impact of ait programme “hero’s of our time” on women emancipation



1.1        Background to the Study

The mass media have a prominent role it plays in the society. Mass media through its programmes serve as beacon of example to it audience. The media is known for setting agenda among its audience. Through the normative functions of the media which is educating, informing, enlighten and mobilizing it audience towards a common goal.  The audience learnt a lot through television programmes. Audience can learn how to develop their potentials through the contents of television programmes they are exposed to.

The media most especially television plays a very dominant role in the progress of learning. It is vast in shaping the life of an individual. It also performs other functions apart from informing, educating and entertaining like the role of agenda setting and watchdog in the society. Television is one of the broadcast media apart from radio. It has the advantage of both audio and visual. It has also far reaching impact on the audience at large.

Television is a medium of enlightenment, and one of it is to educate it audience through acquisition of knowledge. Every individual has a right to education since the right was created and recognized since 1948 adoption of the universal declaration of human right. Education, according to Longman English dictionary consist of teaching people various subjects at a school or college, it is also the process through which a person is taught better ways of doing things or a better way of living. Most reasons behind education are to acquire knowledge and also to increase the level of literacy of a nation which will help immensely in the development of that country (Bittner, 2003).

Over the years, the education of women in Nigeria has been a topic of discussion.  Some females are barred from acquiring education and in a situation where they are allowed to go to school, a good number of them dropped out due to one reason or another. People are well aware that many parents giving more attention to male education than the female education because they believed that the female life ends in the kitchen. The issues of female education has to be carefully looked into because, like an adage says, “When you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation”. So, the women will play an important role in development of a nation when they acquire education. The newspaper, magazines, radio, television, journals are equally important in imparting education.

Television programmes can play that role of impacting knowledge on women on how to be emancipated economically, politically, socially and culturally. Television programme through status conferral can make women to see a role model and thereby be emancipated. Bandura (1977) argues that imitative behavior and learning from television is seen as rewarding and unrewarding. This however means that individuals tend to imitate the characters displayed by these unknown personalities, either good or bad, they just want to be associated with them. The tendency to act like these individuals is very high, because naturally people crave to associate with successful individuals according to Bandura’s evaluation of the social learning theory.

Cultivation theorist however including the profounder of the theory George Gebner argues that television has long term effects, which are small gradual indirect but cumulative and significant. They emphasize on the effects of television viewing on attitudes rather than the behavior of viewers. Heavy watching of television is seen as cultivating attitude which are more consistent with the world of television programs other than with the everyday world (Ekyaheme, 2011).

In recognition of the effect of television on audience learning behaviour, Africa Independent Television (AIT) introduces a women centered programme called “Hero’s of our Time”. This programme is a weekly television guest program in which a guest will be invited to sheer her life, career experiences to the audience.  Here, ebony women, women of substance, career women, iconic women, women that have made mark in their field of endeavour are been invited. They do invite women politicians, entrepreneurs, business women etcetera. This is a programme that is meant to simulate audience to see reasons on how they too can make impact in this world.

1.2        Statement of the Problem

The mass media, most especially television have gradually become a part of our daily lives, and sources of information, education and entertainment have been described as the primary functions of the media. Lasswell (1948) as cited in Folarin (2005:74) assigns three functions to the media: Surveillance of the Environment (the news function); Correlation of the different parts of the Environment (the editorial function) and the Transmission of the cultural heritage from one generation to the other (the cultural transmission function).

The representation of women in all aspects of our societies has become an issue of concern in the last few decades in which media are not out of the discussion. There seems to be a general agreement in the fact that in all human societies women are not treated as equal to man even as they form more than half of the world’s population and do play vital and crucial role in the survival of any society (Omenugha,2005).

In order to make sure that we don’t live in a patriarchal society, television programmes are been produce to educate or enlighten women on how to be emancipated in the different field in the society.  One of such programmes is AIT “Hero’s of our Time”.  This programme is meant to educate women on how they can be emancipated economically, political, socially and other wise. The program do invite women that have make impact in the society to come and share their experience to other women. Through this medium role model are been created. Women learn lessons on how they too can make impact in the society. Against this backdrop, this study is going to investigate the impact of AIT programme “Hero’s of our Time” on women emancipation.

1.3        Research Questions

1.      How frequent do women watch the programme “Hero’s of our Time” on AIT?

2.      How do women interpret the programme “Hero’s of our Time” messages?

3.      Is the programme “Hero’s of our Time” impacting on women emancipation?

4.      To what extent does “Hero’s of our Time” message influence women behavior?

1.4        Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of AIT programme “Hero’s of our Time” on women emancipation. To actualize this, the following objectives have been set.

1.      To know the frequency women use in watching the programme “Hero’s of our Time” on AIT.

2.      To identify how women interpret the programme “Hero’s of our Time” messages.

3.      To examine whether the programme “Hero’s of our Time” is impacting on women emancipation.

4.      To examine the extent  “Hero’s of our Time” message influence women behavior.

1.5        Significance of the Study

The under representation of women in the socioeconomic, political sphere has become a source of concern globally considering their significant number in the society. This study will examine the impact of television programme in women emancipation.

This study will be of immense importance to the society in the sense that it will inform the general public about how women can be emancipated in the society and it will benefits students, parents, teachers, government, media practitionerson the need to discourage  gender disparity in the society.

Similarly, this study will serve as:

•         A guide the up-coming undergraduate/ final year B.Sc. student(s) on taking an approach in conducting their research project related to this field.

•         It is expected to supply a first-hand material/guide for media organizations, feminists and also human right activists.

•         It will be useful to government in formulating policies on gender

1.6        Scope of the Study

The study is limited to the Kaduna metropolis because, Kaduna state is a large state with about 23 local governments and populated. So, this study is limited for the place of the research to be conducive and easy to be carried on. The study is also limited to women that watched and followed  AIT programme “Heroes off our Time” in the area of the study.

1.7        Limitations of the Study

It is difficult to assert that the sample used particularly women in Kaduna metropolis under the survey is enough and a true representation of the whole of women that watch “Heros of our Time” on AIT.


Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Bittner J. (2003): Mass communication: an introduction, New Jersey: Prentice hall Inc.

Ekyaheme, O. (2011). Soap Opera and Youths, Enugu Nigeria: Peterson publications

Folarin .B. (1998) Mass Communication an Introduction: Ibadan: sterling Horden.

Omenugha, K. (2007). Sexism and culture: The Nigerian scene. Interdisciplinary journal of communication studies.Vol. 3, p. 53

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