1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Journalists are examining moral issues in their own and alternative skilled for many years. Some journalists have written series and even books on moral issues in drugs like putting to death and therefore the use of experimental therapies. Alternative journalists have written regarding business, and political ethics, just political ethics, just like the Clinton scandal, exploring at length such issues as against company governance and transparency and ethical responsibility. As a result of journalism touches virtually everyone’s life and since it profit considerably coverage events moral conducts in journalism deserves a minimum of the maximum amount attention because the standards and moral conduct of lawyers, doctors or business professionals. This is often to not counsel that journalists measure ethically defective. Nigerian journalist either print, broadcast or on-line, measure typically honest and competent, journalism, being what it's, even the foremost moral journalist operational from what they take for the most effective of motive, inevitably can turn out some ethically inadequate views. To boost philosophy of ideas and function the fourth estate, the media is within the spotlight to complete a spread of social roles; and making a market of opinions is one in all them (Himelboim & Limor, 2011). The journalist’s are expected to be honest and truthful in providing data and writing the news. They’re additionally expected to stick to the ethics and use moral reasoning in writing a chunk of stories. Even once coping with sensational problems or privacy, the journalists are delimited with ethics that they need to follow. However, it's laborious to draw a line on ethics. Every journalist has their own definition of ethics. Borden (2012) counsel that in shaping ethics, the reasoning is associate analytically epistemological activity that's troublesome to capture adequately with most of the mapping techniques that are wont to represent sense creating in varied discipline. Media are social establishments that expect to form an ethical contribution to the society; thus, there's want for the foundations which will guide the journalism apply. Oso and Pate, (2011) quoted Johnson expression media doubtless “great profane church” and a system of discourse for dispensing the darkness of cognitive content, discharge error and establishing truth.” On the method of their duty journalists were criticized of been subjective and their role has been a subject of dialogue. In step with Briggs and Burke 2009 they aforesaid “journalists aren't to be trusted” and that they square measure “slanderous” (Briggs and Burke, 2009). The explanation behind this is often that; the character of possession, the print media whether its government in hand media or non-public media, the employers are operating below editorial management. Politicians UN agency will afford to run a media house will dictate what goes into the pages of the newspaper (Dare, 2010). Government in hand media tries to safeguard the government interest wherever as non public media protect the interest of homeowners, these ends up in the violation of stipulated code of ethics. Just like the expression goes „He UN agency pays the piper dictates the tone‟. This analysis can examine the application of the profession of journalism in Nigerian print media. Journalism is that the trade technique or profession of coverage news for the general public by varied means that. James vale Stovall says “journalists meet several challenges in gathering, process and distributing the news...”(Stovall, 2009). Journalists face serious challenges within the method of their duty. Journalist’s square measure watchdog or gatekeepers of the society as a result of they decide what news is and that they create a lot of vital call regarding what society says to itself. Been the gatekeepers of the society the profession is radio-controlled by journalism code of ethics to make sure journalists do their job among the context. Ethics in journalism is that the code of morals that journalist square measure presupposed to uphold. These embrace a commitment to revealing the reality judgment while not being influenced by self-interest; maintaining the secrecy of supplies and attributing what's aforesaid to the suitable source (Ike, 2009). Media has become as necessary as food and vesture. It's very important role in strengthening the society. Media is taken into account as "mirror" of the fashionable society; in fact, it's the media that shapes our lives. Agenda setting describes a really powerful influence of the media, the power to inform USA what problems square measure vital. McCombs and Shaw noted that; Agenda setting is that the creation of public awareness and concern of salient problems by the print media. Two basis assumptions underlie most analysis on agenda-setting: initial, and the press and therefore the media don't replicate reality; they filter and form it. Second, media concentration on a number of problems and subjects leads the general public understand those problems as additional vital than alternative problems. (McCombs & Shaw, 2013).Walter Lippmann in his 1922 classic, vox populi, he noted that:“The print media square measure a primary supply of these footage in our heads regarding the larger world of public affairs, a world that for many voters is out of reach, out of sight, out of mind.” the aim of the media is to tell folks regarding current, new affairs and to inform regarding the newest gossip and fashion. It tells regarding the those that square measure geographically divided. In alternative words, Media will contribute plenty to a society. It will amend opinions as a result of they need access to folks and this provides it plenty of strength. This strength will either be used constructively by educating the folks or it are often used destructively by dishonorable the innocent folks, the foremost vital use of media is to teach the folks regarding the essential human rights. Media may be a bridge between the governing bodies and general public. Considering this important role of the media within the society, there’s want for ethics problems. This study will explore the level of knowledge and application of journalism professional ethics among journalists in Bauchi.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The consequences of bad ethical judgments may damage the reputation of the journalists and media organizations as well as the profession in general (Faridah Ibrahim, 2010). There is a broad definition when it comes to journalism ethics. Where should we draw the line? Ward (2008) said that ethics is about practical judgment-the application of principles to issues and decisions. Ethics encompasses theoretical and practical reasoning. The news organization would publish stories that may win attention and professional success quickly. Due to stiff competition, it may not be surprising when certain journalists sometimes are insensitive to the ethical consequences of their stories, for the people they cover. New technologies and its application in journalism have raided a variety of ethical questions and controversies. Because it is now relatively easy to capture news events on video cameras many people have footage for sale. Other ethical breaches using technology are link of to privacy, including hidden cameras and microphones and the use of databases to mine personnel information about individuals. There is a need to look into our journalists’ level of knowledge regarding ethics, their attitude and acceptance of journalism ethics in order to find out whether they are aware of ethics in their working environment. There are an increasing number of journalists today, who came from varied education background and experiences. Different journalists with different educational background and experience may have differences in their knowledge, attitude and acceptance of journalism ethics.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine knowledge and application of professional ethics among journalist. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the level of knowledge of Nigerian journalists of the various mass media laws and ethics.
2. To examine the extent to which Nigerian journalists apply their professional ethics in their practice.
3. To examine the knowledge of Nigerian journalists of the various mass media laws and ethics influences journalism practice in the country
4. To examine the factors that influence journalists in Bauchi, Nigeria to engage in unethical behaviour.
5. To examine the importance of professional ethics in Journalism
6. To examine the measures that can be used to drive compliance to professional ethics among journalists in Bauchi, Nigeria
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the level of knowledge of Nigerian journalists on the various mass media laws and ethics?
2. To what extent do Nigerian journalists apply their professional ethics in their practice?
3. Does the knowledge of Nigerian journalists of the various mass media laws and ethics influence journalism practice in the country?
4. What key factors influence journalists in Bauchi, Nigeria to engage in unethical behaviour?
5. What is the importance of professional ethics?
6. What measures can be used to drive compliance to professional ethics among journalists in Bauchi, Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: The knowledge and application of professional ethics by Nigerian journalist does not influence journalism practice in the country
H1: The knowledge and application of professional ethics by Nigerian journalist significantly influences journalism practice in the country
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant in more ways than one therefore; the study will provide effective and objective information in journalism ethics and its application in the workforce. Aside its immense potency to contribute to the body of knowledge, the study also, will serve as a reference to managers, journalists, editors, specialized groups, society, government etc. Moreso, the study can serve as one existing literature or as an additional literature on journalism and application of professional ethics. It will also be instrumental to prospective researchers and students who may want to plunge into this similar area of study. In the same vein, the study is significant to the extent that it provides a platform for government press collaboration which if harnessed, can facilitate national development.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the knowledge and application of professional ethics among journalist, case study of Bauchi state Nigerian Union of Journalist.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Press:The media and agencies that print, broadcast, or gather andtransmit news, including newspapers, newsmagazines, radio andtelevision news bureaus, and wire services.
Journalist: A person who practices the occupation or profession of journalism.
OTHER SIMILAR MASS COMMUNICATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS