SOCIETAL IMPACT OF CORRUPTION IN THE JOURNALISM PRACTICES

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0     Background of the Study

As a profession that serves the interest of the public, journalists have vast responsibilities everyday facing challenges that test their ethical values and responsibility to truth telling. Despite professional code of ethic, most Journalists  violate the rules by accepting bribe (brown envelope) while covering news or features. This in some cases lower the Journalists, and the media houses  credibility and undermine it’s professional career.

Corruption is dangerous to society and can be extremely devastating to media. Therefore while acknowledging the attempt by federal government to fight corruption and economic crimes, there should be a conference call on all media practitioners and stake holders to adapt zero tolerances attitude to bribe (brown envelope) in the media, and indeed society at large.

Sanni (2007 p. 39) assert that corruption is the greatest albatross and the most virulent cog militating against good governance and national development in Nigeria. Journalist may use the media for their personal ends or for the good of the public. As human needs are insatiable, there are chances where some journalist may sacrifice the public interest for their selfish motives and ignoring social responsibility. Such behavior damages the profession integrity and reputation.

Thus journalism practices involve the gathering, packaging and disseminating of news for general public. Generally in today’s society that mass media are seen as a veritable instruments of information dissemination, social mobilization and as well as control, It is one of the means through which the public is been educated and sensitized on important issues affecting the lives of the public. And as such, journalism ethical values should be guarded to avoid the ethical pitfalls like (brown envelops) and favor, which journalist collect from their news sources called bribe. Bribe can happen in two ways i.e. journalist receiving from a news sources or journalist issuing it in order to get the needed information, Such reporting may  affect news content or dilute stories with hidden agenda.

As a noble profession, journalism demand discipline and ethical behaviour to uphold the tenets of social responsibility by the journalist, as the society depend on the mass media for survival. The public requires information Mac Bride at all (1981) posit.

This is needed in order to react knowledgeably to personal conditions, as well as be in a position to take appropriate decision. Through numerous educational programmers such as quizzes, debates and document arise; the public can be concretized on the need to accord people their proper position. Unfortunately, due to government pressure on the journalism, poverty and lack of training, many journalist engage in some unethical practices such as sensationalism, yellow journalism check book journalism, invasion of privacy particularly Brown envelop.

This study characterized the present Nigeria mass media landscape. The development affect the credibility of mass media, their audience i.e. listeners, readers, viewers etc who have all lost confidence in mass media content due to the influence of bribe on the journalists news judgment and objectivity. 

SOCIETAL IMPACT OF CORRUPTION IN THE JOURNALISM PRACTICES