This paper is a discourse on the mass media with reference to the observance of the timeliness criterion in the reportage of news. It was argued that for news (especially hard news) to make the desired impact, timeliness is a core demand. It is a yardstick amongst others, which is always employed to assess the worthiness of an event. It also contended that the broadcast media (radio and television) have effectively fulfilled the demand of this criterion better than the print media (newspaper and magazine). This is as a result of the nature of the broadcast media and the emergence of modern broadcasting technologies which have helped to enhance immediacy in the reportage of events. It further argues that much as the broadcast media have been acclaimed to be very timely in their account of events in Nigeria, the privately owned broadcast media have been adjudged to be timelier than government owned broadcast stations. This is based on a number of factors including the availability of modern equipment as well as well trained and motivated journalists. It was concluded that there was a fundamental need for the mass media (both private and government owned) to observe this criterion in virtually all their reports to attract the attention of the audience.
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