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INFLUENCE OF MEDIA ETHICS IN NEWS GATHERING

(Last Updated On: 4th December 2022)

ABSTRACT: The study was basically developed to examine the application or Influence of media ethics in news gathering with a case study of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The objective was to discover whether NUJ  uphold ethical standards like fairness, accuracy, balance, rejection of brown envelope, non disclosure of source of vital information and many others in its daily assignment or not. Ethical standard in journalism was developed to ensure good conduct and accord respect for journalism and practitioners. Findings shows that the NUJ do uphold ethical standard in its day to day activities with 67% of the respondents attested to this fact. Survey research method was adopted and questionnaires were administered. Simple random sampling technique was also adopted to select respondents. Data analysis and interpretations of findings done with frequency and percentage method of data analysis was used. It is recommended that Media houses (NUJ) should increase the salary of their workers and paid them on time while regular allowance should be made available for them. Trainings and workshops are to be organized regularly to train and re-orientate their workers to uphold ethical standard.


MEDIA ETHICS


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                                                   iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      iv

Table of Contents                                                                                                       v-vi

Abstract                                                                                                                       vii

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                                1-2

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: Literature Review

2.1.1    Concept of Advertising                                                                                  6-10

2.1.2    Functions of Advertising                                                                                11-12

2.1.3    Advertising Media/Platform                                                                           12-17

2.1.4    Reasons Why Business must Advertised                                                       17-18

2.1.5    Concept of Social Media                                                                                18-21

2.1.6    Overview of Facebook as an Advertising Platform                                       21-22

2.1.7   Growth of Online Users in Nigeria                                                                  23-25

2.1.8   Concept of E-Commerce                                                                                 25-26

2.1.9   What is Online Shopping?                                                                               26-28

2.1.10 Online Shopping in Nigeria                                                                             28-29

2.1.11  Types of Goods and Services that can be Advertised Online                        30-31

2.1.12 Reasons for Online Shopping and Online Shopping Growth                         31-32

2.1.13 challenges of Advertising and Online Shopping in Nigeria                            33-34

2.2.1 Empirical Findings                                                                                            34-35

2.3. Theoretical Framework                                                                                        36-37

CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology

3.1       Research Design                                                                                             38

3.3       Characteristics of Study Population                                                               38

3.4       Sampling Technique                                                                                       39

3.5       Sample Size                                                                                                    39

3.6       Administration of Data Collection Instrument                                               39

3.7       Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument                                            40

3.8       Data Collection Method                                                                                 40

3.9       Data Analysis Method                                                                                     41

CHAPTER FOUR: Data Analysis and Discussion of Findings

4.1       Data Analysis                                                                                                  42-48

4.2       Discussion of Findings                                                                                   48-49

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1       Summary                                                                                                         50

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                      50-51

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                          51

            References                                                                                                      52-53

            Appendix                                                                                                        54-55


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the Study

Ewuola (2002) defines journalism as the day to day gathering and transmitting of news, which means journalism, is primarily concerned with giving out of information to an audience on a regular basis through a suitable channel of communication. Wikipedia (2015) writes that journalism is gathering, processing, and dissemination of news and information related to the news to an audience. The word applies to both the method of inquiring for news and the literary style which is used to disseminate it.

Merriam Webster Dictionary (n.d) refers to the activity or job of collecting, writing, and editing news stories for newspapers, magazines, television, or radio. Therefore, journalism practice wields such enormous powers and calls for the highest standards of ethics and commitment to truth. Ethics and truth in journalism have assumed global concern as scholars recognize that their basic constituents of objectivity, accuracy, fairness and balance have merely assumed mythical qualities as journalists battle to assign credibility to their news stories.

Kate and Majority (2013) cited in Tuchman (1978) describe objectivity as `facility’ (a mechanism which allows the journalists to hide even from themselves the `constructed’ and `partial’ nature of their stories). This view seems to have garnered force as increasingly, scholars suggest that news even when professionally `selected’ is guided more by organizational needs than by professionalism.

The journalist thus becomes `a walking paradox’ (Nordenstreng, 1995) as one cannot fail to see that journalism is so full of contradictions that “we have to question even the most fundamental dogma of the profession – truth seeking – because the way it has been conceived and practiced in journalism serves as a deceptive filtering device preventing as much as helping the truth being discovered Kate and Majority, 2013) cited in (Nordenstreng, 1995).

Ethics is a moral concept which is a consensus among philosophers is that ethics is synonymous with morality and both involve moral conduct. The word ethics comes from the Greek word “Ethos” which means character. The word moral is taken from the Latin word moralis which means custom or manner.

Both ethics and moral are about custom and profound manner of conduct that are not only customary but also right. Ethics is a branch of philosophy or philosophical school of thought about morality and its problems. Ethics is a moral philosophy and a branch of a knowledge which is concerned with the standard of good or bad conduct in the society using societal numbers as a basis for the evaluation of human conduct or behaviour.

According to Louis (2000) ethics involves the accepted values or moral norms of a society’s notions about what is right and wrong and “the distinctions between virtue and vice (Louis, 2000). It defines what is morally acceptable using “values as the basis of human behaviour”, where the criteria of “decisions about right and wrong are made”.

In the context of journalism, the code of ethics is seen as “a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues”, founded and presented in truth for “public enlightenment” and serve as a “forerunner of justice” (SPJ, 2005). This means, in essence, that in order for the news media Journalism Ethics – Assignment: Essay to serve the public well, it must be “free from distorting pressure exerted by political or economic forces”, and must continue to obtain, keep, and increase freedom in order “to be trusted and protected by the general public” and gain the support of the readers, listeners, viewers, to which accountability is to be rendered (IPC, 2005).

Journalism ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is widely known to journalists as their professional “code of ethics” or the “canons of journalism”. Wikipedia (2015). The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations.

While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.

Journalism entails a high degree of public trust. To earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every journalist and every news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standards. It is against this background that the research examines the application of media ethics in news gathering and dissemination with a case study of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Osogbo.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Critics have identified distortion of news, imbalance report and the growing tendency for the public not to believe the media news (lack of objectivity, accuracy, fairness) as major problems inherent in most of the media houses in Nigeria. Objectivity as an ethical standard is one of the most persuasive in all of journalism. Also, journalists are guided by constitution and ethical principles.

For instance, chapter 2 section 22 of the 1999 constitution as amended tasked the press thus: “the press radio, television and other agencies of mass media shall at all time be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contain in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the public”. Also, it is unethical to disclose source of information whereas in section 133 (2) journalists are asked to disclose their source of information in a court of law and if a journalist refused, it will be amounted to contempt of court (Arowosegbe, 2007).

Also, the press went through a lot of criticism in the hands of people/government especially the military government which as a result many journalists/media practitioners were imprisoned, assassinated and assaulted. However, other problems include but not limited to the effect of government censorship on journalists. It is against this backdrop the research examines the application of media ethics in news gathering and dissemination with a case study of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Osogbo.

 1.3       Objective of the Study

  1. To examine whether journalists maintain the ethics of the profession in news gathering and dissemination.
  2. To highlight some of the challenges facing journalists in upholding the ethics of the       profession.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. To what extent do journalists in Osun State maintain the ethics of the profession in newsgathering and dissemination?
  2. What are the challenges facing journalists in upholding the ethics of the profession?

1.5       Scope of the Study

The study has narrowed itself through the topic: application or impact of media ethics on the news gathering and dissemination with a case study of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Osun State Chapter. However, research findings will be generalized on all journalists and media houses since it is difficult if not impossible to visit the entire media houses or all chapters of Nigerian Union of Journalists in each state of the federation.

Age, sex, education, work experience, among others of the respondents will be examined before the structuring and administration of the research instrument (questionnaire).

1.6       Significance of the Study

Media Practitioners: The study will benefit the media practitioners and mass communication students on the Impact of ethics on media and professionalism.

Journalists: The study will assist journalists to know its role in enhancing the success of failure of print industries.

Government: The study will as well benefit the government to see how

ethics of journalism affect the society by passing more law that will provide freedom for media.

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

1.7       Operational Definition of the Terms

Influence: This has to do with the contribution or impact of media ethics to news gathering and dissemination among journalists in Osun State.

Media Ethics: This refers to the principle of conduct that governed the practice of journalism which involves accuracy, objectivity, fairness etc. It also defines and deals with ethical questions about how media should use texts, audio, video and pictures and addresses moral issues arising in connection with the acquisition, preparation, storage, presentation, dissemination

News Gathering and Dissemination: These are ethics revolved around news reporting, news processing and news dissemination.


“INFLUENCE OF MEDIA ETHICS IN NEWS GATHERING


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