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THE COVERAGE OF POLITICAL NEWS IN AKWA IBOM STATE (A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PIONEER AND INK NEWSPAPERSBETWEEN JUNE 2013 TO JUNE 2014)
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The newspaper plays a vital role during the democratic dispensation. Since newspapers attract a wide range of readers, they are considered as information medium of communication because they feed the final consumers with elaborate political information on issues affecting the country and the state Akwa Ibom State as a whole.
In terms of coverage, the newspapers perform a number of functions which benefit the individual as a member of the society. Of all the relationships or institutional linkages the one between mass communication and the political institution is one of the most notes worthy. Communication is a political instrument all over the world and the relationship between politics and communication is an indissoluble one (Macbride 2007:44).
In the advanced industrial societies, the newspapers are actually an integral part of political life, serving for most people as their major or only link with government, and providing for them the information which they required to make political judgments and on which they base their political attitudes. (Golding 2004:45).
As the newspapers perform their different function in society, they do not work in isolation or in a vacuum, but operate in conjunction with other arms of the society. Society is a system and the mass media of which the newspapers are classified into are only one of the social institutions which make up this system. Since man is apolitical animal he has to associate both politically and socially to be able to attain his desired objectives. Emmanuel (2004:66) states that:
It is meaningless to discuss any social institution such as mass communication as though it operated in isolation, unconnected to other social process. The media are central in the provision of ideas and images which people use to interpret and understand a great deal of their every day experience. They therefore relate to other institutions both structurally and through organizational ties and interaction, and culturally, by conveying information and impression about the society.
The major institution which the newspapers relate to apart from family and kinship, educational, economic and cultural, political institutions could be included. This is because the press pays attention to political issues in which it interprets and conveys them.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Coverage can only be effective if the newspapers chosen to communicate do so with more clarity and presume (Olowu, 2007). The newspapers are means of transmission of information from a source to the receiver, with the potentials of newspapers; Nigerian journalists have been accused of poor reportage of political events in Akwa Ibom State. What then is responsible for this low spate of reportage?
It is against this background that this study seeks to provide genuine answers to this statement problem which lies of constraints faced by journalists mostly print experts on coverage of political news.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study seek to:
- Find out to what extent pioneer and ink newspapers are involved in the coverage of political news in Akwa Ibom State.
- Find out the method used by pioneer and ink newspapers in gathering political news in AKS
- Find out the prominence of this political news covered by pioneer and ink newspapers.
- Find out the slant/direction of the political news reportage by pioneer and ink newspapers.
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions formulated are:
- What extent pioneer and ink newspapers are involved in the coverage of political news in Akwa Ibom State
- What are the methods used by pioneer and ink newspapers in gathering political news in Akwa Ibom State?
- What is the prominence of this political news covered by pioneer and ink newspapers?
- What is the slant/direction of the political news reportage by pioneer and ink newspapers?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study is justifiable because it intends to highlight more on the coverage of political news in Akwa Ibom State with reference to pioneer and ink newspapers. The study intends to suggest strategies that will enable other researchers to further develop them.
It is agreed that at the end of this study students in the department of mass communication Uyo City Polytechnic print expert’s management of pioneer and ink newspaper outfits and readers shall benefit from the study.
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
The study anchors on the contents of political news in pioneer and ink newspapers with reference to Akwa Ibom State for the period of June 2013 to June 2014.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The researcher seeks to acknowledge major hindrance that will be known as constraints. These are lack of fund in which high rate of transportations cannot be determine. Secondly, time factor where class tests assignments and lectures cannot be excluded.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Key terms have been defined they are:
Process of covering political news in this context thereafter reporting them in interpretative manner.
News that could be referred to activities in which political appointees and government officials are involved in a democratic set up.
Close examination of coverage of political news in Akwa Ibom State by pioneer and ink newspapers and study by pioneer and ink newspapers and study of similarities and differences between the two newspapers.
An unbound, printed publication issued at regular intervals, which presents information in words often supplemented with pictures