong and robust mass media as it is in the best interest of the media to uphold the values and protect the interest of the society from which they derive their impulse, support and patronage.  No media institution can survive if it is perceived to be working against its own society. (Onukaba, 2005:3).

            It is the duty of  any media institution to keep the public aware of what is going on around them by providing accurate, factual and timely information at all times, it is also the duty of the media to warn or alert the public about impending danger, to interpret events or provide information needed by the public to make every day decisions or that will make them participate actively in the political, economic and social activities of a community; and to assist the public in determining current trends and making sense of our increasing complex world.

            Media institutions are also expected to use their products to educate, entertain, mould public opinions, reinforce attitudes and set agenda for the society.  In many societies, people depend on the media to be able to know where to find jobs, where to shop, where to eat out, who to vote for etc.  It is 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 these roles effectively, they are expected to uphold the values of objectivity, fairness, justice, accuracy, balance, moderation and decency.

            Ownership of the media house, its control and recruitment of its principal staff have formed the influential factors consequent upon the programme quality of the media house since the owner(s) of the media house usually determine the aforementioned factor.

            The media ownership has in some ways influenced the media programmes and this has posed problems to journalism as a trade. In this case, the broadcast media have to function in tune with the whims and caprices of the owner(s).  Nothing runs the broadcast media practitioner down as having the option of either following the dictates of the owners or face the bitter music of being sacked.

             Ownership influence on programme content has made many broadcast media outfits to collapse in operations and has also made them to lose their audience grip.  This is mostly true of government owned broadcast media. To this end, the research examines the impact of ownership structure on the objectivity of private station in Nigeria using Splash F.M, Ibadan as reference point.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

            Ownership of the media house, its control and recruitment of its principal staff have formed the influential factors consequent upon the programme quality of the media house since the owner(s) of the media house usually determine the aforementioned factor.

            The media ownership has in some ways influenced the media programmes and this has posed problems to journalism as a trade. In this case, the broadcast media have to function in tune with the whims and caprices of the owner(s).  Nothing runs the broadcast media practitioner down as having the option of either following the dictates of the owners or face the bitter music of being sacked.

            Therefore, the research viewed the impact of ownership structure on the objectivity of private station in Nigeria with a case study of Splash F.M, Ibadan.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

  1. To know how free is Splash F.M from Ownership control.
  2. To find out the extent in which Splash F.M maintain objectives in reporting news about all political parties.

1.4     Research Questions

  1. How free is Splash F.M from Ownership control?
  2. To what extent is Splash F.M maintain objective in reporting news about all political parties?

1.5       Significance of the Study

            Based on the terrain in which media practitioners operate under control of government, this highly instructive work is aimed to enlighten mass media students and generality of the citizen to gain secondary knowledge of how journalists were harassed, intimidated, detained, brutalized and victimized not only under military dictates but also democratic rulers with the assertion that, “he who pays the paper dictates the tunes”.

            The study will help to provide adequate insight to meet the changing demands in the dynamic media environment of our society hereby helping media managers to make better management politics.

            The study will assist the media practitioners to know its role in enhancing the success or failure of media industries.       

            Other beneficial of the study are media owners who will know how their action and reaction is crippling the success and public credibility of their media outfit.

            Future researchers will find this work very interesting to use as a reference material for their new work and see what previous researchers have done.

            Government agencies that are saddled with the responsibility to ensure fairness and media consistency will also see the need to come up will new laws that will reduce ownership influence especially in this democratic era so that the public will come to trust such medium.  

1.6       Scope of the Study

            The scope of this project is limited to Splash F.M 105.5 F.M, Ibadan. This cannot be effectively study without considering the demographic factor of the staffs and sample number of media house under study who will in turn respond to the questionnaires of this study. Experience, educational background, professional training, age, sex e. t. c must also be considered before the distribution of research instrument.

1.7       Operational Definitions of the Terms

Broadcast Media: They are very potent mass media which combine audio, visual and motion in translation of news and programmes such as Splash F.M

Control: The power to direct and influence the decision on what mass media are to broadcast and which should not be broadcast.

Privately owned Broadcasting Media Organization: It means radio or television owned or belonging to one particular person or group only. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 6th Edition).

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