1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY:
This study sets out to investigate the role of third world News Agencies in the global dissemination of information using News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as a case study.
News agencies are the bodies responsible for the dissemination of world information. They have correspondents who play the role of carrying news across borders Ugbaja (1980). Some correspondents such as those working for television and Newspaper report back to media in their own countries and they approach the news from the view points of specific readers and viewers. Others report to agencies which distribute their news nationally or internationally circulated magazines and they attempt to achieve a more universal outlook including details of interest to readers from many countries.
News agencies are sometimes called wire services. This is because their offices are literally lived to their clients by wires and cables over which news and pictures flow. Some sophisticated system also employ satellite networks.
News agencies gather, write edit and send news stories features, analyses and other materials to clients mostly newspaper magazines, radio and television stations. The service is also available to commercial houses and individuals seeking news such as those wishing market information SUSSMAN (1982). The clients depend on the agencies for the news or information that they cannot gather on their own for economic or other factors.
There are three categories of news agencies. The first category comprises of those agencies known world wide and often referred to as trans-national news agencies or world news agencies. The world news agencies include, Associated press (AP) United press International (UPI) felegraphorin Agenstro Sovets Kavo Soiuza (FASKS) Agency France Press (AFP) and Renters.
The second category includes new agencies that have clients and correspondents in many countries but whose services are not spread to every part of the globe like those of the world news agencies. For example, India Press Trust (INPT) pan African news agencies of individual countries of developing countries. These news agencies are found in African Latin American and Asian Countries.
The news agency of Nigeria (NAN) belongs to the third would news agencies. The third world National news agencies act as gate keepers in determining what information from the global flow gets their national media in some cases, deciding what internal news gets into the international system as well.
They are as varied as the third world itself. Some news agencies still exist mostly on papers and emphasis on development of national agencies by UNESCO and the I PDC quickly out dates printed summaries.
A report to the MAC Bride commission based on data from the India 1970’s claimed that about 120 national had news agencies but that about not, including 24 with population in excess of one million people. A more recent SUSSMAN (1982) survey counted 104 third world agencies, there quarters of them operating under three quarters of them operating under some form of government control.
NAN was founded as a state enterprise and began operations for about 8 years ago like most news organizations, its charter callers for it to report news and opinion in a professional and objective manner.
According to one assessment Ugbaja (1980) NAN” must not act as an institutional opponent to say government or interest, but where it is in the public interest to report criticism or public policy, it must do so in a restrained and objective manner”.
In most developing countries, news agencies are established, funded and controlled by government. In most cases, they serve as an arm of the ministry of information or at most government information clearing houses especially for the purpose of exporting news about government to local and foreign media.
Initially world news agencies also pre-eminent in the order of the flow were dominated by the European news agencies. This to alleged unbalance in the news flow and reporting in the third world countries the inadequate and the high cost of telecommunication facilities the greatest obstacles to the foundation of viable news agencies.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Communication is the nucleus of all human activities and information dissemination is a vital and sensitive job which requires carefulness and effectiveness in order to achieve the required objective.
News agencies occupy prominent positions and play important roles in carrying information and news across the borders. Since the emergency of news agency journalism the news flow in international are has improved. News agencies collate I process, edit and distribute news, news materials and features to subscribers either in the form of fees or exchange depending on an agreement.
The international news agencies have been dominating the global dissemination of world news. Agitations on imbalance in news flow led to the emergence of third world news agencies which were most established and controlled by the government. They serve as information clearing houses in the exportation of news about government to local and foreign media.
Development of news agencies in the third world countries is handicapped by lack of important communication equipment for the easy delivery of the news. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) is not left out in this area of concern despite these problems NAN has played active role in the global dissemination of world news.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This would focus on the Role of Third World News Agencies of Global Dissemination of Information (A Study of News Agencies of Nigeria Nan)
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:-
The main objective of the study is to make critical analyses of the role of the third world news agencies in the global dissemination of information using News agency of Nigeria (NAN) as a case study. The study will look into the functions of NAN, modes of operation, achievement, problems and prospects. The study will also make a number of recommendations on how to improve the services of NAN as regards information dissemination.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will provide a comprehensive analysis of the role of the third world news Agencies with particular references to NAN in the global dissemination of information.
The study will be useful to other news agencies media institutions and government of the third world countries in the planning and implementation of their mass-communication policies.
The study will also serve as a reference material to students and other researchers in the similar area of study.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS:- The following research questions were asked:-
1. Does NAN report balanced news stories in Nigeria?
2. Does the NAN transmit Nigerian culture?
3. Does the NAN disseminate the world news?
4. Does the NAN justify its purpose of establishment?