1.1 Background of the Study
Journalism is the collection, preparation and distribution of News and related commentary and feature materials through such media as pamphlet, News letter, magazines, radio, motion pictures, television, Bill Boards the internet and Books.
Journalism according to World Book encyclopedia (Vol. 11) is the profession of recording events they maybe of interest to the public. It is therefore both World-wide in scope and as limited as the territory covered by the smallest weekly paper. Men and women who are engaged in this tremendous News gatherings task call themselves journalists and such modern journalists use every means of communication to report the News of the world to Newspaper, Magazine and the New Rooms of Radio and Television.
According to Lambenr and Lambenr (1964), an Attitude is a composite of how a person understands, feel about and act towards the given object person or issues, events and objects.
The earliest known Journalists product was a News sheet in Ancient Rome called the ACTA DIURNAL published daily from 59BC, it was hung in prominent places and recorded important social and political events. Journalism in the 20th century was marked by a growing sense of professionalism. In our society today it has been observed that female student journalists have negative attitude towards taking Journalism as a career, but before going into that we look at history of the NUJ.
History of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ)
The Nigeria Union of Journalism (NUJ) birth was linked to the struggle for the independence of Nigeria. The struggle, it could be re-called gave birth to many protest groups, all yearning for the country.s independency from the British. The group came in various shades, some were political in nature like “The Nigeria Youth Movement” a platform for the Nationalists, others were Trade Union and Professional groups. It was the collective activities and efforts of the Nationalists and Journalists in the early 1950.s that compelled the British Colonial Government to grant Nigeria independence without shedding blood.
Apart from writing editorial comments and reporting the activities of the Nationalists, Trade union students and bodies involved in the struggle for independence on the pages of Newspapers, the journalists however, had no central body through which they could take any action like other groups. What they could not express as a body was done through Newspapers. When Journalism started in Nigeria, the industry was not totally professional affair. However, most of the persons who ventured into the field were those of great reputation and integrity; persons who had the calling, competence and skills to do so.
Eminent Nigerian statement such as Herbert Macurly, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Adamu Ciroma, Ernest Ikoli, Lateef Jakande, among others, all started as journalists, through which they made their indelible marks on National development. This goes to shows that journalism is not for quacks, charlatans or dropout, who have now invaded the industry, claiming to know what they do not know. In essence the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) of this present time should therefore, beef up their watch dog function to confront the menace with all seriousness. The union must wake up and come up with radical measures to check this situation that smears the integrity and reputation of hardworking journalists. The union should also devise means of encouraging real reporters to draw the attention of events organizers to the presence of fake Journalists in their midst. Media houses need to co-operate with the NUJ in tacking the challenges posed by the fake journalists.
They can do this by highlighting reports about quacks in the industry and punishing the impersonators apprehended. This is the only way to bring about the desired respectability to journalists and indeed respectability to journalists and indeed, the Nigerian journalism industry.
Having looked at the history of the NUJs, this Negative attitude of female student journalists is highly reflected in the Number of mass media houses. Almost all institution of higher learning in Nigeria offer Mass Communication courses leading to the awards of various degrees and certificates, including National Diploma, Higher National Diploma, Bachelor and Master Degrees. The increase in the Number of female graduates from all these institution are not reflected in the media of communication in the country.
Each year, hundreds of female students graduate as Mass Communicators. A close look shows that the Numbers of female Journalist students surpassed the Number of their Male counterpart. But in the field today, a good number of these female graduates are not seen working in the various media houses scatted all over the country. Reference to the convocation booklets from these schools revealed that good Number of female Mass Communication students graduated from those schools. In the year 1997, about 86 female Journalist graduated from the Ogun State Polytechnic, about 150 female Journalists graduated from Federal Polytechnic Oko, that same year the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu had about 120 female graduates in the year 2011.
Similarly with other Mass Communication schools in the country for instance in the year 2008, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka turned out about 58 female graduate from department of Mass Communication Between year 2008, Caritas University Enugu graduated over 50 female journalist. Presently, in my class we are 56 students in Number, 49 out of the 56 students are females while only 5 are male.
In other levels, the Numbers of female students surpassed the Number of Male students in the department of Mass Communication with great difference.
In recent year, Media houses in the Western countries lack trained journalist in the various communication activities. Invariably, it has been the same in Nigeria and this could be seen in most cases of the media houses in Nigeria. There has been an imbalance in the number of female and male trained Journalists working with them. Those who are worried about this situation said that if there were more women that men seeking Jobs in the media houses and they all have the same ability and background, more men get the job (Women in communication, Pg. 8) she noted that women could only be awarded a job if they are hardworking and qualified, they must be awarded or offered a job in the journalism professions.
Further more, the Enugu Television Authority has about twenty seven trained journalists on its staff, five out of the twenty seven are female. The situation is similar in other media institutions through out Nigeria and in most Western countries.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
According to Omenugha (2004. P, 4) “one thing that is glaring in the Nigeria media is the near absence of Nigeria women as Newsmakers”. Though Nigeria is developing, it got to stage where the female journalists and their male counterparts should be competing in the media houses. The number of female journalists in the field is very fern compared to the number that graduates from journalism schools and universities. This study was undertaken to analyses the low participation of the female journalists, it was observed that good number of trained female journalists go into the profession but very few of them practice the career.
Therefore the question the study seeks to answer is the attitude of Caritas female Mass Communication students towards journalism as a career.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are;
Ø To find out if the hazard of journalism as a career scare women away from the profession.
Ø To find out if the fragile nature of women make them drop their profession for less hazardrous jobs after their training.
Ø To find out possible solutions to the female aparthy to the journalism profession in Nigeria vis a vis counterparts in other countries.
1.4 Research Questions
Ø In what ways does the hazard of journalism as a career scare women away from the profession?
Ø Why does the fragile nature of women make them drop their profession for less hazardrous jobs after their training?
Ø What are the possible solutions to the female aparthy to the journalism profession in Nigeria vis a vis their counterparts in other countries?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- H1: Hazard of journalism as a career does not scare women away from the profession.
- H1: Fragile nature of women do make them drop their profession for less hazardrous jobs after their training.
1.6 Scope of the Study
As this study focuses attention primarily on the attitude of female Mass Communication students towards journalism as a career, it attempts an over view of a good number of professionals who have already made similar studies of women images in the media and their attitude towards journalism.
In this study, the researcher raised a number of assumptions, she assume that the way the image of women are being potrayed in the society as journalists have created an imbalance in the ratio of working male journalists to the female counterparts.
In essence, the researcher has deemed it fit to concentrate mere on Caritas female journalists and the issues affecting them as working journalists.
1.7 Significance of the study
This study will be of immense benefits to the female journalists because a lot of people are being baffled over the issue why women do not take up journalism as a career after studies. It has really agitated the minds of some professionals and has equally created a lot of controversy. The researcher, therefore has deemed it fit to find out the reason for such negative attitude of females towards journalism.
Some authors and researchers lives on assumptions mainly because of the way the images of Women are being potrayed in the society as journalists. This study has therefore provided an avenue for an in-dept study on the controversial issue of knowing the militants against the idea of women going into journalism as a career, how do these women see the practice of journalism, do they go into the study with the intention of practicing journalism or taking up just as a career.
This study will serve as resource materials for programmes design and implementation in the effort concerning women in development and to student of women studies Mass Communication and Journalism. It will be useful reading and reference materials for others.
1.8 Operational Definitions of Significant Terms
In this research work, the terms used were operationally defined, the meanings reflect how the researcher wants the term to be understood in the context of this work.
- Study: It is an act of considering or examining some thing in detail. It can also be said to be a piece of research that examines a subject or question in detail.
- Attitude: This is a way of feeling or your – opinion about something or somebody.
- Female: It is a situation of being a women or girl.
- Mass: A large Number of people in a community, society and nation.
- Communication: Method of sending information to a large number of people, especially through Television, Radio, Computers, Newspaper, Magazine Etc.
- Students: These are group of people who are studying at a university or colleges.
- Towards: This is in relation to something or somebody or in the direction of something.
- Journalism: It is a new effort in reporting in which professional communicators use social research method together, interprete and vividlypresent information to the target audience. Journalists is therefore, the science of reporting.
- Career: It is the job or series of jobs that you do during your working life, especially if you continue to get more money.