This study investigates public attitude towards news commercialization in DBS Warri. News commercialization is a phenomenon where by the media house engage in news reporting or news analysis as commercial messages by an unidentified or unidentifiable sponsor, giving the public the impression that news is fair, objective and socially responsible. The research adopted social responsibility theory of mass communication. A total of 120 questionnaires were administered. The findings recommended that DBS Warri should understand that the public is the ultimate concern of any broadcast media as such accurate news should be disseminated.DBS Warri should device means of generating revenue through public advertisement of product and service. Staff salary should be appreciative so that journalist should compromise factual news.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
News commercialization is a phenomenon where by the electronic media report news or news analysis as commercial messages by an unidentified or unidentifiable sponsor, giving the audience the impression that news is fair, objective and socially responsible.
According to UNESOC, Commercialization of news when it wrote “the news has become commercial product, important development in the country side are pushed aside by unimportant, even trivial news items consuming urban events and the activities of personalities”. Majority and Azuka (2013) “through nearly three decades old, UNESCO’S assertion certainly has currency in Nigeria media scene as news items have to be heard. News is no longer about reporting timely occurrence or interest parties”. Dominick (2010) state the journalist primary loyalty is to the audience to report fully the fact of a story. Similarity Mc quail (2000) highlights three features of objective journalism. One is that its adopt a position of neutrally towards the object, secondly, there is lack of partnership, which he explain as not taking sides in matters of dispute or showing bias. Thirdly, objectivity requires strict attachment to accuracy and truth.
Complementary to the above, Risser (2000) observes “money is first thing we talk about. The readers are always the last thing we talk about”. The Nigeria journalist has the attitudes of solicits for tips from news source. News commercialization is a tendency of Nigeria journalist, known as the brown envelope syndrome, has been widely condemned in Nigeria as a very unethical practice, yet makes it clear stories is approximate to official brown envelope or bribe offered to the media house itself as against the one offered to the individual reporter, all these ethical practice of journalist are burden before the audience. Most audience believes that the news is objective and fair. Not knowing that they are news in disguise. Bako (2000) claims are very instrumental to above with the view that “the average Nigeria regards whatever emanates from the press as the gospel” truth which he swallows line, hook and sinker, for any ready, it would be difficult to convince him not to believe what he ready in their papers. Not even when an apology is made for an incorrect publication could such a ready be convicted. To him, in such a situation, the journalist or the medium may have been bought over or government to “kill” the storey”.
All these have negative implication to the media especially the radio where the audience is to trust only the voice of the presenter, without seeing the face. It is critically imagine that credibility on word is hard to being private or government owned radio station the effect is on society.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
News is any report of events, persons, place that is accurate, factual, and timely. This entails that journalists are oblige to report events with having it in mind about rewards. However, news commercialization is news that is paid for. According to the view of Lawrence and Ogbuoshi, (2005) as cited by majority and Azuka (2013) said with the zeal to acquire more and more money through commercialization of news, many news organizations have lost their focus on investigative journalism. This has raise great concern from the public about the credibility of news story the media give out to the people. News stories are supposed to be factual and accurate and objective without commission or omission. Therefore, news commercialization makes the news susceptible to abuse, lead to news distortion and affect information flow.
This study seeks to investigate the public attitude towards news commercialization in Delta Broadcast Service Warri and how the this trend is affecting the performance of the station.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
- 1. To examine the level of news commercialization in the broadcast news of DBS Warri.
- 2. To examine public attitude of DBS Warri towards news commercialization.
- 3. To determine the effect of news commercialization on the practice of journalism and journalistic ethics in DBS Warri.
1.4 RESEARCH QUSETION
- What is the level of news commercialization in the broadcast news of DBS Warri?
- What is public attitude of DBS Warri towards news commercialization?
- What is the effect of news commercialization on the practice of journalism and journalistic ethics in DBS Warri?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study seeks to investigate the public attitude towards news commercialization in DBS warri in order to provide journalistic knowledge between the perceptions and contents which the audience received. Through this study, the attitude and perceptions of the public will be x-rayed to give understanding of how the public mind set can control the contents of the media. This helps to give direction to journalists in maintaining ethical standard which in return make the mass media credible in the minds of the public. This study provides the public to have the negative impact of news commercialization to the public.
Finally, this study acts as knowledge, resources to other researchers on equivalent topic.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Population area of this study is Abraka Delta State. The choice for Abraka is as a result of the broadcast signal that is received in Abraka. It covers a period of six month, from July to December 2015.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- 1. Accidence: The groups of people who have gather to watch or listen to some thing.
- 2. Ethical standard: this is the codes that guide the performance of journalists in maintaining professional best practice and standard practice.
- 3. Objectivity: the state of been fair and balance in news reporting with fear or favor
- 4. Broadcasting: this is the acting of spreading information to the audience.
- 5. News commercialization: news that are paid for by the source in other to be aired in from of straight news.