the impact of western television programme on the cultural value of nigeria youth


Television has been a very influential medium of mass communication, due to its audio and visual potentials. Scholars of communication have always researched into the influence of the various media of communication, particularly television on the society. These efforts provide useful information to individuals, groups and organizations that employ these media on how best to use them. The debate on whether television influences youth’s attitudes and behaviour has attracted diverse views supported by different researches. It is on this basis that this study examines the influence of television programmes on the cultural value of Nigeria youths. It is noteworthy that there is a growing worry over the decline of the cultural values of Nigerian youth. This ugly situation is sometimes tied to the influence of foreign television programmes. The foreign programmes do not only undermine the cultural values of Nigerian youths, but also influence the youths’ behaviour as well as the prevalence of foreign attitudes and habits among them. The study is driven by Social Cognitive theory which suggests that heavy television viewing “cultivates” perceptions of reality consistent with the view of the world presented in television programmes. Some youth in Nigeria, considerably perceive that what they view on foreign television programmes is a reality, and to them, there is need to cultivate the habits, attitudes, behaviour and values as demonstrated in television programmes.




The television as a secondary agent of socialization has to a very large extent influenced the lives of many cutting across different socio-cultural and economic status. Its role in the lives of people and especially young people cannot be overemphasized. Youths are the most vulnerable victims of cultural imperialism. Socialization and culture are two sides of the same coin and therefore, they remain inextricably linked”.

Devadas and Ravi (2013) defined culture as an ongoing integral part of the existence of every society and is learned, taught transmitted from one generation to another using varying agents of socialization. Suffice here to say that no society exists without a way of life exclusive to their existence, which inevitably affects their interactional process both internally and externally. The interactional process of members of a society culminates into a value system for them which imply their views of the world. Values of people could refer to perceptions on worthy or unworthy matter; liked or disliked attribute and among other elements of the world view. When a particular world view is held and defined by a cultural group over a period of time, it evolves into cultural value and grows to become a legacy. Thus, against the backdrop,  Daramola (2005) states that “culture is a social legacy that an individual acquires from his group, which comprises of values, customs, beliefs, language, religion, technology, emotional patterns, behavioural patterns and among many other socio-cultural symbols”.

In furtherance, globalization has intensified our whole world into a single whole  and this has made cultural accumulation to be very lucid in contemporary times, cutting across different continents, countries and local specifications. Cultural accumulation has abated cultural transfer, which has inadvertently extinct several indigenous cultural values and legacy of people, as stated by Jekayinka (2002) that culture includes the total repertoire of human action which is socially transmitted from generation to another. The photo-electric speed of this effect has been made lush by the advent of visualization of motion of pictures. Its orgy has posed different meaning to people as to whether to accept or deny television programmes as a blessing to their cultural values, especially in Africa, following the behavioural patterns of its youth populace. It is to this end that Signorielli and Kahlenberg (2003) opined that “the television is the first centralized cultural influence to permeate both the initial and final years of life as well as the years between”. Thus, Western Television Programmes is viewed and argued by several scholars as a measure to foster imperialism and tagged “a model of cultural imperialism”. Therefore, the acceptable fact of the Nigerian culture fading out as a result of the acceptance and adaptation of the modernist’s solution to perceived under-civilization and underdevelopment as cited in (Obiora, 2002) quintessence’s attributes of cultural imperialism.

Television programmes shown via different stations and channels are geared toward education, entertainment, and information. This is largely held as a modus operandi guiding transmission of TV programmes. To a very large extent the three pillars of media have been achieved, as they are important measures to check-mate deploring conditions of the human mind at different socio-cultural phase. It is no doubt that the coming of TV stations into regional Nigeria in 1959 through 1961, and the NTA in 1976 had political motives (Obono, 010).

However, it is believed that they played crucial roles in enabling an educated community especially through their functional political literacy and cultural promotional programmes.

Gradually, the deregulation of the sector in 1992 later led to an influx of private TV stations and the advent of foreign views through cable networks, and still in the act of educating, entertaining and informing viewers, they delivered laudable under certain legislations to protect the Nigerian Cultural image (Nnabuko, 2012). It is a trend in human existence that rules are gradually broken or bent. It was, therefore, no exception in the media as a systematic permeation of Western values gradually infiltrated the stage as against the perceived not to be true crude African cultural civilization. Taking the centre stage of motion pictures in Nigeria, the quest for indigenous cultural TV programmes started fading into the abyss with a plethora of WTP gracing the screens of African homes.


The exponential increase of cable networks in 1997 largely influenced the perceptions of young adults who are said to be the highest viewers of TV programmes. This became obvious in their behavioural conducts in terms of dressing, eating habits, greeting styles, professional pursuits, make-ups, attitudinal relational patterns and among other relatives. Thus, a conflict aroused between indigenous Nigerian cultures and televised western values. Parents and caregivers became embittered over the new lead of life of youths; quarrels ensued at several Nigerian homes and the centre could no longer hold again. This observed scene gradually metamorphosed into a scenario of conflict-seeking resolve with a question at the beck and call of Nigerians Where is our cultural heritage? It is in this vein that this research work seeks to understand the degree of influence, Western Television Programmes has made on the lives of our Nigerian Youths.


The objectives of this study would be:

i.            To understand the degree to which Western Television Programmes is preferred by the Nigerian youths over home-made Television Programmes.

ii.            To find out the extent indigenous Television Programmes promotes Nigeria’s cultural values.

iii.            To determine the hope of Nigerian cultural values in the light of sustainability.

iv.            To find out the possibility of a culturally contextualized media practice.

v.            To identify the place of legislations in protecting Nigeria’s cultural heritage, taking cognizance of democracy.


i.            To what degree do Nigeria youths preferred Western Television Programmes to home-made Television Programme?

ii.            To what extent has indigenous television programmes promotes Nigeria’s cultural values?

iii.            What is the hope of Nigerian cultural values in the light of sustainability?

iv.            What is the possibility of a cultural contextualized media practice?

v.            What is the place of legislations in protecting Nigeria’s cultural heritage, taking cognizance of democracy?


The research will help in propagating a domestication of the African/Nigerian culture characterized with good neighbourliness, respect for elders, virtuousness, communal living and collectivism.

It will enable the government and policy makers especially National Film and Video Censors Board and National Broadcasting Commission to put adequate measures in place to check the influx of western television programmes into Nigeria.

It will help remove the idea of unhealthily imitating western cultures or ways of life in


The research will help improve media contextualization in protecting the culture of a people.

Finally, the research will stand as a source of material to student in related field of study.


The scope of this study would center around students of Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi who are within the youthful age, assessing their varying perceptions of WTPs and its influence on cultural values on Nigerian youths. The institution is been noted for a blend of Western and Traditional values with the former in preponderance. This makes it a suitable study area to carry out the research.

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