Media Ownership And Its Influence On Editorial Policy

Mass Communication Project Topics

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In Nigeria, we have three kinds or types of media ownership. These include, private ownership, government ownership and mixed ownership.


The essence of embarking on this research work- Media ownership and its influence on editorial policy is to x-ray the extent the publishers, or owner(s) of various media houses has gone in using their ownership factor to determine the pace such a media (or media as the case may be ) follows.


However, the work is extensively treated from chapters 1-5. Chapter one has the introduction of the work while chapter two reviews related literatures on the study. Chapter three centers on the research methodology whereas chapter four has to do with data analyses and results. In chapter five, summary of the entire work was given as well as recommendation for further studies.



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My lovely parents, Mr. And Mrs. Grant Emole, I cannot thank you enough but I pray that the good lord will keep you so as to reap the frits of your labour.


My dearest friend, Iloenyosi Christopher, you are indeed a friend. Thank you for your support. You have left an indelible print in my heart. I say thanks for making this work a success.


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TITLE PAGE                                                                II

ABSTRACT                                                                 III

APPROVAL PAGE                                                     IV

DEDICATION                                                              V

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                             VI


INTRODUCTION                                                                  1

1.1       Background of study                                         1

1.2       Statement of Research Problem                      8

1.3       Objectives of Study                                           10

1.4       Significance of Study                                        10

1.5       Research Question                                           10

1.6       Research Hypothesis                                        11

1.7       Definition of Terms                                            12

1.8       Assumption                                                        13

1.9       Limitations of the Study                                     14



2.1       Sources of Literature                                         15

2.2       The Review- Theoretical Frame Work             15

2.3       Summary of  Literature Review                        17




3.1       Research Method                                              19

3.2       Research Design                                                        19

3.3       Research Sample                                              20    

3.4       Measuring Instrument                                       20

3.5       Data Collection                                                   21

3.6       Data Analysis                                                     23

3.7       Expected Results                                              23



4.1       Analyses                                                             25

4.2       Discussions                                                        33




5.1       Summary                                                            36

5.2       Recommendations                                            38


QUESTIONNAIRE                                                      40

APPENDIX                                                                            42

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                  43





In Nigeria, there are three main types of media ownership namely, Government ownership, Private ownership and mixed ownership. In the case of government ownership, the media house is established, controlled and financed by the government, which the private ownership is when an individual or a group of persons establish, finance and control the media house. That of mixed ownership is when both government and private individuals are into some sort of partnership regarding establishing, financing and controlling the media house.


The researcher agrees with the ideas of Nnanyelugo Okon and Ben Agbo authors of “writing for the media society”. They wrote that “it is obviously true that mass media owners exert a threatening control medium is managed by a board of directors appointed by private owners or by a public cooperation established by the government…

This work will go further to elaborate on media ownership influences on editorial policies in the chapters ahead.


We should understand that, media ownership influence is exercised through financial control, appointment of principal staff, and government legislative decrees. In this circumstance, the media in question are either print or electronics and taking cognizance of the fact that the nature of ownership of any medium lies as the determining factor on how the medium shall operate. It is therefore worthy to note that this ownership pattern will no doubt influence the editorial policies of such a medium.


In agreement with the dictum that he who pays the piper, dictates the fone. The media house whether owned by government, individuals or both would no doubt be made to propagate and promote the ideas, personalities and projects of the owners and it can also be achieved through the house styles and editorial policies of the media house.


Editorial policies can be said to be those plans of actions meant to control the editorial matters of the media house, adopted by the board Directors and endorsed by the publisher(s) or owner(s). According to Ben Agbo and Nnanyelugo Okon in their same text, Editorial policy is the path a newspaper elects to follow as it answers the two basic questions:

üWhat shall we publish?

üHow shall we publish?


Worth reference to my case study, “Announcer Newspaper” which qualifies as a print medium following the characteristics of newspaper laid down by Nkem Fab Ukozor and Ben Agbo, authors of Mass communication purpose, principles, and practice. They wrote quoting a German Schokr, Otta Grota for determining a true newspaper are as follows:


üThe newspaper must be published regularly at least once a week

üThat the newspaper must be mechanically produced, be available to any price.

üVary in content such that the content will interest the larger audience, be published at specified times.


The publisher of “Announcer newspaper”, Dr. Ezeani has appointed a board of Directors whose duty is to formulate editorial policies as they (eie those policies) suit him. He established the newspaper sometime in 2001.


As a politician, (ie the publisher) such editorial policies have been formulated to favour his political structure and ideas so as to project him to higher political positions. The publisher of the announcer newspaper has employed the services of an editor, who maintains the house style of the newspaper and operates within the editorial policy limits as formulated by the board.


Still on the “Announcer Newspaper”, the editor is answerable to the Editor-in-chief who is there to see that the newspaper operates according to the laid down (editorial) policy. The editor is expected to resign and leave if he is no longer disposed to such editorial policies of this paper and not to bend it. Every Monday morning, there is usually an editorial board meeting at announcer newspaper conference hall. The meeting is an avenue uses to make appraisals on the current edition and to resolve on the news to use for both front and back pages, (lead stories) etc for the next edition.


The Editor will only make his professional input but must dance to the tone of the publisher though the Editor-in-chief in terms of editorial matters.


In “Announcer Newspaper”, the editor will be asked to write the views and ideas of the publisher inform of editorial and or comments, which stands out invariably to represent as the voice of the newspaper on any particular issue. Surprisingly, the editorial or comments may not even be the ideas of the writer (Editor) but he must do it as directed or he resigns or gets sacked. The announcer newspaper editorial policy as it concerns stories on governments ate not static. The newspaper criticizes government when it sees negative things and turns to praise the same government if it sees positive approaches.


In order words, balance, fairness and facts can still be associated with the Announcer Newspaper, but not when it has anything to do with the individual owner. In this case, selfish motives overweigh decisions and judgments. This has necessitated a research on the topic media ownership and its influence on editorial policy with a case study of Announcer Newspaper.


The Announcer Newspaper has reached some understanding with both state and local governments of Imo state in such a manner that the medium can be getting some adverts from these quarters and in this circumstance, the newspaper will no longer hit hard at the afore- stated in order not to destroy the mass media rapport.

Nevertheless, Editorial policy, determinants are the nature of readership, proprietorship, competition/lack of if, Geographical location, economic interest and political outlook, just like I said earlier, editorial policy is all about what shall be published and how it shall be published. There editorial policies are often expressed through the following:

üNews-stories the paper carries.

üCartoons the paper carries

üThe paper’s slogan (motto), which is often carried in the nameplate or below the mast- head.

üThe platform code where the paper enumerates the number of projects or principle for which it stands.


All Newspapers has editorial policies, which are however influenced by the ownership of the Newspaper. “Announcer Newspaper”, my case study has its own editorial policy which are highlighted in the paper and how the ownership of the media has house is also being influenced is highlighted in the paper.

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Media Ownership And Its Influence On Editorial Policy