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THE PERCEPTION OF MEDIA STAFF WELFARE ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The mass media serve as conveyors of information and have the capacity to shape public perception on issues of importance. Nwagbara (2010) affirms that journalism in Nigeria has been described as a “bastion of people‟s agitation, which impacts on the public sphere, a realm where private individuals meet to address societal questions with the state”.

In the struggle for democracy and expansion of the public sphere in Nigeria, the media has been immensely active in bringing these to fruition. In spite of the challenges faced by the Nigerian media, it has been a veritable platform for the dissemination of information, education of the citizenry, modelling of people‟s thoughts and criticism of the state. It is in this light that it has been argued that

The media, being described as a watchdog is in recognition of its watchful and critical role against the bad practices of the government and private individuals the media have been responsible in holding the citizenry, particularly the political leaders accountable in Nigeria (Omoera, 2010).

Job satisfaction is a complex phenomenon because it is related to various casual factors like personal, social, cultural, environmental and financial. The nature of the job is an important factor in deciding the level of job satisfaction of employees. More important is the long term prospect of employment in the organization that which creates a sense of involvement and commitment to the job among employees. Job satisfaction of the employee is influenced by several factors like promotion, salary, participatory decision making, training, staff welfare etc. Without competent workforce, that is well-motivated, organizations will either pursue unguided goals, or find it extra-uneasy to realize real goals, once they have been set up.

Employee satisfaction and commitment have become more recognized as important in recent years for organizational success. Retaining key employees has become a problem in organizations today (Kaye & Jordan-Evans, 2001). A solution to the problem will lead to an organization that is effective and profitable and employees that are happier and more productive. It is to the benefit of the organization that their employees feel satisfied and committed to their company. Committed employees are likely to stay employed at that organization, which has an impact on the bottom line of the company (Kaye & Jordan-Evans, 2001).

It is in the same vein that Mathew Hassan Kukah in his democracy and civil society speech in Nigeria (1999) noted that there is no contention that Nigerian journalism is a serious participant in the overall struggle to sustain democratic culture in Nigeria (Kukah, 1999 p.287), as well as movement of people from private to public sphere.

McQuail (2000 p.150) technically summarizes the role of the media in sustaining the public sphere by saying the media have an obligation to the wider society in making sure news is truthful, objective, accurate fair and relevant as well as having the capacity to broaden the confines of the public sphere.

The media helps to shape public perception, public opinion and the process of dialogue in a society (Lunat, 2008 p.3). The foregoing affirms the significance of the media, as well as the drivers of the media who are the journalists.

The media serves as a conveyor for critical rationality, objectivity, informed opinion as well as machinery for governmental checks and balances especially now that it is passing through a democratic process (Habermas, 1962).

In spite of these immeasurable roles performed by the Nigerian journalist it is disheartening that the staff welfare package of the journalist is too poor especially when compared with the risks associated with journalism in Nigeria (Olaniyan, 2008 p.136; Assay, 2009 p.35; Arogundade, 2011). It has been observed that the Nigerian journalists both in private and publicly owned media are poorly remunerated. Therefore, this study focuses on the perception of media staff welfare on the effectiveness of journalism in Nigeria.

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

For sustaining development and maintaining good governance, the media is a powerful instrument needed. The media is seen as the mouthpiece of the common man. It criticizes the government when it is taking wrong steps, exposes the government when it is mismanaging public funds and in the same vein the media comes to the aid of a person or a group when his or their rights are being infringed upon. An effective media is required to effect positive change and the personnel‟s that make this happen are the journalist.

In spite of these enviable contributions of the journalist to national development, journalism in Nigeria is facing a series of challenges. Principal among these challenges is the poor welfare package of Nigerian journalists. Journalist working for both private and government owned media are poorly remunerated.

The take home of journalists is not comparable to the risks associated with the job. For instance the mass media have been targets of terrorist activities as in the case of This Day newspaper. Besides this, hostility also comes from the government. There have been situations in which journalists have been harassed and molested. In spite of the trauma which the Nigerian journalist are subjected to, the media owners and employers are insensitive to the welfare of the journalist. So this make it glaring that there is a need to carry out a study on the perception of media staff welfare on the effectiveness of journalism in Nigeria.

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of this study is to examine the perception of media staff welfare on the effectiveness of journalism in Nigeria. The specific objectives include the following:

1.     To ascertain the perception of journalists on their welfare packages.

2.     To find out if there are welfare packages for journalists in Nigeria.

3.     To examine the influence of media staff on the work-output of journalist in Nigeria.

4.     To determine whether or not the staff welfare package influences the quality of news reports in Nigeria.

5.     To investigate the relationship between staff welfare packages and effectiveness of journalism in Nigeria.

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The relevant research questions related to this study are:

1.     What is the perception of journalists on their welfare packages?

2.     Are there welfare packages for journalists in Nigeria?

3.     What is the influence of media staff on the work-output of journalist in Nigeria?

4.     Does staff welfare package influences the quality of news reports in Nigeria?

5.     What is the relationship between staff welfare packages and effectiveness of journalism in Nigeria?

1.5     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is relevant bcause of the sensitivity and importance of journalism in Nigeria. It is important to know if poor staff welfare packages affects the effectiveness of journalists and thereby influencing journalism in Nigeria, which is the purpose of this study.

The findings from this study are important to the management of broadcasting station because it elucidates the significance of prioritizing the welfare of staffs and how it influences the effectiveness of journalism. The motivation of journalists will determine the quality of new released.

This study will enhance the existing body of literature by contemplating the areas of the literature that have not yet been examined or considered and incorporating these factors into the current study. The study will thus form the basis for further studies in the field.

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