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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

In democratic environment such as news commentaries whether on radio or television do not only serves as purveyor of public opinion but also serves as tools for bridging credibility gap between government and the governed. News commentaries are a form of writing in broadcast media that provide insight and interpretation analyses for event which are of great significance to the society. It is the current affairs programmes which analyze news worthy event to the audience. It aims at examine current development in the society from the negative and positive angles or for against such development before taking a stand.

In Nigeria media houses today, news commentaries has become a ferment features, news commentaries are aired mostly after the major news bulletin perhaps as an attention gaining strategy. The broadcast media do not give air space to commentaries written by its own staff but also use those  written in additional headline of various newspapers therefore providing freedom of expression a chance. The radio or television news commentaries do not only interpret the news but sometime comment on societal problem on how to spotlight and offer solution to solve the problems. News commentaries are segment of news broadcast whereby issues to the society are discuss about with intend to educate, enlighten and inform the listeners. News commentaries have been recognized as the engine of social change and development in any Nation. Sambe, (2008) describe radio news commentaries is however as old as the news itself. News commentaries as the name implies is the news behind the news. It is a critical interpretation of significant contemporary social events in such a way it informs, entertain, educate and well influence the audience (i.e. the public).

Therefore, news commentaries has helped in social change everywhere, it gradually bringing in community into news cultural mindset and people’sbehaviour without realizing, the news commentaries have helped set the schedule of our lives and create a number of needs. Existence of news commentaries in presenting information tends to trigger a change, an impact on determining the pattern of community life in various information presented is considered to give tangible influence positively, slowly but effectively, the news commentaries shape public views on how one should relate to everyday world. Furthermore, message or information conveyed by radio news commentaries in certain media lead to different interpretation by the public in accordance with the culture. This implies that media house radio commentaries not only interpret news but sometime comment on social problems, what causes the problem or issues and how to resolve it. It is based on the significant and uniqueness of Radio commentaries that this research work is out to find out and examined whether AKBC Radio news commentaries has significant effect on social change.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Any nation that needs development without having the mass media as a priority in mind as indispensable and integral part of development is a mere making a mistake. A country like Nigeria with diversified culture and human resources need broadcast news commentaries of either Radio or Television capable of interpreting events bothering global and societal issues, obviously news commentaries on social change are staunchly provided to listeners on daily basis. Therefore, if all broadcast commentaries are said to interpret event occurring earlier on illuminating the hidden facts on societal environment (news behind news) to the layman, then it is preferred to actual broadcast news. The purpose of news commentaries is to communicate and create solution to societal problem.

Therefore, social change as an avenue of changing structure and cultural patterns within a society is a general phenomenon that happened all the time in every society. Social change institution, social behaviour or social relations of a society, community of people or other social structure; any events or action that affect group of individuals that shared values or characteristics; acts of advocacy for the cause of changing society in normative way. This include, changing the orientation with effort to leave the factors or elements of social life that must be abandoned or changed,  pattern of behaviour, culture, norms and beliefs to the current social life in the society.

However, there are uncertainties and unwholesome social behaviours among the people of Ikot Abasi. Thus, the question is how has the news commentaries of AKBC Radio effective toward social change among the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area?

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The following were the objectives of the study:

1) To find out if people in Ikot Abasi are exposed to AKBC Radio news commentaries.

2) To determine the extent to which news commentaries Influence listeners in Ikot Abasi on social change.

3) To examine the attitude of Ikot Abasi people toward social change through AKBC Radio news commentaries.

4) To identify factors that hinder effectiveness of AKBC Radio news commentaries on social change among Ikot  Abasi people.

1.4 Research Questions

1)  Are people of Ikot Abasi exposed to AKBC Radio news commentaries on social change?

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