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COVERAGE OF CRIME IN SELECTED NIGERIA NEWSPAPER

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 67 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis, Abstract ::   469 people found this useful

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY

The coverage of crime has become a greater and complex concern for the media especially in this era of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Undoubtedly, the global nature of our new communication technologies has brought about easy and quick access to information. Both peace lovers and perpetrators of evil activities are caught in this inevitable web of information packaging and dissemination (International Federation of Journalists, 2002, p.63).

The way in which crime is reported in the print media, has long been a source of fascination for academics. Numerous studies and scholarly works have been produced that investigate the manner in which the media report crime and the impact of this on the readership.

Critically, the positive and negative effects of the many messages the mass media send out about crime on daily basis to consumers are not often given top priority. What seems to matter to mass media practitioners is to write or broadcast the latest happenings under the philosophy that the people have the right to know what is happening within and outside their environment. Looking at this stance of the media practitioners closely, one is provoked to ask these questions (International Federation of Journalists, 2002). How are the mass media practitioners or gatekeepers sure that what the “global public” wants is given to it in terms of information distribution? How are they sure that their audiences like the way and manner criminal activities are enthroned on the media podium of Agenda – Setting theory? How often do mass media practitioners applaud or celebrate on daily basis promoters of universal peace, and remarkable meaningful developments, especially in the less developed nations of the world as they appear to do to perpetrators of crime?

One sure way of keeping in touch with our contemporary world is through the media. Communication is a vital component of our lives and existence and no society has been known to exist without it. It is the exchange of ideas, views, information, experiences and the sharing of meanings between persons, nations, societies and cultures. This necessitates the continuous study in the area of mass communication and how it affects different societies and people. The media are often in liberal theory referred to as the “Fourth Estate” and the “watchdog of the society”, meaning that the media exist as an organ of information sourcing and dissemination, educational promotion, surveillance, social enlightenment and mobilization (International Press Centre, 2004, p. 8). These functions set the media apart as an important link/factor in the relationship between the government and the governed and make them a sine qua non to societal growth and development. The understanding of the place of communication becomes more imperative in the 21st century for obvious reasons. The 21st Century is the Age of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) powered by the developments in computer technology. The Age of ICTs has taken science and technology to another level. Nations, societies, peoples and even businesses are now run with the help of technology; those that are not technology complaint lose their touch, influence and essence. Most of these developments are made possible through the instrumentality of the media of communication.

  1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Every society has ways and means of condemning criminal acts. Of course, the law is a major tool used to check criminal activities but it is pertinent to know that the media also do that, although, they act according to the dictates of the law. That is, in reporting a crime story, the media have tips or rules of crime reporting formulated based on what the law provides.

The print media, especially newspapers, have been identified as one of the most effective means of communication. This is due to its unique features of reader control, exposure and permanence. Apart from that, it is a reliable channel being used by policy makers, government and organizations to reach their audience in order to achieve their communication objectives. Crime affects all, thus, it demands that it is treated justly and objectively. It would be unethical to try to give legal answers to particular circumstances without a foreknowledge of law and legal issues. Most journalists are aware of a ‘Code of Conduct’ that guides their profession. Professional ethics demand that journalists, especially those in the crime beat, should be aware of sources of criminal law, what constitutes a crime, why a particular type of conduct is made criminal, and why some forms of harmful activities are not criminal. They should also be knowledgeable about methods by which crimes are investigated and prosecuted including an outline of general court procedures. If any law enforcement agency violates this, journalists cry out and seek a redress of the situation.

Despite these facts, most media organizations in Nigeria appear not to follow the principles of crime reporting while some project crime the wrong way. Legal institutions do not adequately create awareness about what a crime is and the punishment to be meted out until the media report such an act or castigate someone who has committed it. It is against this backdrop that this study sought to find out coverage of crime in selected Nigeria newspaper.

  1. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The main aim of the study is to examine coverage of crime in selected Nigeria newspapers. Other specific objectives are:

  1. to determine the rate at which media report crime stories.
  2. to determine the punishments that were meted out to perpetrators of crime reported by the media.
  3. to examine the slant or angle framed around reported crime stories.
  4. to determine the reaction of media to punishments meted out to perpetrators of crime.
    1. RESEARCH QUESTION
  1. What is the rate at which media report crime stories?
  2. What are the punishments that were meted out to perpetrators of crime reported by the media?
  3. What is the slant or angle framed around reported crime stories?
  4. What is the reaction of media to punishments meted out to perpetrators of crime?
    1. SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study on coverage of crime in selected Nigeria newspaper will be of immense benefit to the media houses (print media, social media etc). The findings of the study will highlight all the crimes in Nigeria be it political or otherwise. The study will explain the causes of crime, number of cases recorded and the punishments that were meted out to perpetrators of crime reported by the media. The study will serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of the existing literature on coverage of crime in selected Nigeria newspaper

  1. SCOPE OF STUDY

The study will cover coverage of crime in selected Nigeria newspaper such as Punch, Guardian and The Nation.

  1. LIMITATTION OF STUDY
  1. 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).
  2. 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. DEFINITION OF TERMS

Coverage: The extent to which something deals with something else.

Media coverage: can be defined as the way in which a particular piece of information is presented by media either as news, entertainment or as infotainment. It can affect the extent of information dissemination as well as influence the audience opinion while giving out the information.

Crime: An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law. Criminologist Paul Tappan defines crime as “an intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law …, committed without defense or justification, and sanctioned by the state as a felony or misdemeanor.”

Broadly, a crime is a socially harmful act or omission that breaches the values protected by a state. It is an event prohibited by law, one which can be followed by prosecution in criminal proceedings and, thereafter, by punishment on conviction.

Selected: Carefully choose as being the best or most suitable.

Newspaper: A printed publication (usually issued daily or weekly) consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, articles, advertisements, and correspondence.

Newspaper stands for North, East, West, South Past and Present Event Reports.

 


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Paper Information

Format:ms word
Chapter:1-5
Pages:67
Attribute:Questionnaire, Data Analysis, Abstract
Price:₦3,000
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