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THE CHALLENGES FACING THE MEDIA HOUSE (A CASE STUDY OF NTA)

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Abstract

 The research is an attempt to assess the challenges facing the media house, the primary target Population for this study comprised of news reporters and journalists in Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Channel 12 Uyo. To achieve the research objectives, the researcher adopted the survey design using the questionnaire measuring instrument; this was to measure viewer’s opinion, to ascertain about the media in information dissemination. The researcher further the study by adopting representative sample of the wider population by using random sampling method to find out from the public the challenges facing the media in dissemination of information in Nigeria. The researcher used simple percentage and chi-square to analyze the data that was collected from the respondents; it is observed that, there are challenges faced by the media house in Nigerian Television Authority.  Some of the challenges facing the media are posed by the government. The government should allow the media to exercise the law of “freedom of information” this will go a long way in aiding the media to gather information and disseminate to the heterogeneous audience.

                                     CHAPTER ONE

                                   INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Since the inception of new media technologies in the media house, more opportunities have erupted to the broadcasting sector in the area of new coverage. The challenges brought by these new media are so immense that no part of the country could afford to be left out in the turn of events. The media house (NTA) in Nigeria aims to produce high-quality content, make it available across widely used devices and platforms, and reach all audiences. The means of attaining this however, has meet with some challenges over the years. The origin of the media and its responsibility to disseminate information, most importantly in Nigeria context dates back to the era of the early press in the year 1800-1929. It was the very first time Newspaper emerged in the country in the name of “Iwe Irohin”. NTA was given charge over television broadcasting in Nigeria; however, the 1979 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria later remover the exclusive power of the NTA in television broadcasting in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Television Authority also known as NTA is a Nigerian government-owned and partly commercial broadcaster that was inaugurated in 1977 with an initial monopoly on national television broadcasting (NTA, 2016.) The NTA runs the biggest television network in Nigeria with stations in several parts of the country. Formerly known as Nigerian Television (NTV), the network began with a takeover of regional television stations in 1976 by the then military authorities, and it is widely viewed as the authentic voice of the Nigerian government. NTA has lost its monopoly during the 1990s.

The place of modern day new media technology makes it impossible to imagine our contemporary society without them. This is so because; the new media brings us together in variety of ways that would have been thought as impossible (Sehl, Cornia, & Neilson 2016). For instance, a few generations ago, it took several hours for a message to be transmitted from Nigeria to North America. Today however, information can be transmitted in seconds. Surmounting one of the greatest challenges to information posed by distance with the internet today, means that people can communicate and access information anywhere in the world regardless of where they are located in the globe. As such, the distance barrier does not exist anymore; the world has become a global village (Severin & Tankard, 2001). New media rely strongly on digitally powered technologies, allowing for previously separate media to converge. Media convergence is a phenomenon of new media and this can be explained as a digital media. “The idea of ‘new media’ captures both the development of unique forms of digital media, and the remaking of more traditional media forms to adopt and adapt to the new media technologies.” Flew (2002:11). This obviously accounts for why we see people these days watching movies in their homes on DVDs instead of videocassettes.

The media acts as an important agent in social reforms, and in the reconstruction of ideas and perceptions of events in the society. It is also regarded as the life-wire of the society which in the political arena, the media is seem as a very important tool to democratic government and a bane autocratic despots anywhere in the world. The media therefore constitute the channel through which information, ideal and news are disseminated to the general public. These channels include the television, newspaper, magazine, radio, posters, periodical etc. The media as a channel of mass communications is a well-organized system of collecting and sending out information to the general public, this is most common with the broadcasting (Television), where its entire function is centred on the transmission of news, ideas and services. The Nigerian Television Authority  as Nigerian media house play tremendous role in reforming, educating, enlightening, and entertaining as well as setting agenda for the people, with a severe limitation to the literate class of the society. Most activities and life-styles on exhibits today are shaped and fashioned by the mass media, through its diver’s functions, some of which are to inform, educate, entertain, Lasswell (1964) and advertisement Wright (1973).

NTA as number one media house in the country is poised to serve the masses by sending authentic information to the public in the following aspects: election, child abuse, Kidnapping, issue of flooding, crime, war, fire disaster, conflict, fuel subsidy etc; also print media e.g. Newspaper, magazine, Journals. But there are some challenges on the part of the media in using all these channels listed above to send information, thus making the actualization of the noble dream stressful, even NTA a government owned channel has its own shortcomings in the area of playing its roles effectively. Albert, it has been enslaved to the whims and caprices of the political leaders and the government.

Another challenge that weakens the power of Nigeria television Authority (NTA) is poor infrastructural facilities. As sobowale (1989: page 304) quoted in Okunna (1994. P. 36) has observed with reference to Nigeria, such basic infrastructural facilities as roads and transport system are in an abysmal state of development; and this limits the work are the media practitioners in gathering information. One can also consider the state of technological expansion and advance in communication technology, with this media have found it difficult to work effectively. Therefore, it is submitted with respect that Nigeria television Authority (NTA) has being disseminating information to the masses. But, at the same time has in one way or the other demonstrated the challenges facing its discharge of duties. Despite all odds, this research study intends to proffer possible solutions to the challenges facing the media house in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many scholars have raised the questions of whether the employment of unqualified and in experienced staffs, lack of adequate equipment and poor maintenance due to lack of funds, could be responsible for the serious challenges experienced by the Nigerian media houses. Nigeria being a developing nation needs a well-structured and effective media to reshape and reconstruct its ideologies, living patterns and perception of events around us and act as checks and balances on the activities of the ruling class. Despite all efforts made by the media to tackle the challenges facing them, there are still Kinds of other problems which constitute threat to the power of disseminating information to the masses. Indeed, one can say that much has not been achieved in the area of their performance. This study, therefore will attempt to investigate the challenges currently facing performance of the media houses in Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the challenges facing the media house in the Nigerian Television Authority. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. Investigate the extent the NTA is tackling the challenges and the extent they have gone in keeping the masses informed on the day to day events.
  2. Ascertain if political interest or sentiment imposes serious threat to effective disseminating information on media.
  3. Examine the advantages and disadvantages, which these challenges posed for the Nigerian media houses especially at NTA.
  4. Map out strategies through which these problems could be tackled in order to improve broadcasting performance in NTA.

1.4 Significance of the Study

Since the aim of this study is to find out the challenges facing the media houses most especially in the Nigerian Television Authority. However, the study in its simplistic approach or analysis would make it possible for the researcher and more importantly those that are at the helms of affairs know the power of television and the challenges they face in the course of news dissemination. It is therefore necessary to highlight the unique role, which the NTA is playing to wage challenges.  By the time of this work, it must certainly be borne in mind that what it entails to face the challenges is self-sacrifice and dedication by the government and media men. The study will serve as a basic for carrying out further research and evaluation of how the challenges in the media house can be faced bearing in mind that what is obtainable in NTA station will also be applicable to other media houses in the country. Therefore, there is hope that the findings posted will be beneficial to other students and researcher attempting to research on a similar project.

1.5 Research Questions

1. Do NTA Uyo have sufficient freedom needed for their operational efficiency?

2. Do NTA Uyo work enough in reporting issues in high places of government administration?

3. Has the NTA Uyo been able to mobilize the support of Nigeria through the focus on Africa to wipe out all social vices and global challenges facing our local media?

 4. How far has the NTA Uyo via focus on Africa to mastermind other institutions in Nigeria to eliminate these global challenges?

5. Has the NTA Uyo been able to employ adequate manpower resources to meet with the trend of its focus on Africa programme to the nation?

1.6 Statement of Hypothesis

H0: The NTA Uyo has not contributed immensely in projecting the Nigeria media to face the global challenges in news dissemination.

H1: The NTA Uyo has contributed immensely in projecting the Nigeria media to face the global challenges in news dissemination.

H0: There are no possible measures to be used to enhance operation of the media house.

H2: There are possible measures to be used to enhance operation of the media house.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is covered within Nigeria television Authority (NTA) Uyo.

1.8 Theoretical framework

This research study will be based on one of the theories of the press which is libertarian theory. The reason why it is suitable for the study is that, the theory is concerned on the perception for freedom of the press; liberal philosophers like John start mill, Milton greatly advance the advocacy for press freedom (Okoro, et al 2003, p.21). In the main, libertarian theory prescribes that; an individual should be free to hold and express opinion freely and publish same. The theory does not see need for censorship since it acknowledge the great potentials of human as rational being who can distinguish between truth and falsehood, it further believes in the “self-brightening process of the free market place of idea”, where good ideas will eventually eliminate the bad ones if all were granted free expression.

Therefore, the researcher used the theory to back up the media especially the media in Nigeria.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Challenges: It means the hindrances or constrains which make the media not to execute their duties effectively and efficiently.

Media; In this research study, the media simple means those medium or channel via messages or information are passed across from the source to the heterogeneous audience e.g. Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), (Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation AKBC Channel 45), Federal Radio commission of Nigeria (FRCN) etc. for print media we have newspaper, magazines like the Guardian, Daily Sun, Tell, Punch etc.

Media House: Media House is a network of media communication specialists operating in Baltic states. Media House is a genuine agency with values such as a common owner, consistent management and office staff with an eminent experience in coordination.

Information: Programmes of the media which are used to educate, entertain, mobilize, sensitize, inform and socialize the masses concerning everyday activities within and outside the society.

Dissemination: In this research, it means a way by which the media carry out their social responsibility in order to tell their audience what is happening within and outside their society.

NTA: The Nigerian Television Authority also known as NTA is a Nigerian government-owned and partly commercial broadcaster that was inaugurated in 1977 with an initial monopoly on national television broadcasting. The NTA runs the biggest television network in Nigeria with stations in several parts of the country.

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