Mass Communication

Analysis Comparative of the Performance of Journalists in Government and Private Owned Media Organisations

Analysis Comparative of the Performance of Journalists in Government and Private Owned Media Organisations


This research work is aimed at finding the journalist that is freer between those in private and government-owned media organizations, using Ray-power and FRCN Enugu as a focus, to achieve maximum and accurate findings. The researcher made use of survey design. To gather necessary information, copies of the questionnaire were administered and retrieved from the respondents who were randomly selected, and also personal interview was conducted, the findings show that the journalists in government-owned media organizations are freer than those in privately-owned media organizations. The researcher also made some recommendations based on the findings of the research. That more opportunities should be given to the journalists in privately-owned media i.e. they should be allowed to broadcast what they see or the information they get as long as it is proven to be true. Since it has been identified that source credibility is essential in broadcasting, as it affects the audience’s beliefs, both government and private owned journalists should be given equal rights to broadcast what they see and how it was seen without limit and threats.




The term mass media according to McQuail [2000] 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 modern society, primarily print and electronic media. McQuaid 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 to affect perceptions and behavior distinctively. They can affect 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, 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 a 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 their lives. They keep society on and healthy by suggesting socially acceptable solutions.

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 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 magazines played a tremendous role in the struggle for Nigeria‟s independence in 1960.


There is a general notion that press freedom is hard 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 lies in defining the word “Press” itself. Is the word “press” made up of newspapers, magazines, 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 as freedom of expression which many people believe is the mother of all freedom. Press freedom connotes a free flow of information and the right to disseminate information. According to Thomas Matting, Resident Representative Nigeria, the relevance of the media in a democracy is undisputed. Media freedom is 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, imprisonment of journalists, and political control of news outlets are some of the most often cited dangers to free media. Reports about killings of journalists frequently shock the public less often cited is the overall working and welfare situation of journalists. However, freedom from fear and want is one of the four fundamental human freedoms that us president Franklin D. Roosevelt emphasized in 1941. Without it being granted, a country can have perfect media laws; it can establish codes of conduct 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 freest 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 same constitution which guarantees press freedom takes away the same freedom it gives to media men. The 1999 constitution, for instance, has given conditions for the expression of freedom. According to this statute book, expression of freedom is subject to any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.


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 framework that is shaped by ideological, political, commercial, or other interests. Given this background, the study provides an analysis of the contemporary media environment in both private and public organizations.


The research aims to investigate the climate of press freedom in the media environment of public and private organizations. The way to do this research is to analyze the trend in media developments in Nigeria and elsewhere and to investigate the climate of media practice in general. To carry out this research the following objectives will be followed.

  1. To examine the meaning of additional freedom on public and private media organizations.
  2. To define the extent of state interference in the operations of media organizations.
  3. To assist in promoting media quality in Nigeria.


The researcher‟s attention in this research work will be focused on how to answer the following questions;

  1. To what extent is there a connection between press freedom, and the structure of media ownership in private and public organizations?
  2. How can governmental regulations unintentionally harm press freedom while protecting other freedoms?
  3. To what extent does the establishment of a press council guarantee press freedom?
  4. To what extent is there a global cultural crisis around freedom of the press?


The research provides an overview of the 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 journalists in their bid to unite their efforts to raise professional standards and thus strengthen the social standing of journalism.


This study aims 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 the theoretical part, the study analysis partly the relationship between press freedom and the media ownership between structures both in public and private organizations, other elements of media strategy is not included. The study does not deal with the detailed operative level of media company‟s activities. In addition, it does not have any certain geographic area it would concentrate on.


Airtime: starting time of TV to a radio program.

Freelance: An unaffiliated writer, photographer, cameraman, artist, or another person who is available on an assignment or contract basis.

Internal communication: communication with personnel or members of a company or organization.

Documentary: Information film or television show with a unified subject or purpose.

External publication: A publication issued by an organization to people outside its employee or membership groups, such as to customers, the local community, the financial wild, etc.


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