THE IMPACT OF WOMEN JOURNALIST ON NIGERIAN BROADCAST MEDIA
1.1 Background of the study
T Media has a role to play in the struggle for gender transformation and bridging gap between social identities of woman an man. Communication studies, even of the radical critical tendency, have long seemed to be largely gender blind (perhaps more a matter of unwillingness to see), one can now justifiably, speak of a culture feminist media studies project (Van Zoonen 1991; 1994: Gallagher 2003). The relationship between media and women has a certain structure where woman is trapped as an object. The role of women in media-decision making is reflected in the poor representation of women issues and concerns. The drastically changing media (Print) can be seen through years or especially in post-liberalization period,media has become market-oriented. Media-market on one hand has expanded opportunities for women but the kind of ‘beats’ or ‘job’ are assigned to women journalist is to keep them confined to soft-beat (Tomar Ranu 2009) like handling feature writing or shallow writings. The reconstruction and representation of gender issue is dealt within patriachal discourse of the media. The question of gender touches almost every aspect of the media-culture relationship. Van Zoonen (1991) writes that the meaning of gender is never given but varies according to specific culture and historical setting…is subject to ongoing discursive struggle and negotiation (p45). Here important issue is professional inequality which is embedded in media and is strongly based on social differences between man and womanj. The exclusion and oppression of women by transnational corporations is translated into media representation and employment. To address these issues UNESCO commissioned major review of the literature worldwide related to women and media (Gallagher 1981). Gallagher (1981) notes that her review-present a picture remarkable only for its over all consistency when compared from one country to another (p 70). The report offers considerable evidence in support of conclusion that is: representation of women can best be described as narrow. On film, press and the broadcast media, women activities and interests typically go no further than the confines of home and family. Characterized as essentially dependent. Both as characters in fictional media material and as newsmakers in the press and broadcasting, women are numerically under representation-and absence which underlines their marginal and inferior staus in many spheres of social, economic and culture lives. Prevalent news values define most women and most women’ problem as unnewsworthy, admitting women to coverage primarily as wives, mother or daughters of men in the news: in their own right, they make the headline usually only as fashionable or entertainment figures. Meanwhile since the general public cannot be in all places at the same tme. Journalists through the media bring the world closest by reporting politics, sport, disasters even in far away China, UK, US, Russia e. t. c within some seconds. Journalism is the nose, eye, mouth, ear of the public who help the public to see what is happening, to findout where it is happening, to help public to ask question on what they want to know from the people involved and to feed them as quickly as possible. Image life without information, without news and without mass media and journalists. Journalism is the collection, preparation and distribution of news and related commentary and feature materials through such media as pamphlets, newsletter, magazines, radio, motion pictures, television, the internet and books. Journalism is one saddled with the responibility of finding facts, writing news, editing news and other editorial materials that are worthy of public interest for presentation. Journalist work in a radio, television, newspaper, magazine, online news blog/ website e. t. c. The earliest known journalists product was a newssheet in ancient Rome called the ACTA DIURNA published daily from 59 BC, it was hung in prominent places and recorded important social and political events. Journalism in the 20th century was marked by a growing sense of professionalism. In our society today it has been observed that there is gender disparity in all quarters, mass media is not an exception yet women journalists have contributed significantly to the development and success of jornalism locally and internationally espcially in the broadcast media where they serve as newscasters, presenters and reporters. Journalism can be a very dangerous job in particular for women reporters who expose injustices in hostile, corrupt and violent environments and in war zones. In addition to the different forms of violence against journalists, both men and women, and obstacles to their work, including threats, murder, confiscation of material, deportation, arrests and intimidation, female journalists face certain gendered risks within this male dominated profession. Despite, the challenges facing women journalists all over the world yet they are contributing trimendously to the development of the media industry and broadcast media in particular.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
This study was undertaken to x-ray in real sense the challenges, limitations and contributions of female journalists in Nigeria media industry particularly in broadcast media especially as newscasters, reporters and anchor of programmes relating to women, children, fashion, entertainment, education e.t.c and to know why there is low participation of the female graduate journalists towards practicing journalism as their career. Despite the fact that there is considerably good number of trained female journalists, very few of them are working with media houses in Nigeria. The research is will however, examine the impact of women journalists on Nigeria Broadcast media using journalists in Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) both in Ibadan.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
• To examine whether women journalists are competing with male journalists in the field.
• To know if women responsibility as mother affect their journalism career. • To examine if women journalists perform better in broadcast media more than in print media.
• To study whether some programmes are better anchored by female journalists than male journalists.
• To analysis the major challenge facing women journalists in performing better. • To know the extent which culture of society affect the performance of women journalists.
• To understand whether religion influence the effectiveness of female journalists. • To examine whether female journalists free from hazard of journalism. • To know how often do media houses send women journalists to cover crisis scenes.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• Can women journalists compete with male journalists in the field? • Do women responsibility as mother affect their journalism career? • Are women journalists perform better in broadcast media more than in print media?
• To what extent is culture of Nigeria society affect women journalists performance? • Does religion influence the effectiveness of female journalists? 1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is very important because of its gender values as it examines the impact of women journalists on the development of broadcast media despite the harzard and other dangrous challenges facing them such as kidnapping, molestation, arrest, beating, death and host of others yet lots of women are still vibrant journalists. The researcher, therefore, has deemed it fit to find out the the contributions and the some of the reasons for low zeal among female mass communication students to the practice of journalism. The researcher also observed that there are few female teachers of mass communication and journalism in all tertiary intitutions all over the world due to the limited numbers of female journalists in the industries. According to Okunna (1990) “In most schools in Nigeria, women are not often seen as lecturers both at universities and polytechnics” The work is very significant to the extent that female mass communication and journalism students will be more focus and choose journalism as a career. Media owners will as well know that female journalists have significant roles to play in both print and broadcast industry.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research has been narrowed in scope to Bcos and nta ibadan since it is very difficult if not impossible to study all mess media houses across the country due to time available for the study, money, materials and other logistics.
1.7 LIMITATION TO THE STUDY
Wide research of this nature cannot be carried out without some constrains, this constrains pose a lot of limitations to this work. Time: Duration for the research work is relative1y short while stress emanated from other academic activities is also another constrain. Material: Little materials are also available because the work is relatively new. Financial constrain poses another challenges as most of information are gathered through books rather than using various sources including internet. Financial: Financial constrain poses another challenges as it is very difficult to travel to NTA and BCOS Ibadan as frequently as possible.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Impact: it means the role, contribution, achievement of women in the practice of broadcast media.
Women Journalist: This is a mature female choosing journalism as a career. Broadcast Media: Broadcast media are means of transmission which enable audio, audio-visual of information, message, idea, to a wider number of people listening or viewing usally simultaneously examples are radio and television
Journalism: This is the work of collecting writing and publishing of news stories and articles in newspapers and magazines or broadcasting them on radio and television to inform the general public on things happening in the world.