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Evaluation of Adherence of Journalists on the Codes of Journalism Practice

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Evaluation of Adherence of Journalists on the Codes of Journalism Practice.

Abstract

The main purpose of this work is to Evaluation of Adherence of Journalists on the Codes of Journalism Practice in Enugu State. Social responsibility and Socialization theories served as the theoretical framework of the study. A census of 210 registered journalists in Enugu State was studied.

The researcher adopted a survey method using questionnaires as an instrument for data collection. This study asked among other questions; to what extent do the practice of Enugu based journalists correspond with the Nigerian code for professional journalism practice in Nigeria.

The findings of the study revealed that 54.8% is the awareness, and the knowledge level was not quite above the average level and all of the Nigerian codes for professional journalism were adhered to expect that of the code for Discrimination.

It was recommended that journalists should consider discrimination (balance and fairness) as one of the key codes for the journalism profession and adhere to it.

Introduction

Over the years, professional journalism practice has attracted different debates from different quarters on what true professionalism should be. Nolan (2008) notes that the debate about professionalism in journalism practice may appear rather bewildering but it has remained the central issue of debate within and outside the academia.

The debate itself rests on the series of contradictory problems and different assumptions about professionalism in journalism practice. The difference in assumption on the issue of professionalism may not be unconnected to the fact that journalism practice houses both trained and untrained personnel’s’.

In the words of Wilson (2011), journalism as widely practiced profession in the modern world has attracted both trained and untrained hands, which mingle at the task of reporting events in the society. For this singular reason Wilson noted that the journalism   profession has fallen into doubts of its authenticity as a profession

In regards to the fallen authenticity of the journalism profession in the views of the public eye, Boyd-Barrett (2010) argues that this shortcoming in journalism “could weaken the possibility of public recognition of the occupation as a profession, or indeed as an occupation of high status.

A recent survey of radio journalist working in the two radio stations in Enugu Nigeria shows that only 25% of the journalists possessed degrees or diplomas in Journalism/Mass Communication at initial employment.

The practice of professional journalism has been shaped and reshaped, interpreted and misinterpreted, defined and explained by many. As a result of the diversity in the practice of journalism in Nigeria, professionalism in journalism has been affected to a very large extent, and as such, journalism practice in Nigeria has raised a lot of questions as to the proprietary of referring to it as a profession.

Statement of the Problem

Professional journalism practice in Nigeria seems to be the problem in Nigeria today.  It is no longer news that our journalists are continuously been criticized for lack of professionalism in our society today.

In as much as the criticism may be wrong, some internal and external factors, such as financial problems, influence of media ownership, political instability, the rapid advancement of technology in the world,  bribery(brown envelope syndrome), illiteracy level and inadequate job security Pose as big threats and challenges to the practice of professional journalism practice and further complicates the issue.

Not only has the afore mentioned factors posed as a threat to journalism, but studies (Adaja, 2012: Oso, 2012) have shown that the absence of a prescribed qualified test has made it difficult to moderate the standard of journalism practice in Nigeria.

Objective of the Study

This study sought to:

  1. Find out the extent to which journalists in Enugu state are aware of the codes for professional journalism practice in Nigeria.
  2. Ascertain the knowledge level of journalists on the Nigerian codes for professional journalism practice
  3. Identify the major Nigeria codes for professional journalism practice adhered to by journalists in Enugu State
  4. Evaluate the extent to which the practice of Enugu based journalist corresponds to the codes for professional journalism practice in Nigeria

References

Adaba, T. (2001). “Selling News On Air” in Lanre Idowu (ed) Watching The Watchdogs. Media Review Lagos: Diamond Publications Limited pp 110 -115

Adaja, T. A. (2011). The Nigerian media and the quest for probity and accountability in governance. AAU: African Studies Review, vol. 10, 183 – 204

Adelusi, O. (2000). “Poverty militates against code of ethics” In Ethics and Regulation: Formulating a working agenda for journalists and the media. Lagos: International Press Centre, pp 39-43.

Code of Ethics Nigerian Union of Journalist and Nigeria guild of editors Retrieved, July 7, 2011 from online at http://www.unhchrich/udhr/ngvigatesource.html.

Duyile , D. (2007). Makers of Nigerian press. Lagos: Gony Communication Nigeria Ltd.

Duyile, D. (1979). Media and Mass communication in Nigeria, Ibadan; Gony- Duyison publisher, Horden Publishers(Nig)Ltd.

Flexner Abraham, “is Social work a profession proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction: Hidmen pretyco, Chicago, 1915

Gboyega, B. (1989). Journalism in Nigeria – an all comers’ profession. Akure: Ajomoro Publications

Hanson, G, (2002) “learning journalism ethics; The Classroom Versus the red world. In journal of mass media ethics, 17(3)

Lauk, Epp. (2008). How will it all unfold? Media systems and journalism cultures in post Communist countries. In:

Mc Quail.D. (2005) Mass communication theory (5th ed) London. Sage publication Ltd.

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