Audience Perception And Attitude To Political News Report In Anambra State

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Audience Perception And Attitude To Political News Report In Anambra State


Abstract


This project work deals critically on the audience perception and attitude to political news report in Anambra state. The research contains five chapters in which each chapter contain full analysis. The first chapter contains the background of the study, the perception of audience towards political news report in Nigeria, the problem, purpose of the study, significance of the study, definition of terms and research is fully disused. The second chapter focuses on literature review of the research topic perception of audience on political news report in Nigeria. Medium at which report can be relayed, the political news report, and the perception of news towards political news reporting in Nigeria and other necessary aspects were critically examined. Chapter three of this work is based on research methodology adopted for the study introduction, restatement of research method, characteristics of the study population and sampling design and procedure, and data collection instrument. The fourth chapter of this project treats data analysis and discussion of finding as well as interpretation of the research questions. The last chapter consists of summary, conclusion and recommendation, references and appendix.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

In this era of digital technology and globalization of communication, the media industries have crucial role to play in creating awareness and giving first class information to the populace on issues emanating from the administrations and governance of their elected leaders. Research has shown that successful countries are rated on how well organized their system of government and political willpower as it affects their citizens’ standard of living. The way and manner a society is governed directly or indirectly reflects on the behavioural pattern and perception of its citizens. In a democratic society, the media especially the television station is the major source of communication between the government and its citizen. The media through the television stations disseminate information, news items, showcase political programmes, developmental projects and pitfalls of the various arms of government in a particular country.

Private owned television stations such as Africa Independent Television (AIT) has been known for promoting news and information related to politics and major happenings in the political industries around the world. Hence, there is close relationship between communicating political news and other political related news contents and citizens’ dispositions, attitudes, behavioural pattern and perception of their leaders. Viewers not only listen to news, they also analyse, select, make comments, give opinions and share comments on how they perceive media effects on politics generally. It is against this backdrop that the researcher seeks to investigate the perception of viewers / audience on political news coverage on television stations using Africa Independent Television (AIT) as her main focus. Efforts shall be made to find out the impacts of television in the dissemination of political news and politics in general. How do audience and the general public perceive political news and other political programmes on Africa Independent Television (AIT) in terms of quality of news items, quality of broadcast and coverage, authenticity of news source, competency of staff to mention just a few.

An informed society, they say, is a rich society. In other to establish a robust and information rich society, adequate communication is necessary and a media house that has distinguished itself will definitely excel especially in the present political juggernaut around the world. AIT is a subsidiary of DAAR Communications Plc. DAAR Communications Plc is the foremost Independent Broadcast Organization in the Federal Republic of Nigeria pioneering private/independent broadcasting with the establishment of RayPower 100.5FM, AIT, Daarsat – The first fully Nigerian base digital multi-channel direct-to-home subscription TV and an indigenous station FAAJI FM. AIT political news cut across news on Legislation, Presidency, Political Institution and Government Institutions (http://www.aitonline.tv/live).

December 6, 1996 heralded the coming of a star in global Satellite Broadcasting, the Africa Independent Television channel 21. AIT provides a fresh slant to TV broadcasting with a unique programming theme that shares the African Experience with the wider global community. AIT channel 21 and AIT International share the same vision and a similar mission. AIT has a unique mission that of sharing the African Experience with the wider global community. With its fascinating cross-cultural theme and vibrant programme content, Africa Independent Television (AIT) aims to share everything that is exciting about the African experience with the nations of the world. The station logo and pay-off, AIT – Sharing the African Experience, symbolizes its vision: to offer on a daily basis, a refreshing but revealing insight into the African experience worldwide. This sentiment is proudly echoed in AIT’s corporate identity – AIT, Sharing the African experience.

With a thematic pay-off which emphasises the objective of sharing the unique African experience with the world, AIT’s mission is to enhance global understanding through an untainted appreciation of the world and its peoples. Unusual amongst global satellite broadcasting stations, AIT is motivated by uniquely altruistic aims to promote a methodical reduction of tension and friction and foster a greater appreciation of humanity. It is committed to the task of bridging the gap in global communication which places Africa at the ruthless mercy of western perspectives, opinions and nuances. AIT’s main task is to project Africa from a holistic African prospective. Untainted, undiluted and absolutely original, AIT offers the world a new insight into the African experience (http://www.daarusa.com/ait).

The perception of audience regarding television news content has long been of interest to communication researchers. Perceptions of credibility have been found to be influenced by the content of the news reports and characteristics of the news anchor, suggesting that perceptions of credibility may be influenced by presentation variables. Public perception is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs in a system. It can also be seen as the complex collection of opinion of many different people and the sum of all their views or as a single opinion held by an individual about a socio-economic or political topic. Key component in the formation of public perception is “framing”. Framing is when a story or piece of news is portrayed in a particular way and is meant to sway the consumers’ attitude one way or the other. Social desirability is another key component in the formation of public perception. Social desirability is the idea that people in general will form their perceptions based on what they believe is the popular opinion. Based on media agenda setting and media framing, most often a particular opinion gets repeated throughout various news mediums and social networking sites, until it creates a false vision where the perceived truth is actually very far away from the actual truth. Public perception can also be influenced by public relations and the political media. Mass media utilizes a wide variety of advertising techniques to get their message out and change the minds of people. From the 1950s, television was one of the main media for moulding public perception, but with the advent of the internet and social media, that has changed considerably. Public perception starts from an idea or suggestion being subtly mooted, mainly through the mass media. Questions such as why would the North always rule? The government is filled with corrupt politicians and what should the government do regarding public transportation etc. So when citizens gather they talk about politics. Generally, they proffer their opinions on what they think that their governments ought to be doing on this or that issue (Agbo, 2013).

In mass media, channels of transmission of news include: the press, radio, television and internet. All this media have specific technical-technological characteristics with which they transmit their news. The role of the mass media in creating and strengthening public opinion is very important. The advent of independent media houses in the present democratic settings has contributed to the growth and freedom of expression and perception. In modern societies, getting authentic information is critical to the quality decision making by the citizens and the legislators. The growth of the mass media and their capability to transmit information and messages to a large population at the same time combined with the ever ready good to go journalists have turned the media world into a large social institution.

In the past, the traditional media organizations have been the basic means of connecting the public with news on social and political world. For a longer period of time, such media have been observed as a means of preventing the citizens from knowing some of the misdeeds of the government especially in politics. Politics in the modern societies can be understood as a system organizing and governing the public way of life and taking care of the overall interests of the citizens. The role of the mass media in creating and strengthening the public opinion is pivotal. Hence, with the advent of independent media houses in the process of democratization, expressions and thoughts of the general public have been made easy.

Public perceptions could also be related to their attitudes, opinions, and believes on certain political news and political programmes; these sometimes influence their behavioural patterns and dispositions toward their political leaders and stakeholders. Public perceptions are also conditioned by three key elements: public, the message and the channel through which the message is passed. The television today represents a channel of information dissemination, such as the political happenings, events, quarrels and debates, the manner in which the television station package and transmit the information has an influence on the audience, since it is through the media the audience learn, judge, analyse, makes contexts and make informed decisions about their political leaders. Politics cannot exist without the voice of the media, because only through it, the public get to know the plans, activities and agenda of the political parties (Siljanovska and Ejupi, 2013).


1.2 Statement of the Problem.

One of the most common generalizations about politics is that today’s voters are less informed and less engaged than voters in prior generations. This perceived decline in political engagement echoes a decline in both exposure to news and the quality of political news. Television viewers has been waning steadily for decades, the network news shows have lost a third of their viewers, and the content of campaign coverage in these news outlets has shifted away from policy to scandals, gaffes, and the horse race. It is no wonder, then, that citizens are viewed as less equipped to make electoral decisions today than they were 50 years ago (Gilens, et al., 2009). Despite the efforts of the private electronic media to help in the growth and development of the country, by keeping audience informed about political activities in the country through their political news and programs, these media houses have short comings and these short comings have prevented them from serving the audience effectively. It is in this context that this work will study the audience perception of political news coverage on Africa Independent Television (AIT) in Awka metropolis. The study will seek to proffer and suggest solutions to some of the challenges mentioned above.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to investigate the audience perception and attitude to political news report in Anambra state using Africa independent Television (AIT) as case study. The specific objectives of this study are:

  1. To investigate audience perceptions of political news coverage on Africa Independent Television (AIT).
  2. To find out the impacts of AIT’s political news coverage on politics in Nigeria.
  3. To find out how audience perceive the credibility of political news on AIT.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will proffer answers to the following research question:

  1. What are the perceptions of audience on political news coverage on AIT?
  2. What are the impacts AIT’s political news coverage on politics in Nigeria?
  3. How credible do audience perceive political news coverage on AIT?

1.5 Hypothesis of the Study

The following hypothesis is formulated and tested by the study

  • Ho: audience perceive political news is not credible
  • Hi: audience perceive political news is very credible

1.6 Significance of Study

This study will be of benefit to the audience; this is because it will create room for the audience to air their views on how they perceive AIT political news coverage. It will also benefit them because it will help them have a better understanding of the mission and vision of establishing privately owned media. Furthermore, it will benefit both government and private electronic media owners; because it will help media owners to understand their audience attitude and conduct towards their political news and on the other hand help the government know the public reaction towards their political activities. The research will make room for increase in quality of news programs basically election news. Finally this study will be of significance to electronic media researcher because it will offer useful solutions to the problems facing communication; it will also serve as a springboard for further research into television ownership and as a useful recommendation for more studies.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will investigate audience perception and attitude to political news report in Anambra state using Africa independent Television (AIT) in Awka metropolis. It will investigate how the public perceive political news programmes on AIT. It will also discuss the impacts/roles of media in political. Finally the study will assess the quality of political news program in term of of quality of broadcast and coverage, quality of news items, authenticity of news source and competency of staff.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.


1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Audience:

Group of people or individual that view political news and programmes on AIT and other television stations.

Audience Perception:

This is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs in a system. It can also be seen as the complex collection of opinion of many different people and the sum of all their views or as a single opinion held by an individual about a socio-economic or political topic.

Political News:

These are information and report contents such as: political happenings, events, quarrels and debates on government activities around the world made available to for public view.

Politics:

Politics in the modern societies can be understood as a system of organizing and governing the public way of life and taking care of the overall interests of the citizens

Television Station:

A channel of information dissemination, such as the political happenings, events, quarrels and debates, through which the audience learn, judge, analyse, makes contexts and make informed decisions about their political leaders.

Mass Media:

The use of different channels of transmission which include: the press, radio, television and internet with specific technical-technological characteristics with which they transmit news and other programmes.

News Coverage:

This is the actual style, language, positioning and viewpoint given to a story in any of the various medium of mass communication.

Digital Technology:

The use computerised equipment and electronic devices to process and disseminate news and information.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

The overall objective of this study was to investigate audience perception and attitude to political news report in Anambra state. Attention was paid to understanding audience perception on political news coverage on AIT, impact of political news coverage on AIT as it influence politics in Nigeria and also to ascertain the credibility of political news coverage on AIT. This survey adopted questionnaire as a data collection instrument towards providing answers to the set research questions. Based on the data collected, analysed and discussed, this chapter will focus on the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

The findings among others revealed that:

  1. Audience attach importance to the status and pedigree of African Independent Television (AIT) hence influences their perception and believes and in the way they react to certain issues of life. Though the study affirmed that frequency and degree of coverage given to conflicts political news are capable of heightening tensions and provoking public minds especially when offensive and provocative comments are covered.
  2. The study also revealed that AIT political news coverage has passive influence on its citizenry by: Keeping the citizens abreast of current events and raising awareness of various issues on politics and act as a watchdog over the government. Providing a forum for candidates and political parties to debate their qualifications for office before the audience. Promoting participatory politics; renew trust in politics and improve democratic process. Making democracy promising by widely disseminating the kind of information people need.
  3. Finally the survey revealed that African Independent Television (AIT) political news coverage is of good quality, timely, precise and detailed political news programs. Political news coverage on AIT was also found to be accurate/factual, relevant, trustworthy, reliable, free from bias and are reported by well-trained reporters.

5.3 Conclusion

This study provides meaningful information relating to perceptions, impacts and credibility of political news coverage on Africa Independent television (AIT). It illustrates that audience perceptions of political news coverage depends on the media station or organization. The researcher echoed that contents of political news coverage have a great influence in the way and manner individuals or group of people react to certain issues of life, more significantly that AIT political news coverage has passively influenced its citizenry by keeping the citizens abreast of current events and raising awareness of various issues on politics and act as a watchdog over the government among other factors. Finally the researcher concludes that African Independent Television (AIT) political news coverage is timely, precise, detailed, and free from bias and is reported by well-trained reporters.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings and conclusion of this study, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Media organizations and press bodies should organize seminars and workshops to sensitize and educate journalists on the significance and effects of news content especially when covering political and conflict news programmes in other to improve their skills and professionalism.
  2. If the primary purpose of the media is to inform the public then media houses should ensure that contents of their news are absolutely free from bias, factual and relevant to the larger society. This could be achieved by conducting opinion polls to test the validity of the news contents before such news are made public.
  3. Feedback and evaluation of mass media; the mechanism to evaluate the performance of the media stations towards the desired objectives of national cohesion and integration especially in this era of democracy should be encouraged. The incentives to media (cash and medals) on account of objective analysis of national issues and allocation of reasonable time for coverage of national harmony issues may be considered.
  4. The media should avoid sensations and scandalous coverage; develop a harmonious society, bridge gap between reality and distortions. The media should project objective analysis of events by avoiding biases, prejudices and negative perceptions of various groups in the society.
  5. Media and good governance; the media should expose corruption, to exert pressure on the government for fair and transparent accountability. The media should also indicate areas that will bring transparency in government actions.
  6. The media through awareness campaign should help in building public consensus to condemn corruption and to promote culture of good governance.

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