Every material on this site is authentic and was extracted from the complete available project.Click to GET IT NOW
MS-WORD DOC || CHAPTERS: 1-5 || PAGES: 93 || PRICE: ₦3000
INFLUENCE OF MASS MEDIA ON THE CHOICE OF 2011PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Communication is very essential to man because, it is the only means through which he understands his environment. This is done through the exchange of information or ideas concerning the environment, which causes a change for better and improved ways of living in the society. The mass media have the capabilities of convincing people through the provision of relevant information at an appropriate time and season and thus channeling the people‟s mind towards the direction the voice(s) behind the media want(s) them to go.
Arguments and debates on the power and effect of the mass media have been nipped to the bud. However, back to the era of the hypodermic needle theory, where the media were recorded to be so powerful that they could turn a large number of people into zombies or a mass of divot robotic followers to the present era of uses and gratifications and individual differences through selective exposure, selective perception and selective retentions, myriad of research have been carried out by scholars in the field of communication and related discipline to test the truthfulness of this assumption.
Mass media in the context of this work are understood as constituting social institution created to perform, as required by the society, identifiable tasks of information, interpretation, education and entertainment. In performance of these roles, they employ technologies of communication such as radio, television, internet
films, telegraphs, newspaper, and magazines to communicate messages to a large, heterogeneous, anonymous, scattered and transitory audience.
Pioneers of the means of mass communication would be amazed at the great height their modest efforts have reached. Media messages are replete with pointing, dramatizing, showing and leading. The mass media can cage the mind or sub-consciousness of the people through carefully selected audio\ visual signals repeated over a period of time.
The society depends greatly on services of the mass media as decisive factors for its continual existence, development and governance. Supporting this view, Umechukwu (2001:21) notes that “beyond being socializing agent, the mass media with their incalculable potentials, derived fundamentally from their traditional roles of education, entertainment…..are great political and social forces‟‟ .
During political elections, the mass media are perceived to wield enormous influence on the people, especially on their participation in the electoral process. Research findings on the agenda-setting function of the mass media reveal that the media have the ability to tell us what to think. Little wonder Ndolo (2006:10) posits that communication has not only remained a critical component of the society but the pivot on which the society revolves. It therefore follows that virtually all we know about our external environment is the product of information communicated through the media.
The mass media undoubtedly have been used in various societies at different circumstances to change or reinforce voter‟s attitudes during and after elections
McComb and Shaw in Ochonogo and Ukaegbu (2000:165) note that the mass media
wield enormous influence on voter‟s perception of salient issues during elections, as
they expose the important fact that is likely to influence the decision of the electorate.
Taking cognizance of the above, Yeich and Levine in Diri (2000:59) advice media
practitioners to present issues surrounding the entire election process in a manner that
will help them form opinions and subsequently make an informed decision. Rogers
(1986:237) authenticates the above assertion when he writes, “citizens having access
to useful political information will lead to significantly improved interaction between
citizen and government”.
As an element of increasing importance in the political life of every civil society,
especially with the increasing democratization of nation‟s polity, there is multiplicity
of linkage between the mass media, the society and their politics. Their activities and
influence taken from the pre and post world war periods, the mass media have proven
to be veritable instrument for political mobilization and awareness creation.
Udeajah (2004:7) aptly captures the place of mass media in politics in the
following passage although he was particular about the broadcast media.
The fact that both radio and television regularly present politically crucial information in modern politics, governments everywhere are keenly aware of the media. Practical experience indicates that broadcasting and politics are inseparable. It will be horrendous to have politics without broadcast media…..effective broadcasting are vital to the
rational management of political activities in our complex, fast- paced world.
Going by the above view, we can say that broadcasting and politics are like Siamese twins, none can exist without the other. Interestingly, the mass media have been described as “consciousness industry”. This according to Oso (2002:39) is due to their role of creating awareness of both the immediate environment they operate in and the outside world. It therefore follows that the media should use whatever means they deem fit to let the people know the character and subsequently the ideology of candidates contesting for the 2011 presidential election in the county.
The public are to be informed about the goals and aspirations of the prospective number one citizen in the country to enable them make an informed decision. It is only the media that will make such information available, through the print or the electronic media.
According to Hall (1986) in Umechukwu (2004:15), what we know of our society depends on how things are represented to us and that knowledge in turn informs what we do and what polices we are prepared to accept. Thus, by extension, the mass media as a socially responsible entity are expected to illuminate the implications of voting for a particular presidential candidate seeing that doing so would enable apt actions and reactions or responses from the populace. In line with the above view, Schmidt et al. (1995:360) note that the media play role of making the public know the leaders in order to make right voting decisions.
The media by their agenda-setting role structure our perception of the society. Many scholars have observed that the media define and construct social reality by their ability to direct our attention to certain issues and shape our opinion about them
They provide us with frames that structure our perceptual reality with which we
develop our opinion about issue around us.
The way the mass media report events, issues and personality in the society have
many implications for that society and its people as individuals and social groups.
Harping further on the power of the mass media to alter not only the individual
purview, but the entire society, Todd (1980:1) emphasizes that
Since the advent of broadcasting (mass media), social movement have organized, campaigned and formed their social identities on a good social terrain. This is based on the observation that economic concentration of the media genre with amazing speed and efficiency in spreading news and telling stories have combined to provide a new situation for movement seeking to change the order of the society.
The synthesis of Todd‟s assertion is that the mass media possess the magic power
to change our thinking, perception and everyday consciousness in a fashionable way
that we look up to them for direction.
It is in the light of this assumed strength of the media to influence people‟s
thinking that effort is made in this work to examine how portrayal in the media
influenced the public‟s choice of a presidential candidate for the 2011 general election
in Nigeria examining the content of some selected Nigerian dailies
1.2 Statement of Problem
Many factors affect voting behaviour during elections. Some of these factors are opinion leaders‟ influence, information from the mass media, religion and family. Outside these, there are other considerations like tribalism, ethnicity, corruption, sentiments and the power of incumbency and these factors go a long way in influencing voting pattern during elections.
However, there is uncertainty about the influence of media on the choice of a presidential candidate for the 2011 general election. It is against this backdrop that the researcher viewed it as a worthwhile project to ascertain the role played by the mass media played in determining choice of presidential candidates for 2011 general elections in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the study
For convenience and simplicity, the objectives of this study are itemized as follows:
- To find out the different means through which public got information about the
2011 presidential candidates.
2. Establish the relationship between the prominence given to a political candidate in the media and the public‟s attitude towards such person(s)
- To determine the extent of this influence on the public.
Discover other factors that influenced the choice of 2011 presidential candidate