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Effect of Unethical Conducts of Journalists in Akwa Ibom State

Effect of Unethical Conducts of Journalists in Akwa Ibom State

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The study was conducted to determine the “Effects of unethical conducts of Akwa Ibom State Journalists on Heterogeneous Audience. The researcher adopted a research design called survey research method for the study. Sample techniques used in the study were purposive sampling. The population for the study was 361, but a total number of 250 respondents were chosen to draw sample size.

The instrument used for data collection was discussed and validated using descriptive statistical method which states that “unethical conducts in the profession brings down the image of the profession”. Data collection was revealed through effective coverage of our sampled population through the administration of questionnaires, personal interview; the structure of this questionnaire is open ended and close ended and thus divided into two (2) (A and B). Data collected were analyzed using simple percentage statistics. .

To direct the study, five (5) research questions were raised and answered. Literature was reviewed and it covered overview of Ethics and Journalism, unethical Journalism, Journalism and the society, ownership influence and news commercialization, unethical practice and professional journalism and summary of review of related literature. Results and findings revealed that unethical conducts affect audience members and also brings down the image of Journalism profession in Akwa Ibom State and beyond.

Conclusion indicates that unethical practice in journalism profession gives room for biasing of news. It was recommended that relevant authorities should ensure that the ethical standard of the profession is upheld by practicing Journalists in Nigeria. It also recommends that journalists should always give accurate and factual information to the public in order to maintain the standard of Journalism Profession.


Effect of Unethical Conducts of Journalists in Akwa Ibom State


1.1       Background of the Study       –           –           –           –           –           1

1.2       Statement of Problem –           –           –           –           –           –           3

1.3       Objective of the Study           –           –           –           –           –           4

1.4       Research Question      –           –           –           –           –           –           4

1.5       Significance of the Study       –           –           –           –           –           5

1.6       Scope of the Study     –           –           –           –           –           –           5

1.7       Limitation of the Study          –           –           –           –           –           6

1.8       Definition of Terms    –           –           –           –           –           –           6

Effect of Unethical Conducts of Journalists in Akwa Ibom State 


2.0       Introduction    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           7

  • Ethics and Journalism: Overview –           –           –           –           7

2.1.1    Unethical Journalism   –           –           –           –           –           –           11

2.1.2    Journalism and the Society     –           –           –           –           –           13

2.2       Ownership Influence and News Commercialization –            –           19

2.3       Unethical Practices and Professional Journalism        –           –           21

2.4       Theoretical Framework-          –           –           –           –           –           25

2.5       Summary         –           –           –           –           –           –           –           26



3.0       Research Methodology           –           –           –           –           –           27

3.1       Research Design         –           –           –           –           –           –           27

3.2       Population of the Study          –           –           –           –           –           27

3.3       Sample Size     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           28

3.4       Sampling Techniques  –           –           –           –           –           –           28

3.5       Method of Data Collection     –           –           –           –           –           28

3.6       Method of Data Analysis       –           –           –           –           –           28



4.0       Data Presentation Analysis     –           –           –           –           –           29

4.1       Demographic Data Analysis   –           –           –           –           –           29

4.2       Thematic Data Analysis          –           –           –           –           –           30

4.3       Discussion of Findings           –           –           –           –           –           36



5.0       Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations-          –           –           40

5.1       Summary         –           –           –           –           –           –           –           40

5.2       Conclusion      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           41

5.3       Recommendation        –           –           –           –           –           –           41

References      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           42

Appendix        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           44



1.1  Background of the Study

Unethical conduct in journalism practice entails those immoral behaviours that journalists exhibit in the profession that give people wrong impression about the profession. It can be seen as individual act exhibited by a journalist which does not promote the image of the profession (Onwubiko, 2011).

Journalism refers to an industry, a major player in the profit seeking market economy driven by the need to make a living. In another perspective, journalism is a profession, a vocation founded on ethical practitioners (Ekeanyanwn and Obianiqwe, 2012).

This entails that journalists are the people or workers who in the industry. According to Onwubiko (2011) the effects of unethical conducts on the journalism profession cannot be overemphasized. This is because; it does not give room for fairness and objectivity in the field. Today many people see journalists as those who specialize in immoral conducts in their profession even when they are discharging their duties fairly.

In addition Onwuniko (2011) opines the following as the example of unethical conducts in the journalism profession, brown envelop syndrome, news commercialization, plagiarism fakery etc.

Brown envelop syndrome according to Onwubuko (2011) is one of the unethical conducts found among journalists. It means the act of faring receiving gratifications in the form of gifts, drinks, money sex and many other things that can make to be biased in their reportage.

It is big challenge in journalism profession because it reduces the credibility and lowers the standard of the procession. The brown envelope also denies the poor who may have a reliable information to share access to the media since only those who can afford to pave their way have access to the media.

Another unethical conducts that is found among journalist is plagiarism. Plagiarism according to Onwubiko (2011) is the act of copying or taking someone’s work or idea and pretends that it is one’s own. It is also copying one’s ideas or intellectual work without attributing the source.

This is one of the unethical seen among journalist today; many journalists today lift ideas from books, newspaper and magazine without quoting the source.

Again, journalists will intentionally present commercial news in such a way that the audience will see it as convention public interest news, in the case of news commercialization, sponsored information programmes are presented to the audience particularly through the broadcast media in such a way that it will look like a social public service news.

Slanting of news is another issue in the journalism profession. This is as a result that sometimes journalist collect money or gift from the news sources and present the news in a way that it will be of interest to the sources or the sponsors not to public.

Unethical conducts in the journalism profession makes the audience to lose their confident in the message and also reduce the standard of the journalism in Nigeria.

Effect of Unethical Conducts of Journalists in Akwa Ibom State

1.2  Statement of Problem

Many journalists indulge in unethical conducts because they are poor. Because of their poverty and due to the fact the amount they are being paid by their media house cannot be enough for them and their family members they indulge in their collecting brown envelope in order for them to slant news.

Due to the fact many practicing journalist are freelancers and don’t have media house where they are being paid monthly as staff, most of them may engage themselves in collecting bribe biasing news in order for them to make a living.

Another thing that causes unethical conducts in the journalist profession is the emergence of quacks in the field. It can be seen that many journalists who indulge in one unethical conducts or the other are not trained in the high institution or by media stations that is why some of them can even be committing unethical without knowing.

Many journalists are not contented with what they have so based on that, they will like to find one unacceptable rule to break in the organization in order to make money.

Another factor that Militate against journalism profession is lack of fulfillment of laws and sanctions to those (journalist) who offend the law. Due to the fact that some journalist have seen that there is no punishment for those that offend the law, some will also indulge in those activities that do not the profession.

1.3   Objective of the Study

The aim of this study was to do the following:

  1. To know the ways unethical practices manifest in the journalism profession
  2. To know the extent unethical practices affect the practice of journalism profession
  3. To know the extent authorities enforce ethical practice on
  4. To know the problem that hinders the enforcement of ethical practice
  5. To know what can be done to reduce the occurrences of unethical practice

1.4  Research Question

  1. In what way do unethical conduct manifest in the journalism profession
  2. To what extents do unethical practice affect the practice of journalism
  3. To what extent to relevant do authorities ethnical practice
  4. What are the challenges facing the enforcement of ethnical practice
  5. What can be done to reduce the occurrences of unethical practice in journalism?

1.5    Significance of the Study

This work will be significant in many ways, it will be important to journalists especially those resident in Akwa Ibom as it will help them to know how to control themselves from unethical conduct that bring down the standard of the profession.

This study will also be significant to relevant authorities as it will also be of a great help for them to inform the journalist about the negative effect of unethical conducts in the profession This study will also be of a great importance to students of mass communication, linguistic and communication and those in journalism school in order for them to know the ethics of the profession.

It will also be relevant for current and future researchers who may like to embark on research on this topic or in a related topic order to use it as a background to record more finding from the study. It will also help the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) on how to maintain and protect the standard of the profession.

1.6   Scope of the Study

The area of coverage of this study will not be limited to journalists in Akwa Ibom, but will transcend to other journalists that the unethical conducts in the journalism profession affect one way or the other, as it will help and suggest solutions to the problems.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

When the researcher was carrying out research for this work, the research was faced with some challenges. Some of the challenges that confront the researcher in the course of carrying out research include: limited time for submission, financial constraint, insufficient materials on the related subject matter and the stress of combining research with normal lectures hence the work was conducted when the researcher was up for his final year examination. However, the researcher worked assiduously to overcome the whole challenges

1.8  Definition of Terms

Unethical: This refers to lacking of moral principal, unwilling to adhere to proper rules of conduct not in accordance with the standard of journalism profession by Akwa Ibom resident journalists.

Conduct: This means to lead or guide journalists on how to organize particular activity

Journalism: The work of collecting and writing news stories for newspaper, magazine, radio, and television.

Practitioner: A journalist who regularly does a particular activity, especially one that requires skills

Profession: A job that needs special training or skills especially one that need a high level of education.

Effect of Unethical Conducts of Journalists in Akwa Ibom State

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