Assessment Of Novena University Students Perception Of Reality Programmes (A Study Of Select Reality Programmes In Nigeria)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Assessment Of Novena University Students Perception Of Reality Programmes (A Study Of Select Reality Programmes In Nigeria)


The study assessed Novena University students perception of reality programmes -a study of some select reality programmes in Nigeria. Content analysis and survey were used to generate data for the study. The Content of three purposively selected reality television programmes, which include Big Brother Africa, Gulder Ultimate Search and MTN Project Fame for the 2011 season were analysed. Twenty-one (21) episodes of the three reality television programmes were analysed from May 12, 2011 to December 19, 2011. Data were also generated with a 22-item self-developed questionnaire with a reliability of 0.81 established using Cronbach’s coefficient alpha. The instrument was administered on 388 respondents drawn from students of Novena University using a simple random sampling technique. The results show that reality programmes are produced with educational contents meant to teach the audience skills being performed or perfected by the contestants and the programmes helps audience members to learn things about other people. The study concludes that reality television programmes have serious influences on audience members as they desire to be like the people they watch in the programmes. Again, to a great extent, many reality television audience members do believe that what they watch in the programmes are real life situations and not mere acting. Finally, the reality television programmes shown in Nigeria have little or no cultural or traditional value to add to the lives of its audience. Therefore, it is recommended, among other things that since reality television programmes enable audience members to learn things about others when they watch contestants in the programmes, producers must ensure that reality television programmes aired on Nigerian television stations are those capable of impacting positively on the lifestyles of Nigerians, especially University students.

Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.1.1 Briefs on Selected Reality Television Programmes
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Delimitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.1.1 Overview of Reality Television Programming
  • 2.1.2 Perceived Reality and Reality Television Programming
  • 2.1.3 Defining Reality Television Programming
  • 2.2 Features of Reality Television (Characteristics)
  • 2.2.1 Reality-based Programming is not Scripted
  • 2.2.2 Reality-based Programming involves “ordinary” People instead of Actors
  • 2.2.3 Reality-based Programming is characterised by Spontaneous Actions
  • 2.2.4 Some Elements of Producer Involvement Exists in Reality-Based Programming.
  • 2.2.5 There is a Comprehensive Surveillance of Subjects in Reality-Based Programmes
  • 2.3 Reality Television Programmes and Young Audience
  • 2.3.1 The Appeal in Reality Television
  • 2.4 Criticisms of Reality Television Programmes
  • 2.4.1 Third Person-perception
  • 2.4.2 Drama
  • 2.5 Review of Studies
  • 2.6 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.6.1 Perception/Reception Theory
  • 2.6.2 The Social Construction of Reality Theory
  • 2.6.3 Reflective-Projective Theory

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.1.1 Content Analysis
  • 3.1.2 Survey
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.2.1 Content Analysis
  • 3.2.2 Survey
  • 3.3 Sample Size and Sampling Procedure
  • 3.3.1 Content Analysis
  • 3.3.2 Survey
  • 3.3.3 Survey Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Description of research instruments (Survey and Content Analysis)
  • 3.5 Content Categories
  • 3.6 Unit of Analysis
  • 3.6.1 Gender Stereotypes
  • 3.7 Validity of Research Instrument
  • 3.8 Reliability of Research Instrument
  • 3.8.1 Reliability for Content Analysis
  • 3.8.2 Reliability for Survey (questionnaire)
  • 3.9 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.10 Method of Data Analysis (Content Analysis and Survey)

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis
  • 4.1.1Content Analysis
  • 4.1.2 Survey
  • 4.2 Testing of Hypotheses
  • 4.3 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Reality-based shows are gradually taking over global television programming. People who have been following events on television for the past five years can easily agree that television programming in the twenty-first century has thus far been dominated by reality-based programmes (Nielsen Ratings, 2005). For the past several years, reality television has dominated mainstream television programming, providing relatively inexpensive entertainment (Gardyn, 2001). No doubt, reality television has become a pastime which many television stations now rely on for winning large audience and advertisement patronage from advertisers. Television shows such as the Delta State Government-sponsored Delta Talent Quest, Star Quest, Gulder’s Ultimate Search, MTN’s Project Fame, Glo’s Naija Sings, ABC’s The Bachelor, GTBank’s The Debator, NBC’s The Apprentice, Maltina’s Family Dance All, FOX’s American Idol and even cable shows like MTV’s The Real World have continued to dominate television stations’ timeslots on a regular basis. In America, FOX’s American Idol is the network’s most-watched non-sports show ever and was the most watched show overall for the entire 2004-2005 television season (Nielsen Ratings, 2005). The Big Brother Africa show aired by DSTV satellite channel is very popular among viewers in Africa.

The popularity of these shows is such that television stations and networks find themselves scrambling to place more reality programmes on air to keep up with audience demands. The driving force of reality programming lies in the fact that, it places the audience member on the opposite side of the entertainment arena, providing all viewers with the possibility of becoming potential entertainers as in the case of Big Brother Africa and Gulder Ultimate Search season 8 where audience members are given the opportunity to vote out contestants and vote in an evicted contestant who they will like to see back in the show. This way, the audience participates effectively in determining who should entertain them. The growing popularity of the reality genre invites questions regarding its utility and consequences for audiences.

In Nigeria, reality television programmes are gradually becoming a dominant genre in television programming and the reason may not be farfetched. Many programmes on television now revolve around reality television chiefly because they now provide audience members, advertisers, and producers with certain entertainment gratifications and benefits which the scripted programmes like film and home videos may have difficulty fulfilling.

A Uses and Gratification study by Nabi, Biely, Morgan and Stitt (2003) found that one of the primary factors for viewing reality television is that it provides the audience the opportunity to participate in the show vicariously through real contestants that they can relate to. This type of viewer participation exists almost exclusively within the reality television genre; even though some networks have identified this trend and have tried to create scripted programming that could achieve the same effect.

For advertisers, the appeal of reality television is that it is a genre that allows for product-placement to be incorporated into the show without distracting the viewers’ attention or reducing the quality of the show. Gulder’s Ultimate Search, for instance, has featured competitions where rewards, ranging from free drinks to mobile phones, have been given out to winners. Employing this type of product placement within scripted programming would be much more difficult for producers to successfully do, as it is often seen as “selling out” on the part of the television stations (Marcel, 2003).

Television network executives have also become fond of reality programming for a number of reasons. Reality programmes offer television networks new programming that does not require time off for the cast (because the contestants change each season) and does not require much time for writers to develop scripts or work on storylines. Issues that do face reality programmes, such as scouting location and searching for contestants, can be handled by auxiliary staff who may not be directly involved with production. Television stations now feature many reality-based programmes on their stations for audience consumption. The reason for this, according to Laurie Hibberd, (an American television producer) has so much to do with cost. “Reality shows cost an average of $400,000 per hour to produce versus $2 million for a dramatic series” (Hibberd, 2002). But what effect is this recent increase of reality television programming having on its viewers? How do the viewers, especially the younger ones, perceive the reality programmes that are gradually taking over television programming today? One of the most common and recurring issues about reality-based programmes is the fact that they emphasize and showcase the worst aspects of people, especially in cases of competition-based reality shows. For instance, Hyde-Clark (2004) notes that producers of reality programmes frequently manipulate situations in order to cause conflict and the result of these manipulations and casting practices is often explosive. Bagley (2001) identifies the creation of cliques to be common in many reality programmes, noting that shows such as Survivor, Big Brother, Joe Millionaire and others seem to thrive on the concept of back-biting and the creation of alliances and cliques. Participants can be seen frequently talking negatively about other cast members or working to oust those who they perceive to be a threat. All these display of drama and negative behaviour may have interesting implications, arising from the impact the programmes may have on the viewers.

Reality television programmes have been criticised for being overly provocative and a disquieting representation of the society. The South African version of Big Brother proved to be highly controversial for its overt sexual content. However, Hyde-Clark (2004) notes that youths perceive reality programmes to be a reflection of their culture. “Youth may see reality TV as a reflection of the attitudes and behaviour exhibited in society. They may see the comments made by contestants as an accurate expression of how they are viewed by society, and adjust their perception of themselves accordingly”.

On the positive side, Gotz (2004) describes reality television as a powerful socializing agent for youths. In her essay on youths’ reactions to the genre, she reports that some viewers actually develop perceptions of the world and learn how to interact with others from reality programmes. She cited the case of a young boy who said watching Big Brother taught him strategies to deal with conflicts. In the same vein, Von-Feilitzen (2004) notes that reality television could be instrumental in young viewers’ construction of identity. In her discussion of the genre, she offers an explanation of the powerful potential that reality television has in influencing its viewers and society. According to her, young viewers find reality television programmes entertaining and exciting and they can learn from the programmes because they satisfy some of their curiosity about life and people.

The notion that youths learn from a genre that is widely viewed as a partial representation of reality and that is often focused on sex, alcohol and conflict presents considerable questions about reality television’s impact on individuals and society as a whole.

In spite of the ‘doing anything-to-win’ attitude exhibited in some reality television programmes and some other criticisms, followers of the programmes seem to be on the rise. The obvious reason may be the popularity of the programmes among television stations/networks, the huge sponsorship from advertisers as well as the increase in the popularity of the programmes among television viewers who are craving for something different from what they are used to.

Some reality-based programmes have shown signs of staying away from the negative contestant characteristics which many reality based programmes have come to be identified with. Shows such as The Debators, The Scholar, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as well as the Entrepreneur routinely feature people who are capable of making positive impact on other people and the general philosophy of these shows is to bring together young men and women to a show where they will display skills that are capable of creating positive impact on their fellow youths. But despite the intent of reality-based programme producers to get away from the traditional stereotypes of ruthless contestants which dominate the genre, the percentage of positive or good- willed reality shows that do well on television stations still remains very small. Beckworth (2004) observes that “while some reality shows have made the switch to actually helping people, the majority still do their best to embarrass the contestants and mortify the watchers”. Supporting this idea, Gilbert (2005) notes that, “Charity is a good thing, but it doesn’t always make good television”.

The import of the above illustration is that some reality-based television programming has become persistent forces across the television spectrum because they routinely feature stories and scenarios in which contestants are forced to resort to behaviours that would be considered culturally unacceptable in normal societies. These behaviours, combined with the popularity which reality-based programming has been enjoying in recent times, may have a significant effect on shaping how television viewers mould their perceptions of the world around them. In a bid to fully examine this type of phenomenon, Gerbner (1969) developed the Cultural Indicators programme as part of his work with cultivation effects to assess the impact which exposure to television could have on viewers. Some of the variables which were content-analysed are the demographic portraits of perpetrators and victims of television violence, the prevalence of violent acts, the types of violence portrayed, and the contexts of violence. Using data collected by the American National Opinion Research Center (NORC), Gerbner found that heavy television viewers scored higher on a “mean world” index than did light viewers. In this wise, heavy dependence on reality television or, heavy watchers, are likely to be heavily affected by what the programmes present to them as real. In many cases, they may be negative impact such as the desire to get rich without hard work, taking everything in life as a game and therefore, seeing life as a competition. They can also be affected by the attitude of seeking to be famous even though they might not have the right talents to do so. When they do not achieve, they may turn back their frustrations on the society.

Another negative impact which reality television may have on its audience is that viewers allow someone else (producers) to determine what is “real” for them. A very good example of this was depicted in George Orwell’s book, 1984. Events from the book clearly show that human beings have begun to believe everything that is depicted on the large television-screens. Although the book is a work of fiction which was written many years ago, it however portrays humanity’s seeming natural tendency to be easily swayed by what they see.

One issue to note here is the exploitation of the people’s lives by the producers of some of the programmes. Here, the question that arises is; is it ethical to exploit someone’s divorce, incarceration, pregnancy and teenage pregnancy for the sake of entertainment? An example of such was the child birth reality programme shown on some national and international television stations in Nigeria from the 19th to 24th of March 2012, featuring Mrs Blessing Madaki. Mrs Madaki, a pregnant woman was scheduled to deliver her baby live on television screens to millions of audience at home, all in the name of “reality show”. Some people may justify the airing of such (private) event by claiming that the subjects in the shows agreed to be filmed and that they are compensated for their stories, but what does it say about the producers and viewers who are willing to make a profit or be entertained by someone else’s pain, immaturity, or poor choices in life?

A lot of reality programming these days are targeted at youths (large number of who are students) who often easily associate with the programmes’ characters and may take to some as role models. Many of these youths who might be university students, may not be able to distinguish between the realities in reality television and the realities in the real world. For Instance, many students in Nigerian universities flood audition venues of reality programmes, craving for the instant fame which reality television programmes will give them. Rather than see success as a process which must be prepared for, these youths simply assume success to be a product of their talents which the reality based programmes represent. They also provide the youths with the platform for showcasing and launching them into instant fame as evident in audition interviews for programmes like Glo Naija Sings and Star Quest and others.

This study, therefore, became necessary as it assessed Novena University students perception of reality programmes -a study of some select reality programmes in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Reality programming is gradually becoming the toast of television stations and advertisers globally. The relatively cheap production costs and high audience viewing figures ensure a steady stream of new and repeated formats of reality television on television screens in different homes today. The ‘real’ drama of the programmes is highlighted by the interactive capacity of the shows, with the audience supposedly directly influencing events on the television screen. From the Big Brother Africa shows through MTN Project Fame, Maltina Family Dance All, West African Idol to the Gulder Ultimate Search, among others, audience are invited to join in and make celebrities out of unknown contestants, plucked from obscurity to enter the fabulous life of celebrity, success and fame.

A reality television programme, for instance, is a programme supposedly devoid of ‘acting out’ unfolding events with everything happening being “unplanned”, “real”, but documented for viewers to see on-going or live happenings with every passing moment. There are no actors, just competitors (young men and women who probably live in the same neighbourhood) doing their best to win the star prize of the reality show. The setting varies, based on the theme of the reality show. Issues, therefore, abound as some people perceive reality television programmes as ‘rewarding idleness’. Some people may also be seeing reality programmes on television as another way of exploiting the minds of the young audiences of the programmes without morally impacting on their lives. The craze for instant fame is another issue, because many youths now suddenly discover their supposedly hidden talents which the reality television programmes provide them with a platform to stardom with little or no hard work.

The focus of this study therefore, was to analyse reality television programmes, finding out the contents of the programmes and identifying their thematic direction, as well as assessing the perception of University Students towards reality television programmes. In other words, how do university students perceive reality television programmes in Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The study set out to assess Novena University students perception of reality programmes -a study of some select reality programmes in Nigeria.

The specific objectives were to:

  1. Determine the thematic direction of Big Brother Africa, Gulder Ultimate Search, and MTN Project Fame reality television programmes.
  2. Examine if the contents of Big Brother Africa, Gulder Ultimate Search, and MTN Project Fame reality television programmes reflect gender stereotypes.
  3. Find out if there are educational/cultural/traditional values in the contents projected in the reality television programmes such as Gulder Ultimate Search, Big Brother Africa and MTN Project Fame in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
  4. Find out the perception of University students of reality television programmes.
  5. Determine the effects reality television programmes have on University Students and the society.
  6. Ascertain if the gender of University students affects their perception of reality programmes on television.
  7. Find out how reality television stars influence University Students.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were raised in the study:

  1. What educational contents are projected by Big Brother Africa, Gulder Ultimate Search, and MTN Project Fame reality television programmes?
  2. Do the contents of Big Brother Africa, Gulder Ultimate Search, and MTN Project Fame reality television programmes reflect gender stereotypes?
  3. Are there educational/cultural/traditional values in the contents of reality television programmes such as Gulder Ultimate Search, Big Brother Africa and MTN Project Fame in the 2011 and 2012 seasons?
  4. What is the perception of University students towards reality television programmes?
  5. What effects do reality television programmes have on University Students and the society?
  6. How does the gender of University students affect their perception of reality programmes on television?
  7. How do reality television stars influence University Students?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Two alternative hypotheses were formulated for this study.

  • H1: Reality television programmes project more educational contents than cultural/traditional values.
  • H2: Male students are likely to perceive reality television programmes differently from their female counterparts.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is important because of the proliferation of reality programmes in Nigeria today which have raised arguments about their messages, perception, etc. This study provides valuable contributions to theory, practice and research. Theoretically, the findings are expected to support previous theories and premises in the area of television influence/effect, perception as well as reality television studies. The study, no doubt, will contribute to extant literature on reality television, televisual effects, particularly in the area of perception and television influence.

Thus, the way University students perceive reality television programmes has been empirically established. Scholars now have empirical evidence they can cite, critique or seek to replicate in their study. It is therefore, expected that television producers, especially reality television producers, will see this study as an exposé of how they are affecting people with their programming.

Audience members, who are at the receiving end of television contents will, through this study, understand better their position in the television production chain as this study provides them information on how reality television programmes affect their lives from the opinions gathered from the result from this study.

With the achievement of the study’s objectives, parents should also be interested in the findings of this study as it reveals how television and reality television affect the lives of their children and wards.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study concentrated on six Nigerian Universities in the South-South Geo- political zone, namely: Edo, Delta Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River and Rivers States. This was made up of two state-owned and four federal universities with one each from the six states that make up the geo-political zone.

Since it would be difficult to content-analyse all reality television programmes on television in Nigeria, four reality television programmes were purposely selected based on the following criteria: national spread; consistency in terms of being produced every season; and popularity among the respondents. They are Big Brother Africa, Gulder Ultimate Search and MTN Project Fame.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

The researcher faced challenges in accessing the episodes of the reality programmes analysed in the study due to the fact that the television stations that aired them refused to give them out for analysis. Even the producers of the reality programmes were initially reluctant until they agreed to release only the chosen episodes for analysis.

Also, the reaction of the respondents to the researcher in the process of the administering of the data gathering instrument (questionnaire) posed another major challenge. The researcher had to beg and convince many of the respondents with the assurance that their responses were going to be treated as anonymous.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Reality TV/Reality Television:

A programme type on television, sometimes produced in seasons, with talents who are not necessarily actors competing for a prize. It is also a programme type that presents real people in real situations for the purpose of entertainment.

Reality Programming:

This is the practice of organizing reality television programmes on a daily, weekly or season-long schedule by television and cable network stations.

Programme Schedule:

This is the daily listing of television or broadcast programmes organized into time belts for placement on air for the targeted audience.


The feeling of satisfaction or joy which a viewer gets from watching reality television programmes.

1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The main objective of the study was to analyse reality television programmes and ascertain Nigerian students’ perception of the programmes. The study specifically set seven objectives as reflected in Chapter One. Two research designs were adopted in line with the set objectives. These are content analysis and survey which were used to generate data to provide answers to the research questions and to test the hypotheses stated. In the case of the content analysis, three purposely selected Reality Television Programmes Big Brother Africa, Gulder Ultimate Search and MTN Project Fame were analysed. The study analysed one episode every two weeks (per quarter) and the sampled dates were picked through balloting for each quarter. Thus a total of 7 episodes in a quarter per programme from May 12, 2011 to December 19, 2011 were content analysed.

Two independent coders assisted in the coding of the items discovered in the reality television programmes into categories, using similar code sheets developed to elicit information on place of production, setting, theme, culture/tradition, dressing, lifestyle, language, education, and gender stereotypes contents of the reality television programmes.

As regards the survey, the population was 400 respondents which also constituted the final sample size, which was selected through proportional sampling. A 23-item questionnaire was used in data collection. Cronbach’s coefficient alpha was used to establish its reliability and it yielded 0.81.

Data gathered in the study were analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics. The descriptive statistics (simple percentages) was used to analyse all the research questions. Inferential statistical analysis, involving the Pearson product moment correlation test was used for the hypotheses, which were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

The following are the major findings of the study.

  1. Reality television programmes tend to project more educational contents than cultural/traditional values. For instance, the content analysis result shows that Big Brother Africa reality programme does not have cultural/traditional content or values in it. On the other hand, the survey data reveal that the majority of the respondents said that the programme makes them to learn things they did not know before. The fact that it is watched by Africans who are very traditional or cultural has made the programme considered by many critics and viewers as un-African.
  2. Apart from projecting educational contents, affluence, endurance and individualism are some of the dominant lifestyles being promoted by the reality television programmes watched by Nigerian audience.
  3. Reality television programmes are produced with specific educational content which is meant to teach the audience skills being performed or perfected by the contestants.
  4. Many audience members still view reality television programmes as real despite the fact that they understand that the contestants may be acting their roles because of the prize that is at stake.
  5. The gender of reality television audience members does affect their perception of the programmes and this occurs mainly as a result of the bias they have about the programmes and stereotypes in them.
  6. Audience members tend to adore reality television stars and try to mimic their attitudes and dressing. Some of the audience members have also tried to behave like the personalities in the reality programme they watch because they tend to see them as role models.
  7. Watching reality television programmes does not make Nigerian students to feel that success in life can only come through competitions.
  8. Audience members are fascinated by seeing ordinary people becoming stars overnight through reality television programmes and this actually spurs the desire becoming stars in them.
  9. Male students perceived reality television programmes differently from their female counterparts.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the above findings, the following conclusions are reached.

  1. That reality television programmes have serious influences on audience members as they (audience) desire to be like the people they watch in the programmes and this is what often spurs the young audience members into wanting to become stars like the ones they watch.
  2. Reality television programmes have become platforms for a successful life for many young people because, after seeing their friends or neighbours becoming stars through the programmes, all they desire is to be stars. It also gives them the platform to exhibit or showcase their talents which ordinarily may have taken time to nurture and maintain. For instance, programmes such as Nigerian Breweries sponsored Star Trek and MTN Project Fame have been able to make many young Nigerians to become music stars because of then opportunities given to them by the programmes. This has also made other young people believe that they too can become stars if they participate in such reality television programmes.
  3. To a great extent, many reality television audience members do believe that what they watch on the programmes are real life situations and not mere acting. This is supported by Raghuvanshi (2011, p.22) who notes that “many behavioural experts say that young minds (especially girls) are often influenced by what is shown in these shows, and they forget that most of the instances shown are scripted.”
  4. Reality television programmes enable people to learn things about others because when the audience watch the contestants, they pick some tricks or attitudes from them. This also underscores the cultivation analysis of Albert Bandura that heavy television watchers are likely to exhibit characters or traits like those they watch on television.
  5. Most of the reality television programmes do not moderate the use of bad language among their contestants. Although they may be classified for certain audiences, the fact is that the three programmes analysed were found to have substantial amount of non-socially acceptable language considered inappropriate in normal everyday living.
  6. Culturally, the reality television programmes shown in Nigeria have little or no cultural or traditional value to add to the lives of its audience since cultural or traditional values are not deliberately incorporated into them.
  7. It is evident from the study that University students are ardent watchers of reality television as they were found to watch different reality television programmes and very often.
  8. Reality television programmes continue to project educational contents against cultural/traditional contents and this has won them more enemies than admirers who believe that they are corrupting the minds of young people and exploiting the weaknesses of their contestants for commercial and entertainment purposes.

5.3 Recommendations

Given the findings and conclusions reached, the following recommendations are put forward.

  1. To avoid exposing the culture of Nigerians to extinction, reality television programmes producers must ensure that there are cultural or traditional contents in their programmes which will ensure that the audience, especially Nigerian students, do not simply abandon their culture for foreign ways of life.
  2. Since reality television programmes have serious influences on audience members as they desire to be like the people they watch in the programmes, audience members must observe caution while watching the programmes because not all that happens in the programme are real (devoid of acting).
  3. Since reality television programmes enable audience members to learn things about others when they watch contestants in the programmes, television regulators must ensure that reality television programmes aired on Nigerian television stations are those capable of impacting positive lifestyles on Nigerians, especially University students.
  4. Since Advertisers pay television bills, regulators must ensure that producers do not allow the commercial interest of advertisers to influence what they produce or put as the content of reality programmes with a view to avoiding the exploitation of young minds that only when they become reality TV stars will they be fulfilled in life.

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