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Audience Perception Of The Attitude Of Media Organizations To The Reporting Of Corruption


This study was on audience perception of the attitude of media organizations to the reporting of corruption. A case study of vanguard newspaper. The total population for the study is 200 staff of vanguard newspaper in Rivers state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made editors, news correspondents, production managers and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

Chapter one


  • Background of the study

The term corruption is a global phenomenon as there is hardly a society without any form of corrupt practices. In Nigeria, it has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep in to the socio- economic and political development of Nigeria.  The cases of corruption are predominantly featured in the Nigerian media on daily basis as the trend continued to improvise millions of people while very few prilidged individuals continue to enrich themselves.

Nigeria the most populated country in Africa, has been ranked high in corruption by Transparency International and other notable organizations that monitor corrupt practices around the world. They do not have anything good to say about Nigeria at all. High corruption rankings affect almost all Nigerians who migrate to foreign countries, as foreigners have the perception that since Nigeria is corrupt, so are all Nigerians.

For sometime, successive governments in Nigeria have been battling the issue of corruption and its attendant effects on our contemporary society. The broadcast media in the social responsibility role have been instrumental in the coverage corrupt cases in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy

Broadcast media by definition is an electronic instrumentation of Radio and television station; radio and television networks as well as cable televisions.  The medium wields a pervasive influence in the society because of its ability to reach out to a large number of people and break the barrier of illiteracy apart from the education, information, entertainment and persuasive functions.

Pringle (1991 p.17) argued that broadcast media particularly news paper like  vanguard newspaper is advantageous since it reaches the grass root, portable, has the character of immediacy in information dissemination as well as transmit a wide range of programmes.

The current alarming proportion of corruption in Nigeria has earned the country a rotten image in the international community and in the eye of the global anti corruption bodies. Nigeria is now perceived as one of the world’s most corrupt nations. This ugly trend has been a source of worry to successive governments and citizens of Nigeria. This has resulted in the declaration of all out war against corruption in the country. As a result, anti graft agents like the Independent Corruption Practices and other Related Offences Commission (lCPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been established to combat and eradicate corruption in Nigeria. What may be in doubt, however, are the sincerity and commitment of the government and other stakeholders to the fight against graft in Nigeria. Little wonder then that corruption remains a recurrent decimal in Nigeria. In its editorial of April 19,2010, Newswatch writes that “Corruption is a familiar tale in Nigeria. It has become a way ‘of life. The discovery of acts of fraud is a daily routine. People get discovered, get arrested, then they are taken to the appropriate investigating agencies as required by the law and they return, thereafter, to live their lives as if nothing happened. People hardly get punished and, therefore, nobody sees anything wrong with doing something wrong with public funds. “The mass media have been described as the fourth estate of the realm. In line with in line with position, section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria assigns to the mass media the duty of upholding the responsibility and accountability of government to the citizens

The media and civil society groups have been identified as important weapon to fight the scourge of corruption worldwide. Nigeria has become a country where the victory of wrong over right is celebrated, falsehood over the truth and supremacy of personal irresponsibility over fundamental values. It is a country where propagating policies that fail to value human life and humanity thrives but cherishes material possession, power and pleasures. It is a place where men and women of honor, experience, credibility and self-consciousness have been cut in their prime for daring to talk. It is a place where crooks are protected by the powers-that-be and leaders are not determined by the citizenries through votes. Without doubt, Nigeria is a breeding habitat for corruption

For the war against corruption to be successfully fought and won, information is required, and this is provided by communication channels, especially the mass media. Nigeria has quite a large number of these television stations, radio stations, newspaper and magazine titles as well as the various news blogs and online publications. Since the interplay of the issue demands investigative journalism, the newspaper medium has not only shown in its reportage the level of interest it attaches to the anti-corruption campaign, but the various newspapers seem to stand in support of the public interest, and are deeply involved in the campaign


Statement of the problem

Corruption thrives virtually in all ramifications of human endeavors in Nigeria with the most endemic committed by public officers and highly placed people in governance over the years. The need for media to drum hard the beat against corruption is paramount. The media have been very instrumental and at the fore of enlightening people through campaigns and programming, news and editorial contents to explain the benefits of moral astuteness as key to national development. The Buhari led administration with a resolve to eradicate corruption has carried along the media in achieving this objective. Based on this background the researcher wants to investigate audience perception on the attitude of media organizations to the reporting of corruption

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain audience perception on vanguard newspaper reporting corruption in Nigeria
  2. To determine the frequency of reports on corruption in vanguard newspapers
  3. To determine the direction in which issues of corruption are reported in the newspapers

Research question

  1. Do audience have negative perception on vanguard newspaper reporting on corruption in Nigeria?
  2. Do vanguard newspapers report corruption frequently?
  3. Which issue of corruption are reported vanguard newspapers?

Significance of the study

The study will be of immense importance to both the Nigerian media and the masses who are of course the media consumers. The media are conventionally said to be the watchdogs of the society who not only entertain but educate, enlighten and inform on happenings near and far

Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study covers AUDIENCE PERCEPTION OF THE ATTITUDE OF MEDIA ORGANISATIONS TO THE REPORTING OF CORRUPTION (vanguard newspaper as case study). The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study


Broadcast Media: According to Head et al (1998,p.16) the medium is used to send out sound and pictures by means of waves and signals through space for reception by the general public. Broadcast Media (electronic media), it is electronic instrument of radio and television station used to disseminate information to the audience members.

Corruption- This is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person enthrusted with a position of authority often to acquire personal benefit. In other words, corruption involves a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power typically involving bribe.

Media-  The are the various channels through which information is dessiminated to the public. Media is also use to mean a collective communication outlets or tools that are used to store and deliver information or data. In this study, media is use to refer to social media  which are computer  mediated technologies that allow the creating and sharing of information.

Perception- Conscious understanding of something. It is also a belief or opinion hold by members of the public.

Public – The people in general, members of the society.


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