MEDIA IN DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF THE GUARDIAN AND VANGUARD NEWSPAPERS COVERAGE OF THE POWER SECTOR REFORM IN NIGERIA (FROM 1ST OCTOBER, 2013 – 31ST APRIL, 2014)

ABSTRACT

This study explores and analyze the various roles the Nigerian newspapers, with specific reference to the Guardian and the Vanguard newspapers played in the process of government deregulating the power sector by emphasizing the nature of coverage the newspapers gave to the reform. Areas covered in this work include background to the study, review of related literatures. However, the Development Media theory and the Agenda setting theory underpinned this study creating further explanation with regards to prominence the newspapers gave to the deregulation reform in the power. The systemic sampled days technique was used to select Fifty Four editions which formed the sampled size for both newspapers (that is, Twenty Seven selected editions for each newspaper) were content analyzed. Interviews were conducted with ten respondents who are audience to the sampled newspapers. Findings of the research revealed that the deregulation of the power sector reform is the most emphasized deregulation subject matter in the sampled newspapers. The sources of information which the sampled newspapers used in acquiring information on stories they publish on deregulation of the power sector reform were mostly acquired from events and happening with regards to the deregulation reform in the power sector. It was also discovered that the degree of prominence the newspapers accorded to deregulation of the power sector news is relatively low as stories they published on the power sector reform hardly feature on very important pages of the newspapers such as the editorial, front, back or business pages of the sampled newspapers. The study also revealed that the newspapers observed the investigative journalism role but in a minimal standard as a result of which factors prohibiting the deregulation reform in the power sector to succeed were not intricately identified. Finally, the research advocates that Nigerian newspapers should pay more attention to development issues by setting more agendas on developmental issues and also, they should diversify their information sources by adopting multi-faced sources rather than over depending on one information source. The study also suggest that the Nigerian newspapers should develop a serious attitude toward the watchdog role by monitoring progress of developmental projects and report to the public when those in charge are not living up to their responsibilities in order to exhibit their investigative journalism duty.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cover Page- – – – – – – – – – – -i
Title Page- – – – – – – – – – – -ii
Declaration- – – – – – – – – – – -iii
Certification- – – – – – – – – – – -iv
Dedication- – – – – – – – – – – -v
Acknowledgements- – – – – – – – – – -vi
Abstract- – – – – – – – – – – -vii
Table of Contents- – – – – – – – – – -viii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study- – – – – – – – -1
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem- – – – – – – -20
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study- – – – – – – -21
1.4 Research Questions- – – – – – – – – -21
1.5 Significance of the Study- – – – – – – – -21
1.6 Scope of the Study- – – – – – – – – -23
1.7 Limitations of the Study- – – – – – – – -23
1.8 Terminologies- – – – – – – – – -23

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 Introduction- – – – – – – – – – -25
2.1 Media as the Fourth Estate- – – – – – – – -25
2.2 Media as Agenda Setter- – – – – – – – -29
2.3 Media as a Watchdog and Investigative Tool- – – – – -33
2.4 Media as a Gate Keeper- – – – – – – – -35
2.5 Media Manipulation- – – – – – – – – -37
2.6 Media Ownership and Control- – – – – – – -40
2.7 Media as a Development Policy Maker- – – – – – -44
2.8 Theoretical Framework- – – – – – – – -47
2.8.1 Development Media Theory- – – – – – – – -47
2.8.2 Agenda Setting Theory- – – – – – – – -50

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.0 Qualitative and Quantitative Methodological Approaches- – – – -55
3.1 Research Design- – – – – – – – – -56
3.2 Population of the Study- – – – – – – – -57
3.3 Sampling Technique and Sample Size- – – – – – -58
3.4 Method of Data Collection- – – – – – – – -60
3.5 Method of Data Analysis- – – – – – – – -62
3.6 Unit of Analysis- – – – – – – – – -63

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

4.0 Introduction- – – – – – – – – – -65
4.1 Brief Data Presentation and Interpretation- – – – – – -65
4.2 Further Discussion and Critique of Findings- – – – – – -69
4.3 Overview of Findings- – – – – – – – -85
4.4 Key Contribution- – – – – – – – – -86

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Summary- – – – – – – – – – -88
5.2 Conclusion- – – – – – – – – – -90
5.3 Recommendations- – – – – – – – – -92
Appendix- – – – – – – – – – -94
Bibliography – – – – – – – – – -99

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The media are the bridge between the government and the governed – as well as the mouthpiece of the society. The role of the media in development has been demonstrated by the current steep rise in the use of information technology worldwide. Even poor developing countries have embraced the technology of information dissemination among several other necessary factors, to develop. This development is consistent with the established position that the media helps to cause attitude change and to ensures socio-economic transformation.(Schramm, 1964; Lerner & Schramm, 1967; Agbaje, 1992; Ayee, 1997; Makoa, et al, 2000, cited in Jibo, 2003).

Basically, the media are described as performing three functions or roles of informing, educating and entertainment. These are the conventional social functions the media renders to the public, this, is equally applicable in broader sense to national development. It could be said that through educating, informing and entertaining, the media makes members of the society, or the nation as well as the leadership, aware of the importance and need to undertake certain process or processes of national development. Attached to these three basic roles of media is another role of persuasion, where the media are seen as virile tools of applying persuasive effort to influence people’s actions in a particular direction. The mass media are therefore seen as strategic in providing the public with necessary information to achieve development or change goals. (Isa, 2007).

The role of media in development lies in their capacity and capability to sensitize and mobilize resources and people through information dissemination. (Nwabueze, 2005, cited in Isa, 2007).In relation to this, Sogolo (1995) pointed that:“the role of information in national development is no longer a matter of dispute and can be argued that information is useful if properly disseminated”. Thus, in a plural and diverse society like Nigeria, the development of the nation would depend on the existence of a cordial relationship between leadership and followership, as well as between the elite and the people at the grassroots level.The role of the media in fostering this relationship and understanding needed for development in the society in the society cannot be overemphasized.

In all this, the media have an important role to play, by taking into consideration the socio-cultural conditions under which they operate, but without losing sight of the universal commitments and objectives of the media profession. (Sogolo, 1995).Yishak (2012) asserts that for media coverage of any development policy to be effectively implemented and valid, it should take into consideration, the following attributes:

Accuracy: By accuracy means information provided by a media organization must be reliable and have valid representation of reality of that particular development programme.

Timeliness: Information concerning development must be timely so that the receiving end could benefit in decision making of those that the development is meant for.

Completeness: Information on any development policy from the media should be complete and comprehensive for proper understanding of the public.

In the absence of the above mentioned factors, the audience may have a distorted view and in the final analysis, the decision of the media audience would come into disarray. (Yishak 2012).Development involves political, economic and social transformation and these need the media’s input for positive integration. Development is a quantifiable change which entails changes in the structure of the economy, social, and political disposition of a society.