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MEDIA OWNERSHIP

Print or Broadcast media are normally owned by individuals, government, group of


individuals, etc. Ownership of the media is the paternity or possession of a medium of
communication. Paternity here means the act of owning.

This paternity may evolve as a result of partial or total financing of a medium either by an
individual, an organization or a government (Raufu, 2003). The reasons for ownership may
be to use the medium to achieve political goals. It could also be to achieve economic goals.
Many newspapers are owned by politicians e.g. Tinubu owns the Nation while Tribune was
established by Awolowo. The media thus become agents of propaganda that will not publish
something against the owners. The social media like facebook, blog, skype, twitter,
YouTube, etc. are also used to communicate information to others.

These persons make use of them through their user name, password, etc.
There are different types of ownership as follows: Government, Private, Joint and Party
ownership.

Government ownership
Here the government is in charge of the funding of the media organization or has greater
control of the shares. The funding of the media could be direct funding, loans and overdrafts
from banks. Where this is the situation, the editorial contents of such media are being
influenced by the government. The effect is that government in one way or the other will
make sure that it determines what may or may not be published and the medium will want to
toe the line of government. New Nigeria, for example, was completely funded by
government.

Private ownership
This could be cross media, chain or corporate ownership. The owner or body concerned
has a larger share in the funding or it is fully owned by the person or body concerned. For
the electronic media since 1992 the National Broadcasting Commission was set up under an
Act of the National Assembly No. 38 of 1992 to give licenses to private individuals to own the
electronic media. Private ownership has the merit of giving the media the opportunity or
freedom to criticize the ills noticed in the government unlike the ones owned by the
government.

Chain ownership
In chain ownership, newspaper houses or radio stations are owned by one person. In order
words, a particular person or group of persons possess a particular type of media like the
radio stations owned by one person or group.

Cross media ownership


Suggests the possession of a combination of several media. The inference here is that both
broadcast and print media are owned by an individual or group at the same time. A best
description of this pattern of ownership would be for an organization to own newspapers and
television at the same time or newspaper and radio or the combination of the three. Brilla
Communication which has a sports paper and a Radio station may be a good example
(Goke, 2003). The staff could see themselves as members of the same family and their
resources can be shared.

Conglomerate
This is a situation whereby an owner of a media organization runs other types of business.
The media so owned will try to cover issues affecting other business branches of the
business of the owner.

Joint ownership
This means that the government and individuals jointly owns it. There is equal partnership
between the government and individual. The two parties finance the medium.

Party ownership
This is the ownership of a media by the political party. The party funds it and therefore
controls it. It could be owned by the contesting parties. So, the parties interests influence
the content of their publication. There is party ownership in a democratic multi party state
and party ownership in a socialist one party state.