There Is a Compelling Influence of Media Owners on Media Practice: A Personal Opinion
To say that media owners have a clear influence on media practice is to say nothing. Indeed, the world’s media deny the necessary freedom, even if the journalist bears undivided responsibility to his society, his country and his conscience. It must choose between the interests and policies of media owners and the demands of professionalism. Thus, serving the private interests of owners is a subtle betrayal of professional ethics. Holding a compromise line between the media owner’s political goals and the social responsibilities/duties of the profession is never an easy decision.
Media professionals around the world, especially in Africa, have in practice tried to address the still contentious issue of the political objectives of media owners versus professionalism. For example, Kofi Buenoor Hajor, a journalist from Ghana, once said that “journalism must be important” for Africa. According to Hajor, the media, which absorb and disseminate information around the world on a daily basis, should be treated as they are: an inalienable art of society, which in turn reflects and influences existing social relations.
Because of the prevailing influence of media owners on the media, the policy was proclaimed in Yaounde, Cameroon, in the African member state of UNESCO, the Intergovernmental Conference on Communication Policy from 22 to 31 July 1980. The conference report said: “We need a new concept of freedom that will truly give people and society the right to vote, rather than subjecting them to the conditions of those who control powerful means of communication that will promote the democratization of communication and recognize the rights of people and peoples to ask and freely express their opinions.”
In many parts of the world, especially in Nigeria, competing power structures dominate the problem faced by the media because of their contribution to the absence of forced press freedom.
According to Herbert Altszull, an independent press is impossible because “information is agents of people exercising political and economic control.” In other words, regardless of the goodwill of the government or the democratic principles of society; Regardless of the progress of any society, the media are usually subject to some form of control by those who own and control the apparatus of power.
However, the foundations of authoritarianism in Nigeria, which gave the government direct control and monopoly on radio and television stations, were broken in 1992, when private broadcasters obtained their first licence, ushering in a new era in the ownership of audiovisual media. .
In the United States, according to Amy and David Goodman, the concentration of media ownership today is very often seen as a media and society problem, because most people are motivated by so many things. Media ownership may focus on one or more inappropriate issues, which can then lead to a number of undesirable consequences, including serving the interests of their sponsors (advertisers and government) rather than the public interest, and lack of accountability. . competition-based. This has led to companies dominating the media market from suppressing material that is not in their interest. As a result, the public suffers from a lack of awareness on some important issues that may concern them.
The censorship of the media, which is a persistent problem throughout the world, regardless of the perceived freedoms expressed in their constitutions, will remain true to the practice of the media unless decisive measures are taken to restrict it. Over the years, those in political power have controlled the media in every society in various ways. They often achieved this through arsenals of authoritarian control, such as repressive laws, high taxes, direct or indirect control of basic means of production, ill-treatment of media workers, death threats and, in some cases, death threats. Extreme cases, murders of media workers and media house. Closing.
Indirect control measures are also applied to media workers, which includes a governance structure in which media workers determine the day-to-day activities of the organization; financing, production, structure and distribution of broadcast signals, as in the case of broadcast media.
In addition to state control over the media, there are other agencies, such as courts, that impede freedom of speech. The Government’s position on preferential treatment also cannot “bribe” the most influential journalists or critics of the Government with appointments to high public office. When journalists are appointed to public office, they become mere pioneers, as this influences the objectivity of their media products in dealing with issues of concern to the government.
On the other hand, the owners of private media exercise considerable control over their media. There are cases when owners demand self-censorship from their publishers to promote the interests of their sponsors.
Noting that unethical practices and negative attitudes in the workplace can have a negative impact on the productivity, profitability, growth and reputation of an organization, the environment in which so many journalists work today has been the exact opposite. Success is now measured by the number of “who is who?” on the organization’s list of sponsors. Imagine a situation where unemployment, poverty and the deterioration of social values are central and a journalist manages to secure a place where his daily needs are met despite ethical concerns? In some parts of the world dominated by money, most journalists no longer care even about the ethics of their profession, but succumb to the antics of dubious media owners in order to gain access to places and people to get information, to get well-paid advertising from sponsors, and to dubiously label and distort materials containing valuable information, in the interests of their sponsors.