A Qualitative Analysis Of Journalists’ Views On Funding And Newspaper Survival In Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

This study analysed journalists’ views on newspaper funding and survival in Nigeria. Six specific objectives guided the study. A hypothesis for the study was formulated and tested which rejected the null position that there is no significant relationship between funding and newspaper survival. The study used qualitative survey design to obtain data. To sample respondents, the multi stage sampling procedure was adopted. Structured interviews were carried out on 112 respondents in Lagos and 54 in Abuja. But semi-structured interviews were conducted on three (3). That is 1 in Lagos and 2 in Abuja. Altogether, 169 respondents were sampled in the study. Our findings from the research are thus: journalists believe that funding is important to determine newspaper survival. They also feel that traditional funding sources should be encouraged to fill the funding gaps. Another finding is that some unconventional sources of funding such as “Total newspapering,” commercialisation of news, etc harm newspapers in Nigeria. Other findings are that: government should intervene but not interfere in the activities of the press and that strong management team, enforcing professional conduct/ethics by NUJ, identifying and grooming successors by newspaper owners, more synergy among professional bodies, etc will help newspapers to survive in Nigeria. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made: that Nigerian newspapers should be more creative in their multidimensional approach to funding through traditional and non-traditional ways; that newspaper owners should strengthen and reposition NPAN in attaining collective goals (tax relief, subsidy on printing materials, etc); that Nigerian banks should give newspaper organisations cheaper, long term loans to enable them serve the public well; that the Federal government should revisit the Nigeria Press Council law to accommodate the interest of others especially NPAN; that NUJ members should transform the union into a certified professional body as found in law, medicine, engineering, etc; and that newspapers should find ways (by organising writing competitions, readers’ clubs, publishing schools’ admission lists free, etc) to attract youth to newspaper reading culture

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