It is impossible to emphasize the power that the media holds in today’s society enough, and this is something that must be done. Edmund Burke (1729-1797), a stateman from Britain, was aware of this phenomenon for a considerable amount of time prior to his death. He referred to the media as the Fourth Estate and claimed that it possessed more power than the other three branches of government combined.
Even though Amodu, Usaini, and Ige (2014) point out that the idea of the Fourth Estate that Burke proposed was synonymous with the print media, it is impossible for it to be less relevant in the modern era due to the progression of the media from print to audio visual and now the internet, which features the emerging phenomenon of social media. In other words, it is impossible for the concept of the Fourth Estate to be less relevant in the modern era. When trying to gain an understanding of the power of the media, it is essential to keep in mind that the person who owns the media and the manner in which the media are managed in a particular society are of the utmost significance. This is because the ownership of the media and the management of the media are directly related to the power that the media possesses.
It is not impossible for powerful owners of media outlets to attempt to manipulate information for their own purposes in order to achieve their goals (Prat, 2015). During the 19th century, a phenomenon called “Yellow Journalism” was linked to early media tycoons who controlled a large share of the media, such as William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. Yellow Journalism was characterized by the dissemination of false or sensational news stories. These two men held significant sway over a substantial amount of the media. Other examples of what modern society is capable of producing include business magnates such as Rupert Murdoch, Silvio Berlusconi, the Warner brothers, and Johannes Rupert from South Africa.
Because of the widespread liberalization of the media industry, traditional power structures (such as governments) have historically had a difficult time exerting control over the media.
This is largely attributable to the globalization of the media sector. As a direct consequence of efforts to deregulate the industry, large corporate entities that have successfully monopolized the market are gradually gaining more and more control over the media. In the 1990s, the media industries in Nigeria in particular and Africa as a whole saw a liberalization of their business operations. This was especially true in Nigeria. This became abundantly clear in Nigeria on December 19, 1990, when Law No. 90/052, which relates to Freedom of Mass Communication, was passed into law. This law was passed on the 19th of December.
It was possible for individuals and corporations to take advantage of the provisions of this law if they satisfied the necessary requirements that were outlined in this law and received authorization to own and operate a media house. This law was passed in this country. The number of print media organs in Nigeria has been on an upward trend since the year 1990, whereas the audio-visual sector has seen a steady increase after the year 2000 as a result of Prime Ministerial Text No. 2000/158 of 3 April, 2000, which effectively liberalized the audio-visual sector. This is because of the fact that the audio-visual sector was allowed to compete on a more level playing field.
There is a wide variety of ownership structures and patterns of concentration to be found in Nigeria. A large number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private individuals, and religious bodies have entered the market ever since the industry was deregulated in the 1990s. Additionally, businesspeople have begun to participate in the market. In Muluh (2017), the author provides a picture of the ownership patterns that are prevalent in the radio sector after conducting an analysis of these patterns. Aside from the debate regarding the public versus the private sector, he brings up the fact that individuals with private agendas, most notably politicians, own radio stations as a separate point of discussion. Other organizations include religious councils, non-governmental organizations with a focus on development, and non-religious councils. Every time there has been a debate on the subject of property rights and responsibilities, the public ownership camp and the private ownership camp have always taken opposing positions. The discussion on whether the media should be owned publicly or privately has spawned a wide variety of distinct lines of inquiry and approaches to analysis. For example, sensationalism in both the public and the private press (Ngange, 2001; Ngange & Elempia, 2019); ethics in both the public and the private media (Ndangam, 2009), as well as a variety of other topics. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the private sector accounts for the vast majority of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), it has not been subjected to an adequate level of analysis, despite the fact that it is the economic sector that exerts the most influence. This is due to the fact that the private sector is dominated by private individuals who exercise a variety of These changes in ownership are likely to have an effect on the day-to-day activities that journalists are expected to perform as a part of their jobs, and this effect is likely to be negative.
Even though Nigeria is currently experiencing pluralism in the media, the sector is gradually and significantly becoming more concentrated in the hands of a small number of individuals and families who, in the majority of cases, are not necessarily media professionals. This is happening despite the fact that Nigeria is currently experiencing pluralism in the media. This phenomenon raises questions about the future of the industry regarding the professionalism of the industry as a whole as well as the independence of journalists. What kind of future do you see for professional journalism now that a small number of extremely wealthy people control the majority of the news outlets? This is one of the first questions that pops into my head when I think about it. And exactly how do journalists adjust their practices to accommodate the constantly shifting dynamics of their working environment?