An Evaluation Of The Influence Of Broadcast Media On The Moral Upbringing Of Nigerian Children
The crux of this study was on the evaluation of the broadcast media on moral upbringing of Nigerian children. The ultimate aim was to ascertain the extent at which the broadcast media can influence the inculcation of morals on children, and the level of influence the media exert on the moral education of a child. The researcher adopted the survey research method in carrying out this study. Questionnaire was constructed and administered to the sample of the study. This was used to generate data. The data analysis was done using percentages, table, frequencies, and the chi-square formula. From the data analyzed, it was discovered that the broadcast media has so much influence on people. And that the media offer both positive and negative sides as it concerns moral values. Part of the recommendations of this study is that there should be careful selection of the news items, programmes, information, advertisements for goods and services while the child, or indeed the general public, are exposed to, and as well as scheduling of appropriate time for different programmes and items for audio consumption of the child and the general public.
1.1 Background of the Study
The mass media-radio, television, newspaper and magazine reach large numbers of people through communication and entertainment, and have been found as a useful tool for influencing the public. Information network allow private individuals to get information and to communicate directly with one another (Schiller, 199:186).
Although mass media especially the broadcast media have a distinct presence in our homes today-providing us with a wealth of information on a multitude of channels-they are equally well especially well established as parts of the social structures and world of values around us.
The broadcast media have become probably the most important social institution in the construction and circulation of information in any modern society. The broadcast media permeate our daily lives. They serve as the main source of information concerning our social, cultural and political processes. Also, they are veritable revervior of image suggestions concerning modes of self preservation and general life styles.
Media scientists have often discussed how much influence the media has on people’s opinions, behavior and attitude. People tend to selectively read what they already agree with and to rationalize their preferred opinions in the face of contrary arguments. Experimental evidence seems to indication that the mass media have little power to change people’s opinions on issues for which they already have formed a strong opinion, but they have a profound influence when it comes to setting the agenda and priming people on new issues.
The mass media especially the broadcast media play influential role on modern society. The Nigerian population including children relies on the broadcast media as the main source of information and the basis on which they form certain habits and behavior. According to cultural selection theory, any selection of messages in the media will thus have a profound effect on the entire society.
The broadcast media seems to be the most important channel for the propagation of culture, ideas, and opinions; and also play vital role in shaping people’s attitude and bringing conformity to some kind of lifestyle which determine the informed decisions of people. Most opinion formation takes place when people sit and watch or read news and articles on the media.
Looking at the cultural selection in the electronic information society, it would be observed that the selection lies in the choice between TV channels. Millions of viewers sit comfortably zapping between action films, revivalist preachers, and commercials for a new fragrance, hardly realizing that by choosing which cultural influence they expose themselves to, they also chose their cultural and moral disposition and destinies.
Good moral upbringing is an asset which any wise society and/ or individual wishes to inculcate in children and the wider members of the society. The broadcast media could be applied effectively in the moral upbringing of children and the sanity of all in the society. This responsibility is a duty which patriotic citizens, mass media practitioners as well as well-meaning individuals owe the human society, especially Nigerian society where ideological riots, mental infant and attitudinal decadence are evident.
Indeed, the broadcast media have been identified to be so powerful and attributed to have so much influence on the people. This study tends to specifically appraise the broadcast media on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
The power of the media in shaping the view and perception of the people and determining their moral instincts is very glaring. The mass media especially the broadcast media have the capability of making the public to act in a certain way and adopt certain attitudes or behavior.
The broadcast media are also perceived as the most crucial channels for the propagation of cultural, ideas, and opinions, as well as shaping the moral values of the people in the society. Most opinion formation takes place when people listen and watch news and debates on radio and television. Therefore, the problem of this study is so ascertain categorically, how the broadcast media influence the moral upbringing of children in Nigerian society.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of broadcast media on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children with a focus on the residents of Enugu metropolis.
The specific objectives of this study include:
- To ascertain the level of influence broadcast media content have on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
- To determine the extent broadcast media content shape the moral values of children residents in Enugu metropolis.
- To ascertain whether well designed broadcast media programs have positive influence on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
- To determine whether there is any relationship between broadcast media programmes and positive moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
1.4 Research Question
In pursuance of the objectives of this study, the following research questions were posed to guide the study:
- What level of influence does broadcast media content have on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children?
- To what extent does broadcast media content shape the moral values of children resident in Enugu metropolis?
- Do well designed broadcast media programmes, have positive influence on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children?
- What is the relationship between broadcast media prograammes and positive moral upbringing of Nigerian children?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
- H0: Broadcast media content do not have enormous influence on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
- H1: Broadcast media content have enormous influence on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
- H0: To a minimal extent, broadcast media content shape the moral values of children resident in Enugu metropolis.
- H1: To a large extent, broadcast media content shape the moral values of children resident in Enugu metropolis.
- H0: Well designed broadcast media programmes do not have positive influence on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
- H1: Well designed broadcast media programmes have positive influence on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
- H0: There is no significant relationship between broadcast media programmes and positive moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
- H1: There is significant relationship between broadcast media programmes and positive moral upbringing of Nigerian children.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study is a significance endeavour in explaining the concept of good and proper child upbringing. It will provide the modalities for families to know the aspect of broadcast media exposure that will endanger good morals in children.
This will help to create positive influence on Nigerian children, as media owners and operators well gear efforts at designing broadcast media contents that will improve moral upbringing of kids in society.
This study will be of great benefit to the modern society through families. It will provide the family in particular and the society in general with the selective processes needed for proper media exposure of children as to enhance the inculcation of good morals in them.
It will help the mass media to use its arsenal of powerful influence to project programmes targeted at children and barrage them with contents capable of improving their moral values. This will help to prevent unnecessary acculturation from the media that is capable of exposing children to moral decadence.
Finally, the outcome of this study would serve as a veritable reference material for scholars and students of broadcast journalism, as not much of this kind of research work has been done in Nigeria.
1.7 Theoretical Framework
This study is anchored on the social learning theory. The social learning theory is also known as modeling theory. It is based on the assumption that people learn how to behave by observing others, including those portrayed in the mass media.
The basic idea of this theory is that we cannot learn all or even much of what we need to guide our own development and behavior as well as morals from direct personal observation and experience alone. We have to learn much from indirect sources, including mass media (McQuail, 2005: 493).
According to Bandura (2002: 140), “Social learning theory holds that the media can have direct effects on people and their influence does not have to be mediated by personal influence or social networks”. He went further to identify four sequences that social learning occurs. They are attention, retention, production and motivation.
Usually, our attention is directed at media content of potential relevance to our lives and personal needs and interest. We may then retain what we have learnt and add it our stock of prior knowledge. The production stage has to do with the actual application in behaviour of lessons learnt. The outcome of the production stage determines the motivation towards what has been learnt.
Rodman (2010:42) posits that “Social learning theory would suggest that critics are right to be concerned about the stereotyping of woman and ethnic and racial group in the media…. Women are portrayed as as submissive and dependent and African, Americans and Hispanics are portrayed ac criminal perpetrators. According to this theory, these depictions not only teach audiences to accept the stereotypes but also teach women and minorities to behave in the ways they are depicted”
The theory also implies an active engagement on the parts of the learner, and on the individual’s self-reflective capability. It has a general application to socialization effects of the media and the adoption of various models of action. It also applies to many everyday matters such as clothing, appearance, style, eating, and drinking, models of interaction and personal consumption.
When related to children’s’ moral upbringing, this theory holds that the media can influence the clothing, appearance, behaviour, attitude and other personal traits of people(children) in any given society. This can be achieved by portraying those aspects of media content that are sophisticated and civilized enough to engender the cultivation of good morals.
Furthermore, judging from the assertion of Rodman, if the media is dominated by a powerful content of moral values and other degrading values are presented as inferior, there is the tendency that children will begin to subscribe to the contents that promote good morals. This is the more reason why parents should guide the children in their exposure to the mass media. This will help to guide them properly on what and what are beneficial to them in shaping their moral values towards a positive direction.
1.8 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the, evaluation of the influence of broadcast media on the moral upbringing of Nigerian children with kids resident in Enugu metropolis.
The study characteristics are contingent on the residents of Enugu metropolis. These residents will be used as the sample on which the people’s view on how the broadcast media influence children’s moral upbringing will be determined.
1.9 Limitations of the Study
This study could have covered a wider area, but was constrained by finance and time. Due to financial constraints, the researcher was not able to cover a wider scope.
The time limit for the completion of this work is also a limitation to it. Additionally, the researcher combined this study with other academic activities-lectures, assignments, practical’s etc. This hindered the researcher from fully concentrating on the study.
In spite of the aforementioned constraining factors, the researcher made concerted effort to ensure that these constraints did not hamper the results of the study.
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