the influence of television educational and entertainment programmes on viewers
THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
“Communication is at the heart of all social intercourse” – Amadou M’BOW (1980:8). Television Communication has now grown to a planetary scope “Television is widely acknowledge to be a powerful medium of our age”, (Television Journal Vol.III, 1985). It was introduced for nation development. In some cases it was introduced prior to independence by colonial governments to command and control social activities and civilization especially in the developing and underdeveloped countries. Many homes and institutions have found it compelling to posses radio and Television sets.
The Cinema, which used to be popular for foreign films now belongs to another age. Television in this present time, has become popular and it is a more convenient alternative to the social custom of going to the cinema. Television has affect social change by undoubtedly aiding fashion, taste and social interaction.
Over the years, there has been a considerable debate over the influence of television on children. Children are the most rapidly changing segment of any society. They are constantly rejecting the ways, norms and values of the older generation and are quick in redefining them to suit their own values and styles. Yemi Faroubi, (1986) Ex-general Manager, Nigerian Television Authority, Ibadan, says Nigerian television Started as a necessary emulation of television in other countries. He state that in some television stations, Nineteen years ago, one would have thought that one was within the premises of the British Broadcasting Corporation. This he explained was due to the similarities of titles, the letters they wrote, the Language they used and the titles of programmes which were so much like those of foreign stations. He aids that, in the developed world, television is required to maintain a middle of the road position, to hold a mirror to the society, to reflect what it looks like and never to influence what the society should look like. These foreign programmes have been jointly identified along with certain local programmes as acculturating Nigerian youths and children. This is evident in their mode of dressing, behavioural patterns and even in the way they relate to their elders.
Children are found imitating television heroes like Michael Jackson, Ron Kenoly and Comando. These days children stay to watch television after nine 0’clock when they should be in bed. This denotes that they watch programmes which is not meant for them. They watch late night movies and learn things meant for adults.
The main aim of the introduction of television into media system of Nigeria was for an effective dissemination of information, entertainment and also to highlight and preserve African arts and culture.
Children get their basic values and language from seeing and hearing what adults do and say to them and around them. They acquire competence and self confidence from them, not only with interested people but also with concrete materials such as toys, paper, blocks and Natural objects in their environment.
Television therefore plays an important role in the lives of children, they spend much time with the television and so learn much from the medium, that sums up the reasons for the Federal Government and the Directors of the Nigeria television stations, why they took pains of spelling out reasonable, educating programmes for children. One of such programmes is the educational television and the aim of this programme type as stated in the Nigerian television handbook 1981 are as follows:
· To inculcate religious and moral values
· To inculcate discipline and respect for authority
· To encourage spirit of comradeship
· To help discover and encourage building of talents
· To create awareness in craft and teach how to make them.
Despite the fact that educational television should help educate the children very few children learn or benefit from educational television programmes. Let’s take a brief look at AKBC-TV Channel 45, Television programming.
The programmes department is a very important arm of the television outfit. Before now and until recently in AKBC it was one of the biggest departments, comprising the following sections.
Programmes proper (producers) production services cooperative and presentation (announcers). Today the department consists of only the producers and presenters – the image makers of the station, through them the different programmes are produced and channeled for transmission. Therefore, the sole aim of the department is to carry out the triple functions of broadcasting by educating, informing and entertaining the different categories of viewers with their various programmes.
The programmes on AKBC – TV, Uyo are grouped into the following types: public enlightenment, educational, current affairs, entertainment, children, women, youth and family, religion and ethics, the arts, sports, News, drama and philosophy, government and politics.
There are three sources of programmes in AKBC Channel 45, Uyo, the National programmes which provides programmes on the promotion of peace and unity, patronage of Nigerian culture and programmes on education.
The state programmes which provides for the discussion of the life and culture of the people and their opinion of National affairs.
The local programmes which provides discussion of Local Matters, story telling, folk-tales, local music, burial announcement and lectures on farming.
Based on the programmes of AKBC-TV, Uyo, it becomes necessary to assess the impact of AKBC-TV entertainment and Educational programmes on secondary school students in Uyo.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Critics have questioned children television since the 1960’s. during the past period, the producers had failed to recognized children as a special viewer group.
Programming for children is one of the areas of great problem to Nigerian producers, many people who have studied the pattern of television programming in Nigeria have noted seriously its influence on the lives of the people and have also known the various conflicts on our culture.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The structure of television broadcasting has been a key problem to television broadcasting in Africa whereby Foreign programmes dominated the African television stations and Nigeria in particular. The objectives of this study included:
1. To identify the AKBC TV Educational and Entertainment programmes.
2. To find out the objectives of these programmes.
· To find out the educational or informative and entertainment benefits of these programmes on the viewers under Study.
1. To find out the attitude of the viewers under study towards the entertainment programmes of AKBC-TV Channel 45, Uyo.
2. To assess if these programmes help to inculcate in our children, the moral value, disciplines, social and cultural heritage of Akwa Ibom State.
3. To find out the general view of the audience members under study about AKBC – TV programmes.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions are formulated to guide the researcher in her study.
1. What are the AKBC-TV Educational and Entertainment programmes?
2. What are the objectives of these programmes?
· What are the educational or informative and entertainment benefits of these programmes on the children under study?
1. What is the attitude of the children under study towards the entertainment programmes on AKBC-TV Channel 45, Uyo?
2. Are these programmes helpful in inculcating in our school students, the moral values, disciplines, social and cultural heritage of Akwa Ibom State?
3. What is the general view of the children understudy about television entertainment and Education programmes broadcast in AKBC-TV Channel 45, Uyo?
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Indeed, there is a need to embark on the research of this nature when one considers the engrossing influence of television on the Nigerian Youths. Producers of television drama are very careless in the way they handle sex on television. In the absence of community standards, we show no restrain in the way we present sex in our entertainment programmes for instance, in glamour girls. A child is introduced to the world of romance too early in life. Profanity, obscenity, smut and vulgarity are common in both our local drama and foreign films and other entertainment programmes. Cigarette smoking and the use of liquor are often depicted in a manner to impress the Youth of our country as a desirable habit worthy of imitation. This study hopes to offer recommendations that may help to correct these social ills.
Also in the educational sector, the knowledge thus presented and a massed daily by the various media of communication is in the nature of “Mosaic” which no longer corresponds to traditional intellectual categories. The priority is given to the dissemination of trivial or sensational news, increasing “noise” at the cost of the real message. In addition, mass communication tends to strengthen and enrich our common symbolic system, expressed and interpreted in new ways.
Furthermore, this study is justified because no known research has yet been conducted among the residents of Akwa Ibom State to discover the influence of television on the secondary school students whether negative or positive effect.
Based on the reactions in Uyo residents to certain television programmes, recommendations are made in order to prevent this misleading foundations, built in Nigerian children and also the need to preserve African culture.
1.5 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study centred on the impact of television on secondary school students. The work is limited to secondary school students whose ages range from 10-18 years. This range was chosen because by the age of 10, an average child is able to answer questions and express his/her opinion correctly. Also, by the age of 10, the impact of the television if any, should be made manifested in a child’s life. The upper limit of 18 reflects the age of a young person or a youth beyond this age, he is an adult.
The work is limited to Akwa Ibom State and Secondary School Students and specifically Uyo metropolis because about 50% of Uyo residents have access to television programmes.
Another reason for limiting my work to this area is to be able to control certain variables such as contacting respondents personally to explain certain concepts on the questionnaire to their understanding. Also the people in Uyo metropolis are adequately exposed to television signals and messages.
1.6 THE DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
In a research work of this nature it is quite necessary to explain certain terms for the benefit of those who may not understand what such terms means. Therefore, some terms used in this work are defined below:
Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation Television Channel 45, Uyo.
This comprises of all persons who gathered together either in their individual homes or in an open place for the purpose of watching television programmes.
Influence as used in this study refers to effect.
This comprises all care educational subjects with a laid down syllabuses for primary and secondary schools, involving theory and practical demonstrations people discuss issues/problems related to the environment in order to offer solutions.
The state of being young, which is the early part of life (but for the purpose of this work, the limit of this youth is from the ages of 10 – 18 years.
A visual medium of mass communication.
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