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This research work examined the relationship between advertisements and coverage of development news in Nigerian newspapers. The research focused on assessing how advertising influences the coverage of development news in the Nigerian press, and also the frequency of development news featured in the newspapers. The research is anchored on the political economy theory of the media. The research employs method triangulation comprising content analysis and key informant interview. Two national independent newspapers, Daily Trust and The Nation were content analysed with a systematically drawn sample of size of 343 editions. Frequency distribution tables and charts were used for descriptive statistics while statistical measures of ANOVA and regression were used for inferential statistics. Findings revealed that coverage of development matters by the two papers are low, but Daily Trust has a higher frequency of coverage than The Nation newspaper. Development issues like poverty, unemployment and rural development are not given enough coverage as education, health, environment and agriculture. At 0.05 level of significance, it was also found that advertising has a positive relationship with development news reports in the two papers, as advertisements increases the coverage of development issues also increases. It is recommended among others that there is need for higher coverage of poverty reduction, unemployment and rural development in the newspapers because these issues also impact on the lives of the people.
Cover page – – – – – – – – – i
Title page – – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – – iii
Declaration – – – – – – – – – iv
Dedication – – – – – – – – – v
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – vi
Abstract – – – – – – – – – vii
Table of contents – – – – – – – – viii
Chapter One: Introduction
1.0 Background to the study – – – – – – 1
1.1 Statement of the problem – – – – – – 5
1.2 Aim and objectives of the study – – – – – 7
1.3 Research questions – – – – – – – 7
1.4 Significance of the study – – – – – – 8
1.5 Scope of the study – – – — – – 8
1.6 Operational definition of terms – – – – – 9
Chapter Two: Literature Review
2.1 Introduction – – – – – — – – 10
2.2 Conceptual Definition of Advertising – – – – – 10
2.3 Relevance of advertising revenue to media organisations – – – -12
2.4 Advantages of newspaper advertising media – – – – 15
2.5 News commercialization and objective news reporting – – – 16
2.6 Advertising and media performance – – – – – 20
2.7 Ownership and profit orientation of the mass media – – 23
2.8 Review of empirical studies – – – – – – 26
2.9 Theoretical framework – – – – – – 30
Chapter Three: Methodology
3.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 34
3.1 Research design – – – – – – – 34
3.2 Population of the study – – – – – – 35
3.3 An overview of Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers – – 35
3.4 Instrument of data collection – – – – – 36
3.5 Variables and measurements – – – – – – 36
3.6 Sampling and sample size – – – – – – 36
3.7 Validity and reliability of instrument – – – – 37
3.8 Method of data presentation, analysis and interpretation- – – 38
Chapter Four: Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation
4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 39
4.1 Data presentation for Qualitative Data – – – – 39
4.2 Data presentation for content analysis – – – – – 44
4.3 Discussion of findings – – – – – – – 59
Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 63
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – – – – 63
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – – – 65
5.3 Recommendation – – – – – – – – – 65
5.4 Suggestion for further research – – – – – – 66
References – – – – – — – – – – 67
Appendix 1 – – – – – – – – – – 72
Appendix 2 – – – – – – – – – – 80
List of tables
Table 4.1: All items featured in Daily Trust newspaper
Table 4.2: All items featured in The Nation newspaper
Table 4.3: Frequency of coverage of Development News and Advertisements by Daily Trust newspaper and The Nation newspaper.
Chart 1: All items featured in Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers
Table 4.4: Differences between Daily Trust and The Nations frequency of Coverage of Development News using ANOVA
Table 4.5: Placement of Stories by Daily Trust Newspaper.
Table 4.6: Placement of Stories by The Nation newspaper.
Table 4.7: Frequency of Placement of Development News by Daily Trust and The Nation Newspapers.
Chart 2: Placement of development issues by the two newspaper
Table 4.8: Tone of Coverage of Development News by Daily Trust Newspaper.
Table 4.9: Tone of Coverage of Development News by The Nation Newspaper.
Table 4.10: Tone of coverage by Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers.
Chart 3: Direction of message flow by the two newspapers
Table 4.11: Differences between Daily Trust and The Nation prominence of development news.
Table 4.12: Relationship between advertisements and development news.
Table 4.13: Relationship between development advertisements and development news.
1.0 Background to the study
Media are one the fastest growing industries. This growth may be as a result of technological inventions andinnovations. The media is seen as a mirror which reflects the society. Aside the traditional functions of the mass media (which are to inform, educate and entertain), the media is supposed to be a vanguard for development.Curran cited in Nwabueze, Ezebuenyi & Ezeoko (2012) opine that the principal role of the media, according to traditional liberal theory, is to act as a check on the state, but this could be difficult if media are not free from advertisers. Nevertheless, Advertising has not only become an integral part of man‟s socio- political and economic life, but has also grown both as business activity and as a profession (Nwabueze, Ezebuenyi & Ezeoko 2012).
Many issues have emerged in the media among such are media ownership, advertisers influence and objectivity which are challenging the method of news coverage and reportage. Many scholars have conducted researches on media ownership generally for both broadcast and print media (such as Dominick (2002); Eijaz( 2012); McQuail (2010) and many others). According to Dominick (2002), the most common assumption is that the owners of the media influence the form and content of the media through their decision to employ certain personnel, funding special projects and providing a media platform for ideological interest groups. It is also assumed that at micro level, the attitudes, beliefs and values of a journalist influence upon his construction of reality; at macro level, newspaper editors accept and reject potential news stories for highly subjective reasons, which can be based on the editors own experiences, attitudes and expectation (Eijaz 2012). This is also determined by the ideology of the media house as well as advertising revenue.
Advertising has been one of the major sources of revenue for the media since the public media were commercialized. As argued by Pate, Adeyanju & Yahaya (2012), Commercialization has affected the quality and quantity of news especially in the broadcast media. When print media prosper financially, it is because advertisers recognize their worth as advertising media (Nwabueze, Ezebuenyi & Ezeoko 2012). Just as the Marxist saying that „he who pays the piper dictates the tune‟, the mass media today strive to serve the interest of their advertisers and owners best so as to sustain them in the market (McQuail 2010). The media puts into consideration the economic value of the news story before it even consider itas a news report. Therefore, the economics of demand and supply for advertising space in the print media is critical to the health of the media organization (Nwabueze, Ezebuenyi & Ezeoko 2012).It is also important to note that the media is supposed to observe a cardinal principle of news reporting which is objectivity. Even though various arguments have arisen as a result of how objective a news report should be, many are of the opinion that accuracy and fairness are yardsticks to assessing a news report. Nevertheless,Newspapers can provide more in-depth stories, great backgroundinformation and a greater understanding of the overall subject while still retaining objectivity (Nwabueze, Ezebuenyi & Ezeoko 2012).
However, the media also serves as an engine for development, anddevelopment must be about the people. Development journalism and reporting can take shape by aligning with values enunciated in the concept of development (Kadiri, 2010). The media constitute a critical value in the process of national development of a country. According to Moemeka (1999), the print media have an enduring characteristic which the broadcast media do not have. This is because the newspaper can be read and re-read at one‟s convenience which allows better understanding of the message content. According to Coronel (nd), the media should keep the citizens engaged in the business of the governance by informing, educating and mobilizing the public. He went further to add that this will help the media play positive role in democracy with an enabling environment that allows them to do so. One of the basic principle of a free press demands from newspaper as well as other media to operate in a competitive market where they depend on advertising clients to make profit (Wang, 2012). This indicates the level of importance of advertisers to the media. Nwabueze, Ezebuenyi & Ezeoko (2012) posit that „with a large portion of print media revenue coming from the advertisers, it is no surprise that advertisers sometimes attempt to influence editorial policy especially stories that have the potential to adversely affect their businesses. They concluded that print media organisations should adhere to professionalism and ethics in generating and processing message contents with a view to ensuring objectivity even on the face of pressure from advertising revenue sources.
Moreover, media businesses operate a dual product market. The content is often a kind of bait intended to lure the audiences that are valuable commodities for sale. In advertising a product, the target audience is the most important because it informs the best way to deliver an advertisement. Also the culture of the people is very important. The placement of the advertisement depends on the amount being paid by the client. According to Ali-Balogun (2014) „advertisements now occupy the first 5 pages of major newspaper titles before the editorials‟. This is due to the fact that these pages occupy most of the important stories of the paper.With the advent of the new media, Key advertisers have offered readers opportunity to read their papers on-line.Therefore, the liberal view of advertising is that it provides revenue for the media to enable them to be independent from states and political parties. But the regulatory view argues that the media may distort their coverage to accommodate advertisers concerns (Ellman and Germano, 2008).
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria as a nation has been ranked as a developing society for many years. Despite abundant natural resources, there is continuous increase in poverty, inequality, unemployment, low quality education, high level of violence and illiteracy, poor access to portable water and even inadequate health facilities due to systemic corruption. These problems have hindered the Development process of the country because development is first and foremost about the people. However, the media being an entity in the state is supposed to facilitate the development process of the country by playing the role of agenda setting and being a watch dog of the society. Advertising serves as a major source of revenue for the media to continue playing its role of development.
Researches have been conducted to find out the patterns of news reporting by the media. Some of these researches include: Fradgley and Niebauer (1995); Asogwa and Asemah (2012); Ahmmed (2014); Nwogwu and Nwabueze (2005); Uwom and Alao (2013);Craig (2004) and Kadiri (2010). It was found thatnews reporting patterns wereconnectedto the type of ownership of the media.Accordingto Fradgley andNiebauer (1995), independently owned daily newspaper had more stories that require more reportorial efforts and used more enterprise news sources than the chain owned. Also, Asogwa and Asemah (2012) argued that news is increasingly becoming a commodity. This means that only those with high income can afford to pay the price. Kadiri (2010)concluded that development issues are poorly covered by both the state owned and the privately owned papers. However, Media outfits are set up by their owners who have some goals to achieve. Some of the goals may include profit making or selling their ideologies to the larger society. Dunn and Barban cited in Wang (2012) argued that it is widely known that some advertisers attempt to pressure editors into modifying their policies and contents. This is because they pay large amount of money for their products, service or ideas to be carried by the papers.
Critics claim that excessive commercialism in news and media content weakens the participatory foundations of democracy (Ellman & Germano 2008). Critical scholars are of the view that advertising revenue makes the media to depend on advertisers and has restricted news content (Craig, 2004). It also limits the press from being an independent entity whose principles include fairness, accuracy and objectivity. Pate,Adeyanju & Yahaya (2012) concluded that the state owned media in Nigeria are more affected with pervasive ownership influence.The media is supposed to be independent of any control to be able to facilitate development, no matter the pressure for revenue. Craig (2004) concluded after a research that advertisers tend to discipline the media for content they do not like by withdrawing advertising on such newspapers. This will adversely affect the paper because advertising revenue is important to the continued existence of any media.
However, previous studies have not disentangled the effect of ownership from other factors such as advertising or ideology. Moreover, Most of these studies were conducted to find out the influence and effects of ownership on press reporting pattern which were either conducted through content analysis, surveys and interviews. Little attention was given to influence of advertisements on news reportage and hence the need for the research. The study therefore examineswhether advertisements have any relationship with the content of Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers in terms of coverage given to development in Nigeria.
1.2 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this research is to know how advertising influences coverage of news on development issues. The research is premised on the following specific objectives:
1. To determine the frequency of coverage of development issues and that of advertisements by the Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers.
2. To determine the level of prominence given to development news report in the Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers.
1.3 Research Questions
1. What is the frequency of coverage of development issuesand that of advertisements by Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers?
2. What is the prominence given to development news reports vise-a-vise advertisements in the Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers?
1.4 Research hypothesis
1. There is no significant relationship between frequency of advertisements and coverage of development news by the Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers
2. There is no significant difference between Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers in terms of magnitude of advertisements and coverage of development news.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Literature review has shown that there is no enough empirical research on the relationship between advertising and development news in this environment. Most of the researches available in this part of the world are utility based. This research intends to fill that gap because it will provide information on what influences the working of the press and this will help assess the responsibility of the media in promoting development in the society. The study tends to provide information on whether development issues still occupy the important pages of the newspaper (pages 1-5) or advertisers have paid for their products, service or idea to be placed on those pages. This is important in assessing the media of being a vanguard for development of the country. The findings of the study would be useful to the media organizations as it will provide data on their performances in order to make necessary adjustments.The study will also provide data on the importance each of the newspaper give to development news reports. The study will add to the existing literature in the area of newspaper news reporting patterns and development communication. The research is significant because it will reveal the relationship between advertising and development news coverage by the print media.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on two Nigerian daily newspapers; Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers. The study only investigates the influence advertising has on report of development news by the press. The study is only concerned with content of the papers as it has to do with development matters. The study is not concerned with the organisational structure of the paper, or any other sources of influence on the press. The conceptual scope will include development communication, objectivity and other news values, media performance, advertising and profit orientation of the print media.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Coverage: for the purpose of this research, any news report that is not one-sided is considered coverage.
Development news: for this study, news on education, agriculture, health, environment, unemployment, rural development and poverty are considered development news.
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