VIOLATIONS OF ETHICAL JOURNALISM AMONG MEDIA PRACTITIONERS IN NIGERIA. CAUSES, EFFECTS AND SOLUTIONS (A STUDY OF THISDAY NEWSPAPER, FIRST EDITOR-IN-CHIEF NDUKA OBAIGBENA)


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ABSTRACT
          This research is conducted to find out the Causes and Effects Violating Ethics of Journalism among the Media Practitioners in Nigeria and also to create valuable solutions. (A Study of Thisday Newspaper, A Nigerian National Newspaper located in Apapa, Lagos State).
          To Achieve the purpose highlighted above I made use of survey method in gathering and analysing of collected data, questionnaires were administered to respondents (Practicing Journalist) who elicit their response in problems under the study.
          From the questionnaire distributed I arrived at the following as the findings of the study. That, actually their ethics in Journalism with regulating bodies and deserve penalties and sanctions are available to disciplines offenders but political influence, bribery and corruption and other ungodly acts are seen as obstruction to the success of being ethical in Journalism. The presence of unprofessional Journalist on the field also leads to violation of the ethics. Ownership attitude to dictate what to be presented to the public and other kinds of treat on Journalist job and live just to satisfy personal interest in information dissemination as problems facing ethical Journalism.



RESEARCH PROJECT PROPOSAL
Part A:       DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
01.     RESEARCH TOPIC
          Violations of Ethical Journalism among Media Practioners in Nigeria. It Causes, Effect and Solution. A Study of Thisday Newspaper.
02.     BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
           This study is worthwhile, in order to show how to manage ethics of Journalism for the development of our society and to carryout the research so as to bring out convincing reasons and reason that will encourage Journalists of this era to practices their profession with all sincerity and an act of ingenuity.
03.     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
          A lot of media houses have been used by politicians and members of the society as image creation in portraying themselves, despite their bad images creation in portraying themselves, despite their bad images.
          This research work will also enable readers understand the basic problems of the Media Practioners and proffering suggestions on how they could be solved.
          In essence, this research is done in order to analyse the effects of Media Practioners in our society basically in its journalistic field.
04.     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
          This entails the useful value of the research work which will contribute immensely to the growth of journalism in our society. Particularly, the credibility of Journalism and also the ability to nose for news, accurately and loyally to his society, rather than, disseminating stories that lead to immoral values and disrupt the peace and unity of the society.
05.     PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
          This research work is meant to enlighten and broaden the minds of readers about journalism, its rules and regulations as well as the impact of media to the society. That is, analysing how the ethics of journalism are being violated by media houses.
          In addition, this study will keep reader abreast of the fact that the pen is mightier than the sword, which connotes that the power of journalists cannot be taken lightly, therefore, Media Practioners must use the power of pen with caution.
06.     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
          The objective of the study is to make the journalists realize that Journalism entails some Ethics which should not be violated for the good of the society and the profession itself. Some of which are;
a.       Avoidance of using news gathered for propaganda, because it is not professional.
b.       Facts must be conveyed accurately and follow the fundamental rules of news reporting faithfully.
c.       When there is a mistake in published stories, a retraction should be prepared immediately and published.
07.     RESEARCH QUESTIONS/HYPOTHESIS
          Some of the questions which will be used for information gathering as follow:
a.       Why do Media Practioners fail to obey the codes of conduct that govern units profession?
b.       Reasons behind bribery and corruption having it’s root in journalistic area?
c.       What stringent penalties recommended for offenders and how effective are the sanctions?
08.     SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research work has been limited to the practice of journalism in Nigeria particularly findings which are applicable to all media however in the country, both government and private owned organisations.
09.     WORKS AND AUTHORS TO BE CITIES
1.       Press Freedom in Nigeria                  Bayo Olyede
2.       Journalism                                        The News Encydpedia Britancia
3.       Media Law and Ethics                      Solomon Adedokun Olugbade
4.       Ethical Journalism                            Olu Osungbohun
5.       Reporter                                            Bolaji Kareem
          Others will be cited in the research.



TABLE OF CONTENT
·        Title page
·        Certification
·        Dedication
·        Acknowledgement
·        Abstract
·        Research project proposal
·        Table of contents
CHAPTER ONE
1.0     Introduction
1.1     General description of the study
1.2.     Problems of the study
1.3     Purpose of the study
1.4     Research questions
1.5     Statement of the problem
1.6     Scope of the study
1.7     Significant of the study
1.8     Definitions of terms
1.9     References

CHAPTER TWO
2.0     Literature review
CHAPTER THREE
3.0     Methodology
3.1     Types of survey
3.2     How to survey in research work
3.3     Style and format to be used in methodology
3.4     Reasons for choosing mailed questionnaire survey
3.5     Rationale of the study
3.6     Procedure for choosing sample
3.7     Method of opinion sampling
3.8     Method of data analysis

CHAPTER FOUR
4.0     Data presentation and analysis
4.1     Testing hypothesis one
4.2     Analysis of hypothesis one
4.3     Testing hypothesis two
4.4     Analysis of hypothesis two
4.5     Testing hypothesis three
4.6     Analysis of hypothesis three
4.7     Testing hypothesis four
4.8     Analysis of hypothesis four
4.9     Other findings
4.10   Research questions one
4.11   Research questions two
4.12   Research questions three
4.13   Research questions four

CHAPTER FIVE
5.0     Summary
5.1     Conclusion
5.2     Recommendation
References
Appendix

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF STUDY

Journalism entails a high degree of public trust. To earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every journalist and every news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standard. In the exercise of these duties, a journalist should always have a healthy regard for the public interest.
          Journalism is information. ‘’It is communication and it is the events of the day distilled into few words, sound  or pictures, processed by the mechanics of communication to satisfy the human curiosity of the world that is always eager to know what is news.’’
Journalism may also be entertained or reassurance to people who are ‘’always eager to be comforted with the knowledge just like us’’.
          Basically, Journalism is news. ‘’It is the profession of gathering writing and editing news’’.
A Journalist is therefore “someone whose training in Mass communication and mass media makes him or her witness and prophet of cultural, economic, media and ethical norms of the society. Truth is his watchword.”
His primary role is to seek for and report events of public interest in an objective manner. He should publish only facts and never to suppress or falsify such facts to suit his own purpose. News must be represented to the public untainted by any personal bias or outside influence.
Journalism is an editorial staff of a newspaper, radio, television, magazine, ministry of information, freelance or those that have branched into Public Relation Practice.
          In Nigerian, the Nigeria Union of Journalism (NUJ) serves as the professional trade union umbrella shielding journalist apart from other associations which are subordinate to the NUJ.
          Journalism goes beyond mere writing; there are more complex, technical sides of the profession like News Gathering, News reporting, sub – editing, page planning and design, photography and cropping, etc.
          For the purpose of this study, we will settle with the definition as given by David Wainwright, which says, “Journalism is communication” as stated earlier.
          According to Frank Cadin, “Journalism is a highly responsible profession which calls for outstanding qualities of mind and character.
Journalism can be described as a profession of someone who earns his regular means of livelihood by contributing to the making of a media organ either by writing, editing or newspaper production. In addition, it can be referred to as catalysis of the development of the society.
When talking about ethics – It is all about opinion, principle or standard set of laws. Ethics is simply the norms for conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. It is normal principles that govern a person’s or group behaviour.
Journalistic ethics is the branch of philosophy which aids journalists in determining what is right to do and it is ultimately concerned with providing moral principles or norms for Journalistic actions. It set guideline, rules, norms or codes that will lead the journalist to be more humane as there have being abuse of the profession by the media.
An Ethical code is without doubt a sine qua non in any profession. Journalism today faces an increasing need for critical reporting, accuracy fairness and objectivity.
The Ethics of journalism is therefore, the companion of the practicing Journalist as well as the informed public in providing ethical guidelines by which practitioner can judge and be the judged.
There are bodies which regulate and provide these ethics for this profession such as: New Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigerians (NPAN) among others.
 Media ownership is an excuse of practicing corrupt journalism by which Journalist are compelled to write, gather and publish information to suit the interest of the owner. A Government owned media will not allow the truth to be published concerning the government, that is, government mismanagement of office, wrong use of power, bribery and other forms of corruption cannot be investigated by a Journalist working under the government. Such media only reflect false positive image of the Government on the society. Same to private, Journalist is required to praise, fear and obey his boss. It allowed unskilled Journalist in the field and also encourages lack of professionalism.
An example of lack of accuracy in journalism of Nigeria Media, is the recent killings and bombings by some religious or group (BOKO HARAM) especially in the Northern part of the country, different station with different information that is the place of event or number of victims involved or those that were suspected. In this case, the society is thrown into confusion of which media are to believe and trust for information and how concerned or effective the information is to every individual.
Also an example of past event of violations of Ethical Journalism was the wrong published of Akinloye’s death who was the former Chairman of the defunct National Party of Nigeria on the front page of Vanguard Newspaper on April 21st 1998.
Which turned out to be false after it was discovered that chief Akinloye was in London, Hale and Healthy and the newspaper was made to call and correct it earlier misinformation on Friday April 22nd 1998.
Perhaps, the newspaper had called London in the first instance for verification of the information it would not have been published and of course, such error question the media credibility.
As truth is the cornerstone of journalism, both journalists and media houses should strive diligently to ascertain the truth of every event.
  

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