PRESS COVERAGE ON 2015 BUDGET PADDING A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE NATION AND DAILY SUN NEWSPAPERS
1.1 Background of the Study
Press refers to the art or business of printing and publishing. Hence, published materials of news stories or literature written correctively: more especially, news information disseminated to the masses for readership. It is also referred to as a company that produces or disseminates literature of information to the masses in the society. The press employs journalists to collect disseminate news information to the public via newspaper and other publications. But this research work will only concentrate on newspapers in order to sort out the press converge of 2015 Budget padding controversy in the National Assembly between the year 2015 and 2016, stating why press freedom could help in an in-depth and truthful news information on people, government, event, etc. when there is freedom of press, individuals will have no option than to express themselves through the media, exposing many untold ills of the society. The press is free for anyone who has something meaningful to share to the public. So, the misconception that freedom of press is for the media only must be corrected. In other words, the printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1446 ushered in the modern publishing Journalism that has so captured the interest of the reading class of the public, who now sources for news information on newspapers, to gain more knowledge of truth behind the truth. Newspapers perform the function of interpreting news information to their busy readers who are no more satisfied with straight jacket news reporting. In essence, newspaper provides wider varieties of news and information than any other medium of mass communication, because it is a solid medium of information with evidence. According to Anaeto and Adebayo (2007) presents that:
Newspapers essentially contain news and information to make the public aware of issues and events around them. News is a piece of information about a significant and recent event that affects newspaper readers and is of interest to them. News is important because it satisfies our curiosity concerns and provides us with basic facts that enable us make up our minds, thereby joining the general discussion”.
They further say that newspaper stimulates, motivates, interprets, inspires, builds, excites, satisfies and sometimes disappoints. It could mean that press coverage of news information must not be 100% dependable which may be true, but most times, newspaper is the only avenue of getting news behind the news, and must not be ruled out even though it sometimes disappoints.
Nevertheless, the breaking news on Budget padding of December 2, 2015, ushered in much rumours and media headlines and called for the Intervention of the Economic and Financial Crime (EFCC) who checked into the issue and did their very best for the country to remain calm, thus, giving the researcher a more good reasons to find out, between the two newspapers “The Nation and Daily Sun”, who reported more on the issue of Budget padding controversy.