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ABSTRACT

This study analyze the content of foreign news as coiled from some selected newspaper in Nigeria. It analyzed the content of four Nigerian newspapers: The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian newspapers in their coverage of the foreign news from December 20th, 2014 to June 2015. The researcher made use of content analysis, while simple random sampling was used to select 24 editions of the two newspapers which amounted to 48 editions as the simple size, for the period of six months of this study. The findings showed that Nigerian newspapers report foreign news frequently but do not give it prominence, that is, most foreign news reported were buried in the inside pages of the newspapers. Also, the Nigerian newspapers report more of negative foreign news which does not have any bearing on developments purposes. This work concludes that the concept of imbalance in news flow should be giving less attention and accepted as a characteristics of media system

                                           CHAPTER ONE

                                           INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

One of the major areas of inequality and dependency in the existing information order lies in the processing and dissemination of news. Communication is so vital in our lives that it could be regarded as one of the characteristics of living organisms. It is a necessary condition education, socialization, understanding, co-operation and even confrontation. (Ekeanyanwu, 2007, p. 13).

Communication has no doubt become a powerful instrument of peace and war, thus aiding and abetting the mutual relationship between countries of the world. And when there is a controversy in information flow among countries of the world, it degenerates to an imbalanced communication.

It could be recalled that over the years, there has been a monumental disagreement between developing and western countries. The developing countries claim the western world report them in a bad light or fail to report about at all, thus the concept of news imbalance.

It is in the light of the above that is that this research work was set to find out if Nigerian media are defaulters of the same offence by examining how Nigerian newspapers cover foreign news, using four national newspapers (The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian) as the case study.

More importantly, to find out how frequent foreign news are reported, the nature of its presentation, type of foreign news the report e.t.c. and so many other related issue.

The concept of news, journalism and freedom of the press have for many years been a major source of disagreement between developing countries in Africa and the developed countries in the world. Developing countries often feel ill served by the western media claiming that foreign writers distort the story about African growth and development or times, fail to report it at all. The developed countries on the other hand, see the developing nations as hindering the report of news. Members of the news media in industrialize nations, that is, free press as it exists in the United State of America and Great Britain virtually unknown in Africa and other parts of the developing nations.

In the mid ‘70s, there was a cry over the poor coverage of events in the industrialized world by the African press while the African press also lamented about the industrialized world over the same issue. Macbride (1980, p.36) reacted by saying that “the gap between the fully inform and under informed continues to widen as the imbalance between those imparting and those receiving information becomes accumulated”. As a result, the maintenance of an open flow of information has become a necessity to nations of the world.

In 1976 at the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), general conference in Nairobi, Kenya, the issue of New World Information and Communication Order was first raised in 1978, UNESCO accorded recognition to the issue by granting it a compromised consensus. Sequel to the 1977 meeting, a new international commission on communication problem headed by Sean MacBride, former foreign minister was set up. The commission submitted its reports in 1990. Apart from the commission’s recognition, the committee was surprised that the content of the third world newspapers, radio and television have same biased reportage of foreign events. The developed nation also argued that the bulk of information sent to the developing nations was slanted to suit the powers that may be.

In addition, the commission pointed out that there is the tendency for journalist in developing nations to write in a manner in which facts are distorted to perpetuate evil either to divide or insult. This study therefore, analyzed the coverage of foreign news in The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian newspapers to see whether these four national dailies have the same reportorial bias as was discovered by the international commission on communication problems.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

There has been a great challenge between developed countries and developing nations of the world on the issue of poor coverage of news in the era of information explosion. Thus, the need to study communication and the flow of information at the international level has become as expedient as never before.

Therefore, the problem of this study is to ascertain how Nigerian newspapers report foreign news. It is hoped that the outcome of this research will guide the Nigerian newspapers in the coverage of foreign news.

1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The principal aim of this research is to find out the extent to which The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian Newspapers report foreign news.

The specific objectives of this study are:

  1. To critically examine the extent at which The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian newspapers report foreign countries.
  2. To determine the type of news (hard or soft) about foreign countries that is reported by The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian newspapers.
  3. To determine if the public and national interests of Nigeria affect reportage of foreign news.
  4. To find out if The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian newspapers report foreign news negatively or positively.
  5. To find out the degree at which The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun and, The Guardian newspapers report development news of foreign countries.

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