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Title Page

Background to the study
Statement of Problem
Research Questions
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the study
Delimitation /scope of study
Limitation of Study

Review of Related Literature

Conceptual Review

Empirical Review

Theoretical Framework

Summary of Literature Review

Research design
Population of Study
Sample and Sampling Techniques
Research Instrument
Validity of Instrument
Administration of the Instrument
Method of Data Analysis

Data presentation and Analysis
Discussion of Results



Academic writings are replete with studies on news imbalance. So much have been said about news imbalance in the international scenes However, by writing this project, the researcher intends to look beyond the imbalance to the root cause. It is hoped that the information contained in this project will go a long way to correct the persistent problem of urban rural news imbalance in Nigerian newspaper. Consequently, chapter one introduce this study as well as the theoretical frame work on which the study is based. In chapter two, the researcher gives an in-depth review of the works and studies done by the urban – rural imbalance. Chapter three simply states the method of study used to conduct t he study.









  • Background of the study

Two powers which make modern society different from the previous one are the power of industrial technology and mass media of communication, of which the newspaper is a part. When Dexter (1964) made this statement, little did he know that the mass media of communication will create some problems for modern society.  However, this news and information from the mass media has never flowed in  a balanced way. It has always been lopsided – this imbalance in information flow has been one pertinent issue both in international and national communication in the global scale, the information imbalance has reached the stage, according to Nwosu (1986) when “a demand for adrastic change I the present pattern of information flow between and among nations should gather momentum. The third world nations are complaining that “not only is every little said about them but also that every little said about them but unfavourable’. (Masmond,1979). Such information about the third world is usually about disaster, crime, coup detect tribal war. Etc.  This unequally distributed and badly used information /news made some see the reason to demand for the new world information and communication order (NWICO).  Sofar, so much effort and resources are being spent in the call for NWICO. The demand of the third world of which Nigeria is a part, for a balanced flow of information, is perhaps best delineated and forcefully argued in the so-called NWICO (mgbemena & Onwura, 1980).  Moreover, the western nations go to any length to defend their nations. Stephenson (1990), for instance, argued that “the attention given to disruptive news in the third world is characteristic of all, media system, particularly those of the third world it self.   In re – affirming what Stephenson said, meil (1990) says that if western journalism is quality of bias, sop is journalism all over the world. He said apply that “certainly much global coverage can be said to contain basis –but all reporting can be so indicated”.  However, are the allegations of the western nations right? It is a fact that Nigeria is an outspoken nation among the third world nations demanding or this new balance and free flow of information between two parties. The result of some researchers and expressed opinions did not exonerate Nigeria from the imbalance flow of information, which it accuses the western media of. After all, imbalance flow of information has the same ill consequences, whether it is at international or inter – national levels. Imbalance within a nation is equally unacceptable as imbalance between nations (Agba,1997) one may ask, what is the situation of Nigerian journalism? Is it guilty of imbalance flow of information among and between different sectors of the country


The print media of which newspapers is an outstanding party-plays an important role in rural development. According to general system theory, which has an important influence on system level analysis of mass media effect, “social system’s usually change their structures to higher level of complexity (development) (cawallader, 1968). This process of elaboration according to general system theory “is a result of information exchange element of social systems” (DEUTCHE,1968).

Besides scramn (1972) described newspapers as a channel for informing, motivating, persuading, instructing and providing a means of a collective participation in development. Lasswell(12972) has identified it’s other basic functions to include the surveillance of the environment, correlating parts of the environment and the transmitting cultural breakage. “rural development, according to Okorie (1986) is predicated upon understanding the rural people, rural environment, and interaction of rural system brought about by “change agencies” incidentally the newspaper is among the change agencies. It is obvious and beyond doubt that newspaper doubt that newspapers are important to national development and variably to rural development it all depends on the way the newspapers discharge their functions.  Unfortunately, the situation in Nigeria is not commendable. Although Nigeria is imbued with a passion for rapid national development and has embraced the notion that the mass media must be used and guided to promote national development, the newspaper (mass media) is still found wanting in this regard.  Lerner posted that mass media (newspapers) have a relationship with national development. He attached great importance to newspapers in nation –building process. It has been said that media development is “tied closely with a country’s development”  (schramn, 1964). However, our situation in Nigeria is pathetic. Our information officers, including newspapers managers, editor and reporters have not done well enough is sensitizing the people toward rural development, which constitute the center for national development programmes. A traditional view is that the resolution of social problems in rural areas is related to inputs of information. If a system sufficiently saturated with information. According to this view, “a general understanding will invariably lead to development of the system (Rogers, 1975).  With respect to Nigeria suleiman (1983) has noted that reading the Nigerian newspaper one will almost get the impression that outside the various states capitals and some local governments headquarters (urban areas) there are no more human habitations in the country” . This is because the tendencies of the expense of the newspapers have always been to report the urban areas at the expense of the rural areas. This tendency has not helped to foster rural/national development in any way, because according to the population census figure of 1979 over 70 percent of Nigerians are rural dwellers. Oton (1978) observed that everywhere in the rural areas, development programme are going on that are never chronicle.  It is also alleged that Nigerian reporters, being urban-based tend to perceive the news different from the rural areas to urban cities. Often times news reports about rural areas to urban cities. Often times news reports about rural areas seem to concentrate on disasters, failures, disputes and the negative features. All of these are antithesis to rural and national development. The urban centrality of news has gotten to the stage when one has no choice but agree with Omu (1981) who pitied the realities for doing so much and getting so little from the Nigerian mass media (newspapers).  It is bad enough that the rural area seldom gets mentioned in the newspaper, but worst Dave (1970) said “people in the rural area are neither little nor invisible and are doing newsworthy things besides committing crimes. It is as if the Nigerian reporters/editors forget that the content of communication of any given time reflects the value pattern of society (schramn, 1964). By removing almost in entirety rural news room the newspapers, it is as if the newsmen are telling the public that the rural areas are not important in national development.



In the international scene various reason have been proffered by the third world nations for their unyielding demand for a balanced information flow between them and the western nations. Firstly, the third world nations have realised the importance of information. Secondly, they have observed that the under reporting of the developing nations, distorts the image that others have about them. However, according to Agba (1997: pg) the third world nations including Nigeria must show sincerity in their agitation for news balance by balancing news flow between urban and rural communities in their individual nation:  Ironically, inspite of their unyielding demand for balanced flow of news, no noticeable change have been observed in their national urban rural news imbalance. This is traceable to the failure of Nigerian newsmen and communication policy makers to integrate the rural populace through banked information flow. This study intends to find out the extent of the coverage of rural areas vis-à-vis the urban areas.  Besides, there is an apprehension that dwindling government ownership of newspaper in Nigeria poses a threat to the integration of the rural populace in the news content of newspapers. This encourages the super imposition of the urban populace. Furthermore, the responsibility of Nigerian newsmen in this news imbalance is one problem that this study intends to sole.




The objectives of the study are;

  1. To find out the causes of the prevailing news imbalance and see whether newsmen are to blame.
  2. To ascertain the relationship between reporters responsibilities and the urban-rural news imbalances in Nigeria newspapers
  3. To ascertain the effect of urban-rural news imbalances in Nigeria newspaper
  4. To ascertain whether rural areas are being covered negatively than urban cities.

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0there are no causes of the prevailing news imbalance and see whether newsmen are to blame.

H1there are causes of the prevailing news imbalance and see whether newsmen are to blame.

H02: there is no effect of urban-rural news imbalances in Nigeria newspaper

H2there is effect of urban-rural news imbalances in Nigeria newspaper


This study is important to our present day Nigerian society where 80 percent of the total populations are in the rural areas. Schramn (1975) once said, “the content of communication at any given time reflects the value pattern of  society”. It is hoped that this study will proffer some useful suggestions on how to include the majority of Nigerians in the newspaper rather than just a few elites. Besides, for our demand for NWICO to be met and to benefit the majority, there is need for this imbalance between urban and rural areas to be dismantled. This study will help develop a new national information and communication order for Nigeria. This seems to be the first step in the right direction, if NWICO must be realized. Further, the information contained in this research will provide handy reference materials for all communication policy – makers.



The scope of the study covers reporter’s responsibilities and the urban-rural news imbalances in Nigerian newspaper. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
  3. c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.



REPORTER: A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist’s work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues

URBAN: Urban means “related to cities.” It may refer to: Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas. Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities, sometimes used as a euphemism for African-American culture

RURAL: In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities.

IMBALANCE: lack of proportion or relation between corresponding things.

NEWSPAPER: A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events. The journalism organizations that publish newspapers are themselves often metonymically called newspapersNewspapers have traditionally been published in print (usually on cheap, low-grade paper called newsprint).


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study


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