Influence Of Television Series On The Nigerian Women (A Case Study Of Lagos State)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Influence Of Television Series On The Nigerian Women (A Case Study Of Lagos State)


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of Study

Recently there has been a massive penetration of mass media in the developing countries. Even traditionally remote communities nowadays have access to television and radio programmes. Although the evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of the media is not limited to developing countries alone, but the influence of some of this TV series programmes has deposited some negative and positive effects on Nigerian women.

Exposure to TV programmes can affect a woman’s behavior through a variety of channels. First, since women are prone to change based on what the watch and hear, and this TV series provides new information daily, thus inducing women to update their lifestyles. However, this TV series could be particularly important in some developing countries, where exposure to written (or other) information sources may be limited. Some people tend to misunderstand the different between a TV series and a soup opera programmes shown on their local channels.

A Television series is a show which is based on a particular storyline and may fall into any genre of entertainment – crime, action, thriller, horror, or romance and so on. Much of the story of a TV series is planned much before the casting and principal photography. The number of episodes may or may not be planned well before hand. However, the plots and events which would take place are already decided upon much before the release. There are less TRP(Television Rating Point) stunts in these shows, as most of the typical TV series maintain their goal of portraying the story, instead of coming up with illogical plot twists. Most of the shooting of a TV series is completed before the launch of the series. Sometimes, ending sequences are decided after the show gets some response from the audience, in terms of television rating points. TV series’ are mostly considered to be of higher budget, good cinematography, and cinema-level. They are expected to portray realistic happenings, and to ‘turn the television into a personal cinema hall’.

A TV series may or may not be continuous in plot line. It may show episodes which are not connected with earlier or successive episodes. Mostly, TV series’ with continuous plot lines are expected to be of shorter duration (not extending beyond six months if daily, and one year if weekly). A TV series may have several seasons.
Examples of Nigerian TV Series include Big brother Nigeria, Project Fame West Africa, AY Show, TejuBabyFace Show, Nigerian Idol, Who wants to be a millionaire etc.

While a soap opera is a slow going, more regressive family drama series which stresses more on emotions and melodrama instead of some particular issue. A soap opera just has a broad story-line and much of the story goes on developing on its own, as the episodes are aired. It is the television rating point which decides the fate of a soap opera. Soap operas stress more on family values and culture, and may come up with different story lines at different times, involving a family member or stranger. Since these shows are television rating point driven, they tend to be filled with television rating point stunts and plot twists like sudden death or reincarnation of a family member, someone’s kidnapping, or marriage or prospect of becoming pregnant and so on. These plots are decided to garner viewership. These shows, in general, do not represent some particular niche or practice of society, however there are exceptions. Soap operas tend to continue over years and years if garnering television rating points, and if not, they wrap up within six months. Production of shows of this kind are less organized. Soap operas are generally low-budget shows. Watching a soap opera is like watching a parallel family inside the television. We become a part of the family, and continue to cherish the daily matters of the family, however illogical they may be.

Soap operas are mostly criticized for going at a very slow pace, and often showing unrealistic plots. Most soap operas wrap up in one long season only. Examples of popular Nigeriansoap operas Domino, Super Story, Cock Crow at Dawn, Fuji House of Commotion, Edge Of Paradise (Shown On DSTV), Dear Mother, Heaven’s Gate, Everyday People etc.

Notwithstanding, a TV series may with time turn into a soap-opera like show, if the ending plot is not decided before its launch and also if it is immensely praised by the audience. Creative heads of TV channels request the producers of such shows to continue the story line, even if the series was intended to run for a shorter period of time.

Historical shows may come up as TV series or as soap operas. The ones which show only true facts are called historical TV series while those which have a lot of fictional aspect as well, are called historical fictional sagas or serials. And as a matter of fact, sometimes TV series run longer than soap operas. But those TV series’ are usually the discontinuous ones or slightly continuous. This research is of immense importance because it examines the crucial influence of television series on the life of its audience, specifically the Nigerian women.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The media and the society are both inter-related and affect each other in several ways. Sometimes media communication is guided by society and sometimes media have dominance over it audience in the society. The mass media are essential not only in promotion and propagation of innovative ideas but also in transformation of the society. These TV series affects and changes the behavior, thinking, perception and ideas of people often. Being the public broadcaster, television in Nigeria was supposed to be a catalyst of social change and national development, sensitizing society about social justice, educating the population and developing its human resources, yet most times the reverse is the case. As an effective audio-visual media, television series has tremendous impact on Nigerian women where majority of population is literate. The effectiveness of television series has been a matter of great concern among the media researchers right from inception. There is a long debate regarding it medium and content. The theory of Marshall McLuhan, ‘Medium is the message’ has been a subject of debate among the mass researchers and critiques on the ground that content (program) is more important than medium. Thus, advertising is a very effective tool of communication to sensitize the people in a developing country like Nigeria.

In order to achieve the goal to empower women in post independent period, a number of steps were taken by the Nigerian government. The role of media in empowering the women is very significant. Television series programmes is one of the easiest audio-visual means of reaching out to women in this region. Therefore it has the responsibility to play an important role in the empowerment of the women particularly regarding their rights, privileges and other facilities. It has been observed that a number of advertisements shown on television directly target women and among these advertisements some have the sole aim of social welfare and public concern including women empowerment and welfare.

The researcher intend to examine the influence of television series on the Nigerian women, finding out the contributions of this TV programmes on the social, spiritual and behavioral patterns of the women in Lagos state metropolis.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main purpose for this study is to ascertain the influence of television series on the Nigerian women, the researcher intend to address the following sub objectives;

  1. To examine the aspects of our value system and culture that has not been projected properly by the Nigerian television series.
  2. To ascertain the positive impact of television series on the Nigerian women in Lagos state.
  3. To examine the negative effect of television series on the Nigerian women in Lagos state metropolis.
  4. To find out if there is any significant relationship between watching Big Brother Nigeria and promiscuity among Nigerian married women in Lagos state.
  5. To proffer possible solution to mitigating the above challenges associated with women prone to watching Nigerian TV series.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions was formulated by the researcher to guide the study;

  1. Has the Nigerian television series been projecting our culture and value system in their programmes?
  2. What is the level of positive impacts of television series on the Nigerian women in Lagos metropolis?
  3. Is there any significant relationship between watching Big Brother Nigeriaand promiscuity among Nigerian married women in Lagos state?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following null and alternate hypotheses was formulated by the researcher to be tested in the course of the study

  1. H0: the level of negative impact of television series on the Nigerian women in Lagos state is high.
    H1: the level of negative impact of television series on the Nigerian women in Lagos state is low.
  2. H0: there is no significant relationship between watching Big Brother Nigeria and promiscuity among Nigerian married women in Lagos state.
    H2: there is a significant relationship between watching Big Brother Nigeria and promiscuity among Nigerian married women in Lagos state.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The findings of this study will help in throwing more light on the influence of television series on women in Nigeria. It is expected that at the completion of the study, the findings will arouse the consciousness of individuals to the fact that television series have influence on women’s behaviour which could be morally acceptable or unacceptable. The findings of this study is expected to help the appropriate authorities responsible for streaming these TV series on air in reducing the negative influence of television series messages on women. Finally the research will serve as a material to scholars who intend to embark on a project of this nature in future.


1.7 Scope And Limitations Of The Study

A study of this nature on the influence of television series on the Nigeria women is supposed to be broad so as to cover a wider range of individuals, but for the purpose of obtaining valid data the researcher centers only on Lagos state metropolis. Other behavioral or attitudinal characteristics that could subsequently be investigated on, include, television series influence on pattern of speech; pattern of language; pattern of love and relationship, etc. However the research has some constraints which are;

Time:

The time at the disposal of the researcher which is allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher has to combine other academic work with the study.

Finance:

The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Influence:

Is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Mass Media:

This term refers to the various means of communication to the public. It includes radio, televisions, etc, but here it is used to explain films and home videos. It is called mass because the message reaches out to more than one person at a time. It is directed to a large dispersed audience, which is how home video operates.

Television series:

A Television series is a show which is based on a particular concept and may fall into any genre of entertainment – crime, action, thriller, horror, or romance and so on. Much of the story of a TV series is planned much before the casting and principal photography. The number of episodes may or may not be planned well before hand. However, the plots and events which would take place are already decided upon much before the release.

Women:

A woman is a female human being. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. The term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as “women’s rights”. Women with typical genetic development are usually capable of giving birth from puberty until menopause. With regard to gender, a woman may also be a person whose sex does not align with their gender identity.

TRP:

Is an acronym for Television Rating Point. Television Rating Point is a tool provided to judge which programmes are viewed the most. This gives us an index of the choice of the people and also the popularity of a particular channel. For calculation purpose, a device is attached to the TV set in a few thousand viewers’ houses for judging purpose.

Television Programmes:

A television program (British English: programme) is a segment of content intended for broadcast on over-the-air, cable television or Internet television, other than a commercial, trailer or any other segment of content not serving as attraction for viewership. It may be a single production or more commonly, a series of related productions (also called a television show).

Audience:

Is dispersed group of listeners or spectators, who view home videos.


1.9 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 (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc.

Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.

Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods 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


Influence Of Television Series On The Nigerian Women (A Case Study Of Lagos State)


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