1.1 Background of the Study
That the mass media plays a
vital role in the development process of a country is not again saying.
The mass media generally regarded as a channel of communication that are
capable of reaching heterogeneous audience simultaneously with uniform
message. They regularly cover all sorts of issues such as health, music,
fine art, crime, sport, entertainment, political events among others
(Meyer, 2002, Soela 2004). The mass media transmits ideas and new
information to target audience in the society. Tosanisunmi (2004) has
observed that the mass media educate, inform and entertain beyond these
functions as they also persuade and catalyze for social mobilization. In
other words, the mass media can be regarded as powerful service of
information because they have the capability to penetrate every segment
of society. They have the ability to disseminate messages about issue,
ideas and product.
Furthermore, the mass media has that
capability to create awareness and knowledge about issues of national
interest. The traditional mass media usually consist of radio,
television, newspaper and magazine while the news media involves the
internet technologies. Contextually, these media have the responsibility
to mobilize for national development. In other words, social
mobilization for development largely depends on the media for success.
Crusade for change and dissemination of useful information against
corruption, bad governance and terrorism depend on the mass media.
Ogwezzy (2010) states that it is a common knowledge that the media is
the engine of mass communication and the avenue through which the public
could be reached.
In the other hand, election is an
important element of democracy; elections enable the individual to
express a sense of belonging to a political system. Elections provide
forum for the discussion of public opinion on important issue. Elections
allow an exchange of influence between leaders and the electorate
(Nwaozuzu 1999:18-22). This statement captures the relevant functions of
the broadcast media in elections which serves as a mobilizing of all
the different people in society and at the same time to co-ordinate the
activities as they are made to express their views about candidates who
are contesting for political position. The broadcast media through their
programmes create avenue through which the people express their views
about candidates. There may be phone calls in programmes like radio
link, state of the Nation, or debate programmer responsible or otherwise
and has made people pass on topical political issues. Also the
broadcast media (Radio and Television) provide platforms through which
individuals or member of society contribute on issues of public
interest. They may be based on stewardship of political offices holders
wishing to recontest for elections or it may have to do with electoral
law that are perceived to be capable of fermenting violence. Ebo
(1997:132) maintain that: the broadcast media play decisive roles in the
lives of the citizens no matter where they are located and whatever
their stage of development. The broadcast media are the most potent and
sensitive sector of the communication industry considering the reach and
influence they have on their viewers and listeners.
This statement succinctly explains which
relevance the broadcast media is to all the components of the society,
a power it acquired from its inception and not only during political
campaigns. It is this power that grants it the ability to mobilize
people and make them participate in mass in political processes. To
further explain the power of the broadcast media in mobilizing the
citizens towards conforming to expected behavior and participation in
electoral processes. The media force attends to certain issues, they
build up images of political figures, they are constantly presenting
objects, suggesting what individuals should think about, know about,
having feelings about. Clang an Lang 1959:103- 112).
This means the dominant thought that the
people carry about, is influenced by the media‟s constant projection of
what they should be thinking especially concerning the electoral
process. This comment conforms to the agenda setting thereby which
provides explanation to what or how the media can sway the behavior of
the people in the society. Given this power therefore, it will not be
out of place to say that, the failure of success of any electoral
process lies largely in the hands of the mass media, to which the
broadcast media is a strong component. Innis (2003:298) in support of
this state that; while an unbiased and responsible system can contribute
to the success of the electoral process, a bias and irresponsible media
contributes to the failure of elections.
On the same power of the media,
Orhewere‟s (2003:140) argues; the Nigerian media in the past did not
show enough commitment to professional ethic there by contributing to
electoral crisis in Western Nigerian in 1965 and subsequent elections.
The relevance of Orhewere‟s comment is that not only does the Nigerian
Broadcast media posses‟ enormous powers, but its role as an instrument
of mobilization dates back to as far as 1965. In other words, the media
has been a very active instrument in democratic processes in Nigeria
over a stretch of time, until the military dictatorship took the shine
from it. However, with the re-entry of civilian rule in 1999, the media
viz the broadcast media have resumed its active role of mobilizing the
populace for elections. The media or broadcast media played very
important role in elections written 1999 and 2003, Therefore, to print
out that, the roles the media often plays is either responsible or
otherwise and has made people pass judgment or often ascribed to failed
outcome of elections ascribed to failed outcome of elections to it. That
is the success or failure of elections are often judged by the role of
the media for instance, Chinua Achebe (1993:78) allege that; the two
previous at conducting election under civilian rule generated crisis,
which culminated to the collapse of the republics due to several
electoral frauds some of which allegedly were aided and abetted by the
media. Chinua Achebe‟s comment however begs for serious questions at
to, how does a watch dog become a conspirator. In other words, how does a
media aid and abet fraud, perhaps they will form another basis for a
study. However, it is important to note that, indeed the broadcast media
has very strong roles to play in elections. To this Burns (1977:45)
state that; The media in a civilized society occupy a very important and
powerful position with capacity that can easily influence the opinion
of the masses. While Rivers (1971) state that, it is expected to be the
condolence of the people where divergent views are expressed in order to
serve as a check against autocratic and totalitarian rule
Therefore, it is against the above
background that this project seeks to examine the impact of television
broadcasting on electioneering campaigns using 2011 presidential
campaigns on NTA Abeokuta.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
The role of media in every society is
often to educate, inform and enlighten. It is assumed that, where those
roles are adequately carried out, elections are bound to be free and
fair. However, in Nigeria, several elections have been marred the
question is how the mass media has mobilized the Nigerian populace. How
come electoral processes have not been successful? Is the broadcast
media system not commensurate to other media systems elsewhere? These
and many others are questions that this study hopes to identify.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To ascertain the level of equal media coverage given to political parties to candidates.
- To ascertain the significant relationship between mass media & electioneering campaign.
- To ascertain the significant level of mobilization of mass media towards elections.
On the completion of this project the
end result will benefit academics, students of communication studies and
other researchers that may want to carry out further research on this
The scope of this research work will
only cover the people within Abeokuta metropolis. This focus will be on
the people living around Oke-Ilewo, Post- Office and Panseke axis of the
The research work may be faced with time
& fund constraints being an academic based research. The time
allocated for this study is not enough as in combining the work on this
study with daily academics routine. Also, the study will be limited to
some areas due to the problems of funds,, shortage of texts, journals
and information relevant to the study.
1. Impact: This refers to a significant or strong influence on massmedia towards election.
2. Television broadcasting: This
can be defined as the dissemination of information, idea, opinion,
before, among others through the use of television medium.
3. Electioneering Campaign: This
refers to the act or process of soliciting for support or votes for a
given political party or candidate during election.