INFLUENCE OF OWNERSHIP ON MEDIA CREDIBILITY A STUDY OF EBONYI BROADCASTING CORPORATION, (EBBC), ABAKALIKI
Conscious of the far-reaching effects audience trust and confidence could have on the effectiveness of mass communication, there is perennial craving for credibility on the part of mass media organizations. Media credibility consciousness derives from its proclamation as corporate citizens and the fourth estate of the realm. This study focused on the influence of ownership on the corporate image of media organizations. It considered ownership structures not as adjunct, but the major factor of credibility of media messages. The survey method was used to get analyzable response from the audience of Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation (EBBC) Abakaliki. And the findings showed that while significant value is attached to mass media ownership patterns and structures by audience, there is, at present, predominantly a negative ownership influence on credibility of most Nigerian media organizations. The findings also pinpointed that undue ownership interference in media operations is the major factor responsible for widening credibility gaps between media organizations and their audience and posited that such credibility slump can be corrected by adopting total quality management.