MEDIA OWNERSHIP AND ITS INFLUENCE ON EDITORIAL POLICY (A CASE STUDY OF ANNOUNCER NEWSPAPER OWERRI). A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON MASS COMMUNICATION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
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:
ü What shall we publish?
ü How 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: