CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
- Background to the Study
According to Ude (1998) in his book, Introduction to Reporting and News Writing, he defines news as “the timely report of facts or opinions that hold interests or importance or both for a considerable number of people”. Ukozor (2003) sees news “as something new and unusual. While Kamath (1980: 33), says news “is any event, ideas or opinions that is timely, interests, or affects a large number of people in a community and that is capable of being understood by them”. News moves through many different media, based on word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, and electronic communication. Having access to current events and up-to- date information has value in the modern world because of the constantly changing nature of the world. Without regular access to news, most people would be unaware of the various events taking place, both locally and around the world that has an impact on their lives. The news media plays an important role in society. It sets the stage for political news, manages their agenda, sources, and controls the information. It functions as a window to the outside world, and possesses the ability to shape public knowledge, attitudes, and voting behavior.
While not everything that happens has an impact on all people equally, news organizations generally tailor their content to a specific individual. Events happening in a distant location can impact economies and various commodities over the long term. This means that having access to this information can help investors to better understand what is affecting their investments and allow them react accordingly. A drought in a foreign country can cause grain prices to rise in other regions as the afflicted population begins calling for aid from allies. Finally, political tides turn far too quickly, and without being informed, it is difficult for people who are affected by it to be prepared for the results. Further, this is why many of the stories that are broadcast on nightly news programs are far-reaching and varied. A term which has entered common parlance to differentiate cable news from traditional news broadcast is “Network News”.