Digital News Media, Ethics and Freedom of Expression – A Nigerian Perspective
AbstractThis paper takes a critical look at ethical issues in citizen journalism. Citizen journalism for the purpose of this research was limited to blogging sites and other independent sot news online news outlets. This paper tries to identify some ethical flaws or problems plaguing online journalism today using Nigeria as a case study. To achieve this, a comparative analysis between professional newspapers (online) and blogs were carried out. Two blogs and two professional online news sites were analysed. The findings of this research confirmed the predominance of unethical reporting in blogs as compared to the professional one. It was also found out that despite these unethical practices, a lot of people still visit these sites for their news information. The content analysis was carried out by calculating the frequency of some predetermined unethical practices in the reporting of news in the selected websites. To put this research in perspective, Gatekeeping Theory and Networked Gatekeeping Theory were briefly examined. It is the hope of this research to contribute a little insight into the growth of online journalism, the relevance of Gatekeeping theory to modern day news reporting practices and some ethical issues currently plaguing this medium.
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