ANALYSIS COMPARATIVE OF THE PERFORMANCE OF JOURNALISTS IN GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE OWNED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The term mass media according to McQuail  is shortened to describe a means of communication that operates on a large scale reaching and involving virtually everyone in a society to a greater or lesser degree. Media is plural of medium which means a channel or vehicle through which something is transmitted. In other words, mass media are channels of communication in a modern society, primarily the print and the electronic media. MCQuail further describes the mass media as the organized many receivers within a short space of time. The mass media are impersonal communication sources that reach large audiences. The primary function of the mass media system is to provide information to several millions of people. The mass media are extremely influential. Each of the media is presumed tom affect perceptions and behaviour in a distinctive way. They can affect the society and vice versa. The mass media are the uniquely modern means of public communication and much of their importance lies in the fact that they are a major cause of whatever modes of perception, 2
thought, public discourse and political action. Because of their size and the larger number of people they reach the mass media tremendous impact on society. Murphy (1977) sums up societal impacts of the media in different way as oil, give and dynamite. As oil, Murphy asserts that media of communication keep the world running smoothly by helping individuals adjust to the reality of lives. They keep society on and healthy by suggesting solutions that are socially acceptable.
As given, social cohesion is maintained by communication. Murphy contends that the media give all of us including strangers, something to talk about by setting agenda of discussion. And that over the years, communication builds up and reinforces the fabrics that hold a society together. Murphy also describes the mass media as dynamites that can rip the society apart. A good example of this is the propaganda campaigns that preceded the Russian revolution in 1917 and Hitler‟s rise to the German chancellorship in 1933. Similarly, the mass media particularly the newspaper and magazine played a tremendous role in the struggle for Nigeria‟s independence in 1960. 3
1.2 THE CONCEPT OF PRESS FREEDOM
There is a general notion that press freedom is bard to define. While others look at it as the night to communicate ideas, opinions and information through the printed word without government restraint, the difficulty actually lies in defining the word “Press” itself. Is the word “press” made up of newspaper, magazine, journals or does it include broadcasting and other forms of communication yet dreamt of? Another dilemma in demystifying the concept of press freedom is in the degree of freedom sought or implied in the concept.
Press freedom is practically the same thing with freedom of expression which many people believe is the mother of all freedom. Press freedom connotes a free flow of information and the rights to disseminate information. According to Thomas Matting, Resident Representative Nigeria, the relevance of the media in democracy is undisputed. Media freedom is a fundamental political freedom based on the right to free speech. The media set the stage for public discussion and undertakes to be a watchdog of government action. But media freedom is fragile, good and journalists are particularly exposed to threats. They operate at the frontlines of a battle for political power that is often waged with deadly weapons. Censorship, harassment and imprisonment of journalists and political control of news outlets are some of the most often cited dangers to a free media. Reports about killings of journalists frequently shock the public less often cited is the overall working and welfare situation of journalists. However, the freedom from fear and want is one of the four fundamental human freedoms that the us president Franklin D. Roosevelt emphasized in 1941. Without it being granted, a country can have perfect media laws; it can establish codes of conducts for journalists and boost media plurality (all this fundamentally endangered it Journalists operate under conditions of fear and deprivation).
Though, there is no absolute press freedom anywhere in the world. However, Nigeria which professes to have one of the most free presses in Africa has a lot of limitations to press freedom. Sunday (2006 : 115) argued that press freedom is limited in the overall interest of the society by the constitution, the legislature, the courts and the government. It is contradictory to discover that the some constitution which guarantees press freedom takes away the same freedom it gives to media men. The 1999 constitution for instance, has given conditions for expression of freedom. According to this statute book, expression of 5
freedom is subject to any law that is reasonably Justifiable in a democratic society.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Social researchers have argued that media operations are significantly influenced by ownership. Mediated information is always filtered through a prism; that is shaped by actors at all levels of information gathering, packaging and dissemination from the importer/produced through the series of increasingly senior editions. Each brings his various biases to bear as the process the information. Owners are no exception. Content is created within a framework and media owners have their own framework that is shaped by ideological, political, commercial or other interest. Given this background, the study provides an analysis of the contemporary media environment in both private and public organizations.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of the research is to investigate the climate of press freedom in the media environment of public and private organizations. The way to do this research is to analyses the trend in media developments in Nigeria and elsewhere and to investigate the climate of media practice in general. In order to carry out this research the following objectives will be followed.
To examine the meaning of additional freedom on public and private media organizations.
To define the extent of state interference in the operations of media organizations.
To assist in promoting media quality in Nigeria.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The researcher‟s attention in this research work will be focused on how to answer the following questions;
To what extent is there connection between press freedom, and the structure of media ownership in the private and public organizations
How can governmental regulations unintentionally harm press freedom while protecting other freedoms?
To what extent does the establishment of a press council guarantee press freedom
To what extent is there a global cultural crisis around freedom of the press.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research provides an overview of current professional practice of journalism as against ownership structures and the exercise of press freedom. It also throws light on the major challenges and the current critical issues impeding the growth and development of the media and hindering their effective functioning as key agents of good governance in Nigeria. The project also supports journalist in their bid to unit their efforts to raise professional standards and thus strengthen the social standing of journalism.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to investigate the climate of press freedom in both private public media organizations. Other aspects of the media field are not included in the study. In theoretical part, the study analysis partly te relationship between press freedom and the media ownership between structures both in public and private organization, other elements of media strategy are not included. The study does not deal with the detail operative level of media company‟s activities. In addition, it does not have any certain geographic area it would concentrate on.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Airtime: starting time of TV to radio programme.
Freelance: An unaffiliated writer, photographer, cameraman, artist or other person who is available on assignment or contract basis.
Internal communication: communication with personal or members of a company or organisation. 9
Documentary: information film or television show with a unified subject or purpose.
External publication: a publication issued by an organisation to people outside its own employee or membership groups, such as to customers, the local community, the financial wild etc.