News Commercialisation, Objective Journalism Practice and the Sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria

Chika Euphemia Asogwa, Ezekiel S. Asemah


In recent journalism practice, news is increasingly becoming a commodity valued for its role in informing or persuading the public on political, social, cultural and economic issues. Thus, in modern journalism practice, news is commercialised to the extent that only the rich get their ideas communicated to the members of the public. This in turn, affects objective journalism practice, both in the print and electronic media, thereby, negatively impacting on democracy. The survival of democracy depends on the flow of information to the people. Objective journalism practice is needed in democracy. The journalist decides which information will go forward and which will not. Important to realise is that journalists are able to control the public’s knowledge of the actual events by letting some stories pass through the system, while keeping others out. The paper, therefore, evaluates the impact of news commercialisation on objective journalism practice and how it in turn, affects the sustenance of democracy. That is, whether it has negative or positive impact on democracy in Nigeria. The paper examines the rationale behind news commercialisation vis-à-vis its dangers and implications on the sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy; it is anchored on gate keeping theory and the social responsibility theory. In addition, the paper proffers solutions on how to better practise journalism that will earn the goodwill and confidence of the people and contributing positively to democracy, not only in Nigeria, but the entire Africa.

Key words: Journalism; Ethics; News Commercialisation; Objectivity; Democracy and Development


Journalism; Ethics; News Commercialisation; Objectivity; Democracy and Development

Full Text:



Anifowose, R., & Enemuo, F. (2005). Elements of Politics. Lagos: Sam Iroanus Publication.

Asemah, E.S. (2011). Principles and Practice of Mass Communication. Jos: Great Future Press.

Beryerstein, L. (2005). Journalism and Objectivity. Retrieved from

Curan, J., & Michael, G. (1991). Mass Media and Society. New York: Edward Arnold.

Ekwo, U. (1996). The Commercialisation of News in the Nigeria Media: An Impediment to Information Flow. In I. Nwosu & U. Ewko (Eds), Mass Media and Marketing Communication (Principles, Perspectives and Practices). Enugu: Thought Communications Publishers.

Gans, H. (1979). Deciding What Is News. New York: Vintage Books.

Igben, H. (2008). Public Relations and Conflict Management in The Niger Delta. In E. Mojaye, E. Arhagba, E. Soola & L. Oso (Eds), Media Dialogue, Peace Building and Reconciliation: Conference Proceedings. Abraka: African Council for Communication Education.

Lakoff, S. (1996). Democracy, History, Theory, Practice. Nairobi: Colorado Press.

MacBride, S. (1980). Many Voices, One World. Communication and Society, Today and Tomorrow. Paris: UNESCO.

Mahajana, V. (1988). Political Theory (4th ed). New Delhi: S. Chadan and Company Limited.

McQuail, D. (1987). Mass Communication Theory (2nd ed.). London: SAGE Publications.

McQuail, D., & Windahl, S. (1993). Communication Models for the Study of Mass Communication. London: Longman.

n. d. (1996). Communication Models for the Study of Mass Communication (4th ed). New York: Addison Wesley Longman Publishers.

n. d. (2005). McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory (5th ed). London: SAGE Publications.

n. d. (2011). Mass Media in the Contemporary Society. Jos: University Press.

n. d. (2011). Public Relations and Democratic Governance in Nigeria: A Componential Overview. Lagos: Atsco Press.

n. d. (2011). Selected Mass Media Themes. Jos: University Press.

n. d. (2011, June). Mass Media and Good Governance in a Democratic Nigeria: A Paper Presented at the International Conference on Africa, Media and Peace Building, with the Theme ‘‘Mass Media and Peace Building’’ held at the University of Jos, Multi-Purpose Auditorium.

McKee, N. (1999). Social Mobilisation and Social Marketing in Developing Communities: Lessons for Communicators. Southbound.

Ogbagu, H. (1992). Public Relations and Democratisation Process in Nigeria. Public Relations Journal, 5.

Ogor, I.O. (2002). Broadcasting and Democracy. In NBC (Eds), Broadcast Regulation in Nigeria.

Okigbo, C. (1997). Broadcast Media Responsibilities and the Audience Measurement. Deregulation of Broadcasting in Africa. Lagos: NBC.

Okunna, S. (1999). Introduction to Mass Communication. Enugu: New Generation Books.

Rhetorica (n. d.). Media and Politics Bias. Retrieved from

Roma, L.D.V. (2007). Objectivity and Journalism: An Essay. Retrieved from

Sawant, B. (2000). Media and Democracy: A Global View. Effua Report of Workshop on Media and Democracy. Abuja: NPC Publication.

Schramm, W. (1963). The Science of Human Communication: The Effects of Voting Behaviour. California: Sage Publications.

Travers, K. (2011). Transparency and Objectivity in Science Journalism. Retrieved from

Tyoden, S. (2008, November 8). The Gains and Pains of Democracy in Nigeria. Lecture Delivered at the 2008 Public Lecture/ Dinner Night of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chattered), Jos Chapter, at the Hill Station Hotel.

Uche, L. (1999). Mass Communication, Democracy and Civil Society in Africa: International Perspectives. Lagos: UNESCO – NATCOM.

Wikipedia (2011). Media Biased. Retrieved from

Wilson, S.R. (1993). Mass Media and Mass Culture: An Introduction. New York: Prentice Publishers.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Higher Education of Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http:// Http://;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures