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THE REFLECTIONS OF MODERNIZATION IN THE NIGERIAN MEDIA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The broadcasting industry in Nigeria has come a long way from a humble beginning in 1959 and grown into a large industry. Attracting investments running into billions of naira. Today, the broadcast industry can boast of several radio and television stations allowing audience a variety of programmes.

McQuail (2008:) notes that it is an act of digitalization having immense significance to the computing  of ideas as it allows information of all kinds, in all formats to be carried with the same efficiency and also intermingled. The shift to modernization in the contemporary media world has created implications for traditional mass media products. However, these limitations are still very unclear. The more technology advances, the more coverage the realm of mass media will become with less need for traditional communication technologies. For example, the internet had transformed many communication norms creating more efficiency for not only individuals but also for businesses. However, McQuail suggest that traditional media have also benefited greatly from new efficient resources available (2008:)

The technological progress in general and the increasing use of communication and information technology is now sufficiently well advanced for it to be possible to forecast trends and define prospects, as well as to identify likely risk and stumbling blocks. Modernization in the broadcast sector is constantly making such advances which may facilitate braking barriers between persons and nations. That trend is without doubt irreversible. But the consequences which can now be foreseen are not necessarily beneficial.

According to MacBride (1980), the new technologies have ambiguous consequence since they bring with them the risk of making the existing communication systems more rigid and exaggerate their faults and dysfunctions. He noted that in setting up ever powerful, homogenous and centralized networks, there is a danger of accentuating the centralization of the public or institutional sources the information, of strengthening inequalities and in balances and of increasing the sense of irresponsibility and powerlessness of both individuals and communities. The multiplications of radio broadcasting frequencies and channels made available by direct broadcast satellites could bring diversification of objectives and audience, however, by intensifying competition, if may lead to the standardization of content and, at the international level, accentuate cultural dependence by increasing the use of imported programme. Again, as distance become an increasingly irrelevant factor in transmission cost in particular in the case of transmission by satellite but also in broadband digital transmission by microwave, light conductors and cables, the inequalities between developed and developing countries can diminish but they may be intensified as a result of concentration of these resources in the hands of a minority.

The advent of the internet is a phenomenon that had both existed and confounded those for long involved with the traditional mass media. A global network of computers which enables multimedia transmission of text, pictures, graphic, audio and video defies any of the old characteristics possible with the old media. And with its possibilities still unfolding, it is still difficult to firmly predict what the future implications would be for the old media of mass communication.

If Nigeria, with its large population and many resources had realized its possibilities as Africa’s potentially biggest economy, there should have been a concurrent growth in the abilities of its mass media. Leading Nigerian newspapers, broadcast media and even News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) could have developed pan-African, if not global outlooks, where-by most of the new technologies now available would have been called into service to facilitate such breadth and depth of coverage. But without the requisite economic development, the country will continue to drop further behind as the mass media in the more developed countries of the world take full innovation of the possibilities of technologies.

Radio involves the process by which message are sent through electrical waves. The medium had made meaningful impact on the lives of the people.  For example, the radio listening audience is larger than television audience for a sizeable portion of the day; because of its portability and accessibility. Also a radio serves as the quickest of fastest means of breaking or relating spot news.

Thus, the research work attempts to assess the reflections of modernization in highland FM Jos Plateau State.

1.1    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Unlike television programmers that go on channels, the radio operates in frequencies. The most popular of which is the frequency modulation (FM), and it’s the fastest medium through which news is delivered. Radio is an especially strong medium among both the general and specialized audience that has made meaningful impact in the lives of the people. Unfortunately, programmers and usual daily news reporting on many radio stations always fail to achieve   high standard because of the use of analogue equipment. Thus, there is the problem of lack of good audio sound, signals and efficient broadcast among the listeners. However, the mass media, particularly radio had come under criticism while performing its duties. It is also coming at a time that the country is gearing up to meet the global digitization deadline of 2015.

It’s against this background that this study shall examine the reflections of modernization in the Nigerian media particularly highland FM of Jos, Plateau State.

1.2    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 

This research work is aimed at assessing the level of reflections and use of modern equipment in highland FM Jos, considering the fact that radio has remain a powerful medium in the society. It is in view of the above that this study tends to:

i.                 Identify the places where modern equipment are provided in the FM station.

ii.               Study the frequent use of modernity by staff of highland FM Jos.

iii.             Find out the availability and affordability of this modern equipment in the radio station.

iv.             Know whether the reflection of modernization has influence Nigerian culture in a negative way.

v.              Identify the challenges that the staff are facing in the use of modern equipment.

vi.             Assess the frequency and time delivered of development programme that shape our norms and values.

vii.           Make appropriate recommendations base on the findings of the research.

1.3    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY  

The study is significant because it is a litmus test to know the efficiency of the use of modern gadgets or digital equipment in the development of mass media in Nigeria.

It will also contribute meaningful literature for both students of mass communication and media practitioners.

Above all, this study will reveal the significance and efficiency of the paradigm shift from analogue to digital age to the enhancement of the broadcast sector in Nigeria.

1.4    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study is the reflection of modernization in the Nigeria media, but the study is limited to highland FM Jos, plateau State.

This research will confine itself to this FM radio station to assess the reflection of modernization.

1.5    RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This research will attempt to provide answers to the following questions.

i.                In what places are modern equipment provided in the FM station?

ii.              To what extent can journalist cope with the new technology?

iii.            Is the switch over the digitalization help the station for effective broadcast and news reports?

iv.            What is the challenges face by the staff of highland FM in the use of modern equipment?

1.6    THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Theory is general statements that summarize our understanding of the way the world works.

According to Severin and Tankard (1982), a theory “is a set of idea of systematic generalizations based on scientific observation and leading to further empirical observation”.

THE DIFFUSION AND TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINATION THEORY AND THE MODERNIZATION THEORY of the mass media is suitable for this study because they provide the framework within which this study can be located.

The diffusion and technological determination theory was propound in 1986 by Everret Rogers. The propositions of the theory involve using communication to transfer technological innovations from development agencies to their clients so as to create an appetite for change through raising a climate for modernization among members of the public.

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