An Assessment Of Information And Communication Technology (ICT) On Performance Of Broadcast Media Organisation In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

An Assessment Of Information And Communication Technology (ICT) On Performance Of Broadcast Media Organisation In Nigeria


Abstract


The purpose of embarking on this study is to provide a detailed assessment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on the performance of Broadcast media Organisation in Nigeria. The objectives were to thoroughly examine the relevance of the new ICTs, to evaluate the value, importance and quality of ICTs in Nigeria Broadcast Media Organisations. A total of 100 respondents were selected from the population; 50 from Enugu State Broadcasting Service and another 50 from those members of the public who have access to the media house. The stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used. The data generated were analyzed using simple descriptive and statistical tools such as simple percentages, tabular presentations and frequency distributions. Data gathered from the study were analyzed and interpreted using simple percentage and tables. Also summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations were made on the study for further studies this include regular disbursement of monthly/quarterly subventions from the government to the media and the upgrading of operational equipments, engineering and communication gadgets, these are meant for policy formulation on the relationship between mass media and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), its assessment.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1. Background of Study

Human existence would have been meaningless without Information and Communication. Ideas, values, policies and every aspect of socio-cultural, political and economic obligation within the human environments would have been difficult to achieve without adequate dose of information and communication. As a result, information acts as grease for lubricating the entire society. However, the invention of modern means communication with the help of civilization made possible the advancement of science and technology the world has become a global village.

Ekwelie and Okonkwo (1983:16-62) recorded that “at one time, man depended on iron and wooden gong, the town crier for the exchange, transmission and dissemination of information and vital news,” but after the second (II) world war, a great leap was made from this tasking mode of information dissemination to a more advanced, mechanized method of transmitting message or news.

Broadcasting came to Nigeria in stages, one of which was the introduction of wired broadcasting more popularly known as radio distribution or re-diffusion in 1939 by the colonial government of British Broadcast Co-operation (BBC) to redistribute its programme by means of wires connected to loudspeakers installed in various homes of subscribers. It was developed in the United Kingdom (UK) in the 1920’s and exported to their colonies. However, its introduction to Nigeria was on the initiative of the engineers of the post of telegraph department in Lagos who had been involved in monitoring the transmission of the BBC on short wave. Since then, the Nigerian mass media industry has witnessed a phenomenal growth since the establishment of Nigeria Broadcasting Service in 1957 and the country’s first television station, set up by the then government of the former western region in 1959. The establishment of western Nigerian Broadcasting Service combined Radio and African first Television service triggered a race by the other two regions to setup theirs. The information and Communication as a loose term in describing ways in which people, machines and communication system can work together to make jobs quicker, more efficient and more accurate.

Siegfried Mandel (1962:22) stated that the world crossed into “information superhighway”, and it is this information superhighway that has tremendously changed the role of communication and information dissemination in the society. Today, with the help of great innovation and scientific inventions, mass communication has been revolutionized with the help of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Now we talk about satellite transmission and communication, computer communication, digital broadcasting system, computer, internet information and Communication, digital cellular phones (like GSM), fibre optics, microwave technologies, radio visual systems, robots enterprise software among others.

Information and Communication Technologies has made it possible for dissemination of information evenly and to a wide range of audience especially with the advent of GSM in Nigeria, both the literate, illiterate, urban and rural dwellers alike are kept abreast of vital issues, thereby closing up communication gap or information. Therefore, in realization of this views, it interests the researchers to assess the application of Information and Communication Technologies in the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) station.

When Marshal McLuhan talked about the global village many years ago, people at that time thought he was a joker. The new communication technologies have made people become increasingly involved in one another’s life. As Baran, (1999:51) observes, technologies not itself a medium but a social force bringing changes to the media world. Therefore, communication is any artifacts manipulated by man to aid him communicate interpersonally or massively.

The impact of the information technology on media industry has been improved. Information can reach people around the world within seconds, for instance, digital technology has placed us at a point of a new significant way of development in the history of human communication often called “the Information society” and has transformed the way many men and women work in the media industry (Ilo 2002:22) information can be sent all around the world within seconds with the new technologies, and news can reach people when it happens.


1.2. Statement of the Research Problem

The new information and communication technologies have been envisaged by some by some people as the threshold of globalizing the world. Information Technology acts as a great facilitator in globalizing, uniting the disintegrated world and enabling people to gain access to knowledge and services. There is no doubt that the world is becoming homogenous and differences between people are distinguishing. So, there is need for the Nigeria media to live up to the challenges.

There are many opinions that ESBS station cannot compete well with the rest of its counterparts in Nigeria because of so many teething problems such as lack of facilities, obsolete equipment, inadequate training, poor finance and government interference. As a result, this research will investigate these assertions to ascertain the truth of the matter. Moreover, it will go further to find out whether the application of information and communication technologies has impacted or enhanced the Broadcast media organization in Nigeria by adding value, importance or quality to it.


1.3. Objectives of the Study

The overall objective of this study was to assess the use of ICTs in the performance of Nigerian broadcast media.

However, the specific objectives include:

  1. To ascertain the level of application of ICTs in Enugu State Broadcasting Service
  2. To identify the factors responsible for that level of performance Enugu State Broadcasting Service with the use of ICT
  3. To assess the implication of the present level of ICTs performance in Enugu State Broadcasting Service
  4. To recommend ways of improving the adoption and enhanced performance of Enugu State Broadcasting Service with the use of ICT.

1.4. Research Questions

In the course of the study, attempts were made to provide answers to the following questions which served as a guide in the entire process.

  1. What is the assessment level of ICTs in the performance of Enugu State Broadcasting Service?
  2. Why is Enugu State Broadcasting Service still operating at that level of ICTs for performance?
  3. What implication does the present level of ICTs performance have on Enugu State Broadcasting Service?

1.5. Significance of the Study

The value, importance or quality of ICTs in media development cannot be over emphasized; It is one thing for a medium to adopt the use of ICTs for reliability and efficiency while another which neglects it cannot meet the pace of globalization trend, but it will be an immerse benefit to media outfits who adopt it and make use to it in their operations.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The general concern of this study is to assess the application of ICTs in the entire Nigerian mass media. However, as a result of insufficient time, money and materials and in order to remain realistic and avoid ambiguity, the researcher decided to limit the scope to the Enugu State Broadcasting Service.

It is however believed that the findings and recommendations of the work would be beneficial to both those within and outside the scope of the study.


1.7 Definition of Terms

In a study of this nature, the researcher may run the risk of having the operational terms in the work interpreted variously and in different perspectives by the readers. Such non-uniformity in conceptualization affects the readers‟ validity and reliability of the study. It is in view of this probability that this section is devoted to conceptual clarifications. Hence, in the conceptual and operational views, we look at the meaning of the following words:

Appraisal:

In the context of this work, “appraisal” means an assessment or evaluation to determine the extent of adoption and application of ICTs in Nigerian mass media, with a special focus on ESBS .

ICTs:

“ICTs” stands for Information and Communication Technologies. ICTs according to Tiamiyu (2003:35) cited in Salawu (2007:18), “are those electronic gadgets, equipment or technologies for creating, acquiring, storing, processing, communicating and using information”. This study is concerned with those used in the media – print and electronic.

Application:

The word “application” literally means the practical use of something, especially a discovery or innovation, theory, etc, or an act of putting something on to something else. In this work, it simply means the practical use of ICTs in the Nigerian mass media such as ESBS .


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The study examined the application of ICTs in the Nigerian mass media, paying special attention to ESBS. To warrant this, prior investigations present conflicting reports on the actual level of adoption and application of ICTs in the Nigerian mass media. While some believe that the Nigerian mass media are rapidly catching up with those explosive technologies, others seriously contend that the media in the country have remained in an abysmal performance, and have steadily watched the rest of the world grow with the trend. Meanwhile, the issue had remained yet to be empirically established, authenticated or confirmed. However, until it is established through empirical evidence, every argument remains mere speculation, intuition, hunches, or simply an insinuation.
Curiously, a study became imperative, to critically appraise all sides of the view and ascertain the true level of ICTs use in the nation’s mass media, using ESBS as a point of focus.

To do this, the problem that the study sought to investigate was stated in clear terms. This was accompanied by the objectives of the study. Then, the significance of the study was specified and relevant terms were defined operationally and conceptually. This formed the first chapter of the work.

In chapter two, existing literatures and empirical works/studies were extensively reviewed with a view to finding the relationship between studies done by other scholars on the use of ICTs in the Nigerian mass media and the present study. This was particularly important as it added more impetus to the understanding of the topic of discussion.
The data generated were further analyzed using simple descriptive and statistical tools such as simple percentages, tabular presentations and frequency distribution.


5.2 Conclusion

In this study, our attempts had been to systematically and empirically show the true situation of ICTs use in ESBS; if low, the causes, the consequences and the curative measures.

In the process, we generated enough data to attempt answering those pertinent questions. Our statistics, for one, were sufficient enough to prove that indeed, ICTs are underutilized in ESBS. The responses from the respondents to the questionnaire and the oral interviews abundantly overwhelmingly conformed this. It was the view of 85.6% of the respondents; hence, the issue is not a speculation.

Secondly, our respondents in their candid responses were able to identify the wide range of factors responsible for the situation to include- Lack of basic amenities such as electricity, poor knowledge of ICTs at all levels, from suppliers to users, few trained or skilled personnel, financial constraints, and poor planning, among others.
Again, the respondents unanimously agreed that the problems enumerated above have greatly hampered the use of ICTs in ESBS, the Guardian newspapers, and indeed the Nigerian mass media.


5.3 Recommendations

The findings of this study have shown in clear terms that ICTs are underutilized in ESBS. The study has again, confirmed that the underutilization of ICTs in ESBS has hampered the quality and quantity of their operation. It is against this backdrop that the following suggestions/ recommendations are made to consolidate the study and proffer solution to the problems raised.

  1. In order to encourage the growth of ICTs in the country, government should intervene by providing enabling environment that would attract both local and foreign investments in the area of technological acquisition and development.
  2. Basic social amenities such as electricity should be provided to minimize the cost of running the few available ICTs on generators.
  3. The media organizations should make efforts to invest in ICTs development and acquisition, where the local development is difficult, they should follow the global trend and ensure that only the standard and latest equipment are procured.
  4. The government should assist the media to go global by completing and launching the nation‟s communication satellites as soon as possible, as this would go a long way in boosting the quality and quantity of media outputs.

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