Examination of Professional Hazards that are associated with Journalism a Study of Tell Magazine
This researcher appraised the hazards that are associated with journalism and the Nigeria press using Tell magazine as a case study. Relevant literatures in the subject have been reviewed, whereby diverse opinions of some authorities on the best ways to safeguard journalists from media hazards were noted.
The media hazards of journalism can be prevented. Chapter one of the research work contains the background to the study, statement of the problem, research questions, the significance of the study, scope of the study and definition of terms. Similarly, in chapter two, many relevant literatures of different authors were used to expose what various writers have done in the area of professional hazards in journalistic prospective in Nigerian.
Chapter three of the study was on research methodology. Of course survey research method was adopted in which questionnaire were carefully administered who are practicing journalists in Tell Magazine. The responses of the respondents were presented and analyzed. It was recommended in chapter five that government should provide adequate security for journalists in Nigeria.
1.1 Background to the Study
Isamuko (2011), says the press is a molder of the society. Although the facts have been lashed with numerous criticisms, we cannot deny the fact that the press shapes the society. Most journalists are aware of this fact; hence they are determined even to the extent of sacrificing their lives, to give the society what it desires.
The reporter who is scampering to meet a politician who has just alighted from an airplane; the reporter who is on a wired boat sailing into a remote mangrove to find out the extent of damage flood has wrecked in an area is trying to keep the society abreast on what is happening around them. (Ewuola, 2005). The function of news gathering and news dissemination has not been a rosy one for the journalists, from the inception of journalism and newspaper publication in Nigeria.
There has been cat and mouse relationship between the press, society, organization, politician and the governments of all ages, whether military or civilian, except when the press allows itself to be cajoled, used and manipulated by the governments or personal interest of the so called ‘big power’ to suit its whims and caprices. According to MacDougall (1999), Journalism could be defined as Newsgathering, fact finding and reporting of things the way it appears at the moment of reporting, not a definitive study of a situation. This also includes news reporting and commentaries delivered by Radio and Television.
However, Wainwright (1992), describes Journalism as day-to-day activities or operation of gathering and transmitting of news or information to a large audience through a suitable media or channel. It can also be regarded as the events of the day condensed into few words, sounds or pictures to satisfy the human curiosity of a world that is, always interested in knowing what is new.
The Longman Dictionary 1984 (7th edition), sees Journalism as the collection and editing of materials of current interest for presentation through the new media. In a nutshell, it is the act of looking for news event and editing the unwanted part before it is served to the public who are the final consumers.
The journalists are those that practice journalism in Nigeria and other countries, the journalists are always in problem each time they disseminate the news story that are against important personality, most especially the politicians. To this end this research is to X-ray some of the hazards of journalism and find some remedies or way out especially as new freedom of information law has now become law in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Naturally, Journalism supposed to be a perfect profession. This is because, journalists are being trained properly with polished languages, balanced and fair reporting with sophisticated technology to meet with the functional society. However, in attaining this height, there are cases of incessant arrest of journalist by security agents and cases of loss of jobs with the existence of obnoxious laws in conflict with ethics of journalism.
Hence, there has been cat and mouse relationship between the press, society, and government. The press should wakeup to their responsibilities and must not be allowed to be cajoled or used for personal interest.
To this end, the study shall examine some of the professional hazards associated with modern day journalism and away to finding out how these could be curbed. Using the medium of Freedom Information Bill (F.I.B) and giving the journalists free hand to carry out their journalistic profession without any restriction by the government.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the hazards of journalism profession.
- To ascertain if journalists in Tell magazine encounter media hazards in news gathering and reporting.
- To find out the hazards facing journalists in Tell magazine
- To determine if hazards have effects on the performance of journalists in Tell magazine.
- To study the means by which journalists in Tell magazines prevent hazards.
1.4 Research Questions
- Does journalism profession have any hazard?
- How do journalists in Tell magazine encounter hazards in news gathering and reporting?
- What are the hazards facing journalists in Tell magazine?
- Do hazards have effects on the performance of journalists in Tell magazine?
- How does Tell magazine prevent the hazards of journalism?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will no doubt be useful to mass media practitioners in Nigeria and beyond and will help the public appreciate the numerous role of the press whenever it is threatened by excessive power. It is also expected that at end of this study, the work will update knowledge within the frame work of the study. Particularly, it will assist people on the reasons why journalism need to be free and maximize the benefit of Freedom Information Bill to the press and society at large.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study specifically covers Tell magazine and discusses the Examination of Professional hazards of Journalistic Prospective in Nigeria. However, the finding of the project work can be well applicable to some media houses in Nigeria.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Journalism: It can be defined as Newsgathering, fact finding and reporting of things as it appears at the moment of reporting, not a definitive study of a situation. This also includes news reporting and commentaries delivered by Radio and TV.
Media: This refers to channel of communication such as Newspapers magazine, Radio, Television, through which information is conveyed to the public.
Professional: Person formally certified by a professional body of belonging to a specific profession by virtue of having completed a required course of studies and/or practice. And whose competence can usually be measured against an established set of standards.
Hazards: A hazard of reporting refers to the various dangers reporters are exposed to during the course of their duties.