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Account Name: Emmanuel Idorenyin Samuel.
The print and broadcast media generally regarded as channel of communication that are capable of reaching a large, scattered and heterogeneous audience simultaneously with uniform message. The media plays a pivotal role in the development process of the country. The media regularly over all sight issues such as wealth, crime, entertainment, political events, information and the economy e.t.c. The need for the media in social development, so that the response of basic human need will be immediate. The study made use of survey method, Libertarian media theory was employed to show the social responsibility of press. The researcher also used the questionnaire as a means of eliciting information from the responses. The study was conducted in Enugu as the it hosted NTA media house. The study above all recommemded that government should ensure that the law which passed on the freedom of information bill (FOI) , that is begging for attention will be at most free accessing information.
- Background to the study
Communication as known everywhere as developed over a number of centuries. The sophistication and complexity which characterized human communication in the modern world are the result of a very long and sustained effort by human beings to improve to improve on one of the most functional aspect of their existence. Thus, referring to this evolution, the McBride Commission has noticed that, “ As the world has advanced their task of communication has become even more complex, in explaining this complexity, Mc Bride and his colleague (Mc Bride et al 1981, p.3) have this to say “ Throughout history, human being sought to improve their ability to receive and assimilate information about their surrounding at the same time to increase their speed, clarity and variety of their method for transmission of information” Quoted in ( Okunna, 1994 Page 1-2) therefore, following the above assertion it can be submitted that, the origin of the media and its responsibility to disseminate information, most importantly in Nigeria context dates back to the era of the early press 1800-1929. It was the very first time newspaper emerged in the country in the name “ Iwe Irohin”. However, the development of the Nigeria Press is purely classified into three as follows, from 1800-1920 (Early Press), 1927-1960 (National Press), 1960-date (Modern or Contemporary Press). These were viewed at the chronological order of evolution of print media. Thus, in 1940, the Presbyterians mission established the first printing school in Calabar, the reason for this, is it to increase the literacy level of the people as at then and in 1845, An Anglican Missionary, Rev. Henry Townsend, established another Printing Press as well as Printing School at the mission compound in Abeokuta. Five years after (1859), rev Townsend moved forward to establish the first newspaper called “ Iwe irohin Fun Awo Era Egba ati Yoruba” meaning Newspaper for the Yoruba and Egba People, Rev Townsend’s major aim of establishing the newspaper was to increase the reading culture of the Egba and Yoruba people so as to instill literacy desire in them. He also wanted to embark on Christian stewardship through impacting education and literacy. Iwe Irohin also served as a potent political tool against the British government, thereby informing the masses on the need to know why British must go. As the paper was making wave and all sorts of criticism, another paper was also established by the Anglo West India, Robert Campbell, he follows Iwe Irohin up with Anglo African with the year 1963. It was printed in Lagos State, Campbell’s objective of setting up the newspaper was to exploit he growing interest in Western Education and entertainment in Lagos State in 1960 by providing cheap and accessible materials which would educate, inform and entertain its readers. It was the first paper in the country to present another side of the story as it constitutes an open competitor with Iwe Irohin.
After that, Richard Beale Blaize established the Lagos Time and Gold Coast Colony Advertiser in the year 1803-1883. The name of the newspaper reflected the joint Administration of Gold Coast and Lagos at that time. Thus, newspaper establishment joined through the time, ZIk established the West African Pilot up till this day. It is important to note that at this juncture that, from the period of the early Press and now, there have been an immense function played by the media in order to restore the dilapidating and retrogressing state of Nigeria society.
Interestingly, as the year went by, there was a tremendous dawn in the broadcast media, the radio and television emerged, thereby making waves in the dissemination of information. Radio as a means of communication relies on the use of electro-magnetic waves propagated through space at the speed of light, radio messages were first received in Nigeria through the empire service of the British Broadcasting Commission (BBC) In 1932, at this time, prospective owners of radio had their transmission through their set which was wired to the post office. In 1936, radio transmitter was established with the commencement of transmission through RDS (i.e Radio Distribution Service) in Lagos. One features of the program transmitted at this time was low content of Nigeria or coral production.
By 1948, there were ten “Wire” Wireless Station serving about 80,000. Elizabeth II came to Nigeria same years, the BBC came with a large contigent. The BBC placed TV screens outside the assembly to enable those outside the gallery of the house to watch what was happening. Nigeria takes credit as the pacesetter in Africa in regards television broadcasting. That not withstanding, television broadcasting started in Nigeria as a result of intense political and ethnic rivalry. Account has it that, the first television in Nigeria was the Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) Ibadan, it is readily clear that , the colonial master did not make use of television during the period of rule as television came toward the end o colonialism in Nigeria. This was in operation when chief Obafemi Awolowo established the (WNTV) he was said to have permission for access to the government owned National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) so that he would reply to the allegation of act of perfidy leveled against by the actual greviance that eventually gave rise to regional broadcasting dates back 1953. From the year 1953- 1960, the Eastern Nigeria Television (ENTV) was established, then in April 1962, the federal government started the Nigeria television service channel to Lagos, which was headed by T.O.S Benson after the civil war in the country. There was significant increase in the television broadcasting. Almost all the twelve states of the federation (as at 1972) had their own TV stations. Then in 1976, the number of station had risen to nineteen. In 1977, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was established to function as an independent body. NTA was given charge over television broadcasting in Nigeria. The constitiution rather allowed for the establishment and operation of broadcasting and stations by different states government, or individual subject to the president’s permission ( Okuna 1993, Page 55)
At this point, it can be submitted that right from the first day the mass media emerged in Nigeria starting with the print media, the media have been playing the role of the watchdog in the society. Performing a number of function which benefit the individual as a member of the society. These range from” Serious” information and educational function to “Higher” function like entertainment, information dissemination, education, advertising, socialization, promotion of culture, motivation, mobilization, integration. They also play the role of agenda setting based on issues that are controversial in natur, here the mass media sets the political agenda for the society by deciding what political topic will talk about, etc. NTA as one of the media organization has of the mass media to the audience, e.g. election, child abuse, kidnapped, issues of flooding, crime, war, fire disaster, conflict, fuel subsidy etc, also print media e.g Newspaper, Magazine, Journal, Books are not left out.
But suffice it to say that, they are some challenges on the part of media in using all these channels listed above to send information, thus making the actualization of the noble dream stressful, even NTA, a government owned channels has its own shortcomings in the area of playing its role effectively. Albert, it has been enslaved to the whims and caprices of the political leaders and the government.
Another challenge that weakens the power of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and other media is infrastructural facilities. As Sobowale (1089; Page 304) quoted in Okunna (1994, P.30) has observed with reference to Nigeria, such basic infrastructural facilities as road and transport system are in an abysmal state of development; and this limits the work of media practitioners in gathering information. One can also consider the state of technological expansion and advance in communication technology, with this media has found it difficult to work effectively.
In conclusion, it is submitted with respect the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) has been disseminating information to the masses. But, at the same time in one way or the other demonstrated the challenges facing it charge of duties despite all odss. This research study will definitely bring changes.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite all effort made by the media to tackle the challenges facing them, especially during military governments. There are still kinds of other problem which constitute threat to the power of disseminating information to the masses. Indeed, it seems as if to say that much have not been achieved in the areas of their performance.
For this reason, the researcher seeks to expose the extent the Nigeria media, NTA in particular is tackling the challenges and the extent they have gone in keeping the masses informed on the day to day events.
1.3 Objectives of the study.
- If political interest or sentiment imposes serious threat to effective disseminating information on media?
- If economic factor takes precedence in the coverage of program by media?
- If technology factor restricts media from disseminating information to its target audience?
- If the level of literacy of the audience help media in gathering and reporting issues of the day
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the nature of challenges facing the media in information dissemination?
- Do the media have sufficient freedom needed for the operational efficiency?
- Do the media work enough in reporting issues in high place of government administration?
- What is the possible measure that should be used to enhance operation of the media?
- Research Hypothesis
- HI: They are serious challenges facing the media information dissemination.
H0: They are no serious challenges facing the media information dissemination.
- H2: The media have sufficient freedom needed for their operational efficiency.
H0: The media do not have sufficient freedom needed for their operational efficiency.
- H3: The media work enough in reporting issues in high places of government administration.
- H0: The media do not work enough in reporting issues in high places of government administration.
- H4: They are possible measures to be used to enhance the operation of the media.
- H0: They are no possible measures to be used to enhance the operation of the media.
1.6 Significance of the Study
One of the basic function of the mass media is to provide information to the society with information based on accuracy, facts, truth, and objectivity and to uplift our cultural heritage. The task of the researcher is to find out the challenges facing the media most especially in developing countries in Nigeria.
The study will serve as a basic for carrying out further research and evaluation of how the challenges in the media can be faced bearing in mind that what is obtainable in NTA station will also be applicable to other media station in the country. Therefore, there is hope that the findings posted will be beneficial to other students and researcher attempting to research on a similar project.