The probing thesis in this study is anchored on the declaration that the best way to look at business ethics is by looking at how companies incorporated ethics into their operations. Since 1929 when a veteran journalist, Isaac Thomas, launched the first evening newspaper in Lagos, the Nigerian Evening News, an initiative which became the first in Nigeria, efforts by other investors or media proprietors to establish evening newspapers in the state, in spite of its sophistication and concentration of almost two-thirds of Nigerian media proved abortive. As at the time of putting together findings from this study, Lagos has become a highly dreaded business environment for publication of evening newspapers. The study found out that beyond any other measures or suggestions, a thorough injection and application of business ethics is the major panacea to successfully manage any media venture in the state. Through an in-depth interview approach with promoters and top editors-cum-management staff of the failed evening newspapers backed up with historical method of analysis, the study found out that business ethics is the panacea to rescue any distressed newspaper as well as the ‘tonic’ to strengthen any medium that wishes to remain healthily afloat. The study is routed through one of the traditional ethical theories, utilitarianism propounded by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The study therefore recommended the need for media proprietors not to undermine role of ethics in the establishment, growth and sustainability of the press.
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