Journalism is fundamental in ensuring purposeful and peaceful co-existence in the society. They are indispensable to the success of every human endeavour. Through their agenda – setting role, the journalism practice set the hierarchy of current issues, determine the extent of transmission and established the terms of reference and limit of debate, which ultimately influence peoples actions, reactions, decisions and judgement on the issues so raise.
However, the current trend in journalism practice has raised a controversy as to who really set the agenda – the mass media or the state? According t Okunna, (1996: p.66) asserted that, it is through the practice of journalism that views in the society are made known, government policies and activities are publicized and opposing and also heard. Again, journalism serves as the conduct for the various forms of interaction among the different fact of the society. The strings of the interactions are normally controlled by many variables, such as the legal, ethical, political, socio-cultural, technological and economic factors.
Defluer (1989; p.46) pointed out the interaction is necessary so that certain unacceptable and disruptive behaviours are not exhibited in the society. In view of aforementioned, journalism contents should be packaged in a way that helps the media to perform their roles effectively as the media are the major force that stimulates national, international, socio-economic and global understanding.
Obi (1988; p. 106) said, by reason of their strategic position in the society, the operations of journalism are affected by many development code of ethics. The central themes of these code of ethics includes the ethics that relates to not allowing personal interests to influence them in their professional duties, the use of fair and honest means to obtain news, pictures, films, tapes and document, etc. This effect the seenario in Nigeria and the international picture.
No doubt, ethics are crucial to journalism practice in Africa because the profession is younger than other continents where it long has been practiced. Journalistic code of ethics is helping to bring about a fearless committed, credible and effective press. The union of journalists has formulated codes of conduct for reporter. Some papers and broadcast stations have guidelines on situation in which reporters frequently find them (Udofia, 2013; p. 14).
Statement of the Problem
Since journalism practice is the engineer of public opinion. Many readers listeners and viewers depend on them for news and information. For journalists to be considered effective, they must be trusted by a significant proportion of the public. Recent elevation and allegation of corruption and high handedness by politicians with the collusion of reporters has forced the public to look at the journalists with a critical eye.
To avoid casting suspicion on their performance and products, journalists’ professional formulated conduct and how news and events should be collated and reported above reproach.
Therefore, the question is, to what extent has the journalism code of ethics influence the practice of journalism among journalist in Uyo?
1.3 Objectives of the study
The under listed are the objectives of the study;
To find out the level of knowledge of Uyo journalists on the level of knowledge on the various journalism code of ethics.
To determine the extent of knowledge of journalists in Uyo on the Journalism code of ethics influence journalism practice.
To find out the extent to which journalists in Uyoadhere to the applicable journalism code of ethics in their practice.