The Attitude of Female Mass Communication Students Towards Journalism as a Career


Generally, the purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment b a published body of knowledge through summary. Classification and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature and theoretical articles.

In the research context, literature means a collection of printed material provided in the form of books journals, magazines, newspapers, documents, abstract, proposals, reports etc. dealing with specific object. According to Ogili (2005:42) says:

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The review of literature involves building your research project on specific foundations of earlier studies in a given area of interest. Literature here simply means reference to earlier and relevant materials to the chosen research project topic or problem, literature makes use of primary and secondary sources.

Therefore, literature review concerns with the exhaustive survey of what has been done or known on a given identified problem. It helps the researcher to discover the extent of work      other studies done already in the problem area.


In order to make this research work in academic work and successful one, the researcher has deemed it necessary to make use of journals, newspapers, unpublished materials, textbooks, articles and internet materials as the sources of her literature for this study. Also, questionnaires were distributed as a primary source to gather data from her respondents.


In this area, it is assumed that earlier that similar studies have been carried out on this particular research topic: for this reason, review shall be done in subheadings according to the research questions such that the main variable must be addressed. This will also help to broaden our knowledge on the issue at hand.


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There may be saying that the female mass communication students have negative attitude towards practicising journalism as their career. There is also every reason to believe that the Nigeria women have made a significant entry into journalism profession.

In our Nigeria today, if the female mass communication students are having attitude towards journalism as their career, they are not to be blamed in Nigeria, culture and religion have helped in making women silent thereby relegating them to the background and also deny them of their rights and privileges they should enjoy as journalists and member of the society.

According to the previous researches in the media, global media monitoring project GMMP (2000, 2005) and Okunna (2005), indicates that  “the media are male dominated in term of subject matter, news, and people who report news, prominence of male newsmakers and reporter” Okunna (2000) supporting the notice states:

Gender relation  in Nigeria are characterized by a lot of imbalance to the disadvantage of women tradition , culture, religion and other factors have continued to widen the disparity between Nigeria men and women, by keeping women in subordinate positions.

Akinfeleye (1996 P.20\3-205) says that there are 52 journalism/mass communication training institutions offering various programmes from diploma to Ph.D and degree in mass communication in Nigeria. Some of these institution complied by him as at 1996 are university of Lagos, university of Nigeria Nsukka Bayero university, university of Maiduguri, Nnamdi Azikiwe university Awka, delta state university Abaraka, Kaduna polytechnic, federal polytechnic Nekede, federal polytechnic Oko, etc. also institutions that offer related courses with number of students, percentage of females and percentage of males are given in the table below.


Types of institution No of students % of students % of males
University with mass communication 1630 47 53
University with related course 920 52 48
Polytechnic 1495 55 45
Monotechnic 985 54.5 53.5
Others 1085 54 46


With a very close at the above, it is obvious that the number and percentage of female in the institutions are greater than males. This study shows that female are willing to read mass communication and journalism as their career but Nigeria culture and religion won’t allow them practice it as their profession.


Female Male Females Males Total subject
Presenters 69% 31% 42 19 61
Reporters 5% 31% 4 72 75
Subjects 17% 83% 42 206 248

The above tables show the receptive number of females and males that occupy the position of presenters, reporters and subjects in the Nigeria media. If we preach and practice gender equality in all facets of our socio political and economic framework, it is expected that males and females participation in journalism and News as presenters, reporters and subjects should be equal. Contrary to expectations data presented in the above table indicates that:

  • Greater number of females appears in the media as presenters than males.
  • The position of women as subjects in the news is quite insignificant compared to men.
  • Women issues received least mention in the news media.
  • 42(69%) out of the 61 news presenters were females while 19(13%) were males, 4(5%) out of 75 reporters were females while 71(95%) were males and 42 (17%) out of 248 subjects in the news were females while 206(83%) were males.

With this, we have seen that the only place for the women in the media house is to become presenters. This is because the society think or take it to the only place the women can fit in and not going into long pressure and filled hours routine assignment and competition as reporters with the men. With this,, women going into the field at late hours to gather and report news may be seen as an abomination in the Nigerian traditions as they are expected to be at home taking care of their various families at the hour. This is why they are given a less hectic position in the media houses.


Women students which is basically women focused have in recent time received the attention of UNESCO (1975-1985), the ten-year “Toward Equality under the UN Decade for women in Africa Asia, Latin and South American” have brought women issues such as unequal job opportunities, cultural barriers, low economic and political empowerment and human right abuses.

Some Nigerian have established non-governmental organization (NGOs) such as Women in Nigeria (WIN), and Gender Resources Network (GRN). Since it has been noticed that women are object of discrimination, all these was established to advance the needs of Nigerian women by calling for the abolition of obnoxious cultural practices that have placed women at the background making their participation in both social, political and economic activities ineffective.

The position of women on the society and our different cultures makes the men the society at large discriminate against women journalist. According to Hunanya (2004 p. 70). She says that “the general view about the women was always conceived within the context of the home. It was that of child bearing and carrying out home functions only” Because of this view about women, the concept of a woman practicing journalism or making a choice to practice journalism was considered rebellious and unfeminine. The obsolete ideas about women’s place in the society still tell on their position in the media houses and journalism filed. Uzochukwu (2008:72) says “Women also have problems of time, given their multiple  roles and heavy domestic responsibilities” Traditional cultural attitudes in most societies also discriminate against women having access to education. This can also discourage them in the practice of  journalism as girls are encouraged to get married and become house wives or encouraged to take up any other job which gives them more time and makes them responsible house wives than their journalism profession. There is also the issue of gender bias in attitude towards women studying journalism or using information technology as many people hold the views that women cannot think or work scientifically.

It is not a hidden fact that the women are under-represented in the field of journalism. This may be because of the discrimination or the basic assumption that “a woman’s responsibilities should be her sole priority”, thereby undermining her active participation and performance in the practice of journalism. The issue of gender bias too, contribute enormously to the low participation of women in journalism. Assumption militating against female participation according to Amau (1999, p.50) is that “female sex is biologically not designed for energy exerting, hazardous occupation and ling hours fited assignment”. Supporting this, Beverly (1995) notes that the society assumes that women should be mothers, school teachers, hair dressers, secretaries, maids and social workers only” therefore they do not need education or training in other fields like journalism.


In our society today, because the female mass communication students taking up journalism as their profession, people now see them or take them to be shy from going into journalism. In the real sense, they are nit been naturally shy, it is the class which they are been placed in the society that makes them shy away or pretend not to be interested in the career. In Nigeria where people are raised in culture highly dominated by role differentiations, the women are often reminded if their natural roles as wives and mothers and that these are the only places where they can fit in and perform. The effect therefore, is that women especially in Nigeria tend to shy away from other roles they can comfortably fit into.

The issue here is that the women who read journalism as their profession are not even given the opportunity to be employed and show that stuff they are made of. Supporting this Okogie (2008) said “we have qualified professionals disciplined and responsible women who can hold top positions in this country, they should be given the opportunity to serve”. Nigeria has a wealth of knowledgeable women and resources that are being ignored and wasted. Maduagwu (2008”35) also said that “empowerment will enhance the potentials of women in education, business, political and skills acquisition”. Pointing out that it will help the women combat gender differences and marginalization. In real life, it is believed that motherhood leaves the African women at the centre but not necessarily in power.

If the women can be given the opportunity to share out door work with the man to earn a living, they will forget everything about shyness and have the interest in practicing their journalism profession. Woman need to demonstrate their priceless abilities as mothers and managers of the home in such careers as journalism, and surely they would do better than our men  folks. Journalism is profession for both men and woman. Nigeria woman should see journalism as natural intelligence and sense of perfection which are natural endowments and from God himself to woman.

In the media houses, research has been shown that the numbers of female presenters are more than male while the number of male reporters are more than female reporters. This shows that even in the media houses the employers think that the best place for the woman is in the section where they can present programme. They believe that woman cannot devote enough time, not strong or intelligent to go into the filed together and report news. This makes woman not be seen in the field work like their male counter parts and because of these it then seems as if they shy away from their profession.


The negative impression the society have about female journalists may be as a result of our cultural and religious practice. Since negative cultural perceptions and social expectation can impose lower status and deralned role on individual which in turn can result in limited job or career choices, restricted opportunities and access to training programmes and narrow stereotypical employment possibilities. In the Nigerian situation, the parents or elders are believed to show the best and as such family or the parents   dictates the type of occupation the children will choose regardless of the children ability and interest. The impression is that female journalists don’t need to be serious about their occupation or that they are not meant to practice journalism as it keeps them away from their various homes while they are expected to be helpers to their husbands who are expected to be the bread winners for the family.

Also the impact of sexism and negative female gender images in journalism is particularly alarming . In a follow up study, Okunna 2000, found out that the image of women in Nigeria home video films generally is causing the society in general to perceive Nigeria women as easily cured by material things.

Wayward and of low morality. Because of these, they are seen to be only fit for domesic work rather than professional and career roles. Okunna 1996 based on her findings, concluded that ‘’the image of woman in the field of journalism is very negative and capable of negatively influencing the perception of women among the large society in the country.


A theory is an organized systematic body of knowledge that explains natural  phenomena. They according to Nwodu (2006:32)  “helps researchers to widely organizer, analyze and interpret data. It provides clear explanations of realities based on observatives and sustained observation”. Defleur et al (1971)  says “a theory is a set of interrelated  generalization combined in such a way that they form a logical system of explanation in which one generalization does not contradict another” In a nutshell, theory is all about proposition about how one concept relates to other. It also entails a clear explanation regarding why a particular concepts behave in a particular way.

Theoretical framework on its own, is the concision and deliberate decision that a researcher has made in terms of theory or combination of theories which guide his research effort. Also it is a section in research work which deals with the theoretical bent of the work.

In the course of this study, the researcher discovered that various theories of mass communication discusses about freedom, importance and function of the mass media in the society and so on. Regrettably, non of these theories have reference to this topic in study.

Based on this, the researcher anchors her study on a theory that is relevant to her study which is social category theory. It is only social categories theory that has been observed to have similar mode of orientation and behavior which relates people in the same social category to such phenomena mass communication, and media in similar ways. It is also emphasized according to Agbo et al (2000:151) that, “members of a particular social category will select more or less similar communication content and will respond to it roughly equal ways”.  So most female students of mass communication students who belong to the some social category in the society, develop negative attitude towards journalism as a career. As most of the female communicators are negatively affected by the discrimination from the society and our families, it shows that they have responded to it.

The issue here is that the way women are portrayed when they are seen practicing journalism determines to a large extent how the public will perceive such as individual. The nature of journalism tends to possess questioning challenges that influences peoples construction of reality. This is why women’s participation as journalists should be an issue of grave concern to both experts in the media organization. Higher institutions, the society at large and in our individual families in other to encourage them in the practice of their profession.

Because of the way our society, cultures and families portray women who practice journalism, the female journalist students who can also be referred to as members of a particular social category will leave their journalism career for other jobs and respond to it roughly equal ways.


In summary, this literature review shows that women journalists are generally portrayed in the society from the perceptive of their culture, domestic role, tradition, or by their sexual appeal to men.

My research findings revealed that the way our society, culture and religious present women contributes either negatively of positively to the status in the field or world of journalism.

Also, some female students of mass communication are negative aspect of journalism on the grounds of lactic routine assignment, high pressure in the field job, and late working hours. Though , some still find good reasons for studying journalism. This study further indicated that female journalists quite the profession for motherhood and because of the impression in the society that women who work in the media houses are little better than prostitutes.

In conclusion, our society, religious and cultures constitute the  major problems, that lead to the inability of our women who study journalism or mass communication to take it (journalism) up and practice it as their career. By reinforcing age-old stereotypes and presenting  journalism as a male domain which has sustained the perception that journalism is a public office and hectic or strenuous job for women. According to Nwodu (2005) as mention in 2.2.2 above state that “women issues receive least mention in the news media”. This is because the number of female reporters is smaller than men so they are unable to report female issues. will only provide papers as a reference for your research. The papers ordered and produced should be used as a guide or framework for your own paper. It is the aim of to only provide guidance by which the paper should be pursued. We are neither encouraging any form of plagiarism nor are we advocating the use of the papers produced herein for cheating.

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