EVALUATION OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP INFLUENCE ON NEWS REPORTING (A STUDY OF ATLANTIC FM AND PLANET FM RADIO IN UYO
1.1 Background of the Study
Journalism entails a high degree of public trust. To earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative to every journalism or media to observe the highest professional and ethical standards. In the exercise of these duties, a journalist or media outfit should always have a healthy regard for the public interest. NUJ code of Ethics, 2000).
In 2010, the Nigeria press council held a National workshop 10 Ota, Ogun State. In collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ). The workshop successfully reviewed the old code of conduct introduced in 2006 to make it more responsive to perceived or presumed violations in journalism practice. The review led to the formation of a new code of ethics for Nigerian journalists, which was subsequently adopted by the National Executive committee of the NUJ. In October 2010, the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) organized the “Ilorin Forum” where the Nigerian Press Organization (NPO) made up of Nigerian Union of journalist (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NDE), Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPA), formerly ratified and gave impetus for implementation of a new code. The concept of ethics probably dates back to the beginning of human existence.
Journalism ethics, theories appeared at the turn of the 20th century as a reaction against the excesses of the libertarian theory of the press. The codification of journalism ethics just began in the early 1990s (Mcbride 2003). The libertarian theory of the press was a theory of free for all. It was anchored on the belief that man is a rational being and therefore, capable of making decision that can guide him in life. Freedom exercised then, especially by the press, was viewed as excessive. The social responsibility theory was therefore a response to these perceived excesses.
Libertarian Theory: The libertarian induced media owners to go “hay wire” in the discharge of their responsibilities to the public.
Today the fight continues as the country’s political leaders continues to withhold freedom from the media by exerting the influence of ownership on the media. The media over the years have been in the vanguard of increasingly disseminating information amongst the diverse ethnic groups of the country and that the world has been reduced to a global village as a result of media activities (Wilson, 2009).