Opinion Formation On Radio News Commentary Among Students Of Tertiary Institutions (A Case Study Of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Opinion Formation On Radio News Commentary Among Students Of Tertiary Institutions (A Case Study Of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri)


The aim of this study is to know how people react to news commentary and the influence has to them. The study is focused on the students of federal polytechnic Nekede, Owerri as the case study determined how wide the influence of radio news commentary is and how people react to research work, the survey method is used with the questionnaire as the research instrument, which helped in getting the accurate fact.

The questionnaire elicited information from students in marketing department both male and female about their reactions and behavior and the effects of radio news commentary. For easy understanding, the department is zoned into four clusters.

The research revealed that listeners own radio sets for different purposes and also that listenership to some of the radio programmes like news commentary was quite minimal. It also reveled people opinion or radio news commentary.

The work reminds the media to present news commentary well and be alert and responsible to what the listeners want so as not to loose them to the detriment of their profit as business enterprise.
Keywords: Opinion, Formation, Commentary, Students.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Significance of the study
  • 1.4 Scope/ Limitations of the study
  • 1.5 Theoretical framework
  • 1.6 Research questions/ Hypothesis
  • 1.7 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Review of Relevant Literature

  • 2.1 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.2 Background of the opinion
  • 2.3 History of radio development
  • 2.4 History of Broadcast Commentary in Nigeria
  • 2.5 The concept of Broadcast progarmmes

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Area of study
  • 3.3 Population of study
  • 3.4 Samples and sampling Procedure
  • 3.5 Sources of data
  • 3.6 Instrument for data collection
  • 3.7 Validity and reliability of instrument
  • 3.8 Administration of Instrument
  • 3.9 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

Data Presentation, Analysis / Discussion

  • 4.1 Presentation of data
  • 4.2 Data analysis
  • 4.3 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

The impact of radio programmes on the life of students of tertiary institutions is very great. Nevertheless, one of the programmes that stand out in opinion formation is the radio news commentary. Radio news commentary has to do with explanation and analysis of news for easy and proper understanding and nobody can throw them into the trash can or discard them.

Any medium, be it electronic or print survives by the type of services it renders to the public and for any media house to be responsible, it has to gain the goodwill of the people. The need to be socially responsible, therefore, necessitated the adoption of the public affairs reporting and radio news interpretations which are invaluable tools for media organizations today.

The society in which we are living has become so complex that mere straight news can no longer make the public understand the events. It therefore becomes necessary that the mass media have to interpret news through the use of news commentaries so as to make them more understandable to their public, stimulate thought and form opinion.

The daily dissemination of information has for long been the work of the mass medium. Media houses have developed and it is a machine for social change and opinion formation. The broadcast media appeal to individuals and transcend largely a number of barriers to penetrate the society irrespective of status.

Thus, radio commentary is important in our social, political and economic life because it is a tool for changing and molding of attitudes and opinions. Such factors are culture, family role, individual differences, and reference groups, backgrounds etc. students of tertiary institutions are directly or indirectly affected by each factor.
By and large, this study is set to find out the real and imagined influence the radio news commentaries have on the formation of opinion among students of tertiary institutions, specifically Federal Polytechnic students, Owerri.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The issues of opinion formation is capable of building or destroying a person, group, institution or even a nation when the right opinion about an action of a particular set of people is not formed by others, it can lead to deep-rooted sentiments, misinterpretations, wrong caption and ideas which can eventually lead to the collapse of such an organization or even government.

It is therefore, in the light of the above identified importance of good opinion formation that these researchers decided to find out how radio news commentary have affected the formation of opinion among students of Federal Polytechnic Nekede.

Hence the monumental claims by mass communication students to the relevant and effectiveness of news commentary to students of tertiary institutions remains interesting.

It is against this backdrop that this research is proposed with mind set on the areas radio commentaries have helped the students with reference to the school under study.

The researchers will among other things find out whether the students of the school under see the efforts of radio news commentary as a powerful and effective means of getting information, enhancing development, and probably the problem radio industry may encounter in discharge of its duties.

1.3 Significance Of The Study

Radio news commentary is meant to interpret, analyze and explain news events to the understanding of the public with the intension of helping them form the right attitudes and opinions. In the light of this attitudes, opinions and behaviors of students would be better appreciated and understood since they are influenced by the clues they pickup through selective exposure and perception.

However, we know that for radio to effectively function as a medium for information, education and entertainment, its contents must regularly analyze the relevance to the needs of the contemporary society. The findings of this study would no doubt provide answers to questions raised concerning radio news commentaries and opinion formation among students of tertiary institutions and also provide solutions to the problems arising thereafter.

The significance of this study would also assist the radio industry to better appreciate its responsibility of highlighting the problems associated with students of tertiary institutions through its development, enlightenment and enhancement oriented programmes.

The study should help to educate the student on the effect radio news commentary and opinion formations have in changing the lives of the students. It is also expected that the government should use the outcome of such studies to determine the medium best suited to use in bringing their development policies and programmes to the knowledge of the students of tertiary institutions.

1.4 Scope / Limitations For The Study

This study will concentrate on students of tertiary institutions with particular reference to the students of Federal polytechnic Nekede. It is restricted to only this institution for easy and correct analysis to be made and also because of time limits.
The research also encountered some financial constraints, but despite that a great level of objectivity has been achieved as the researchers detached themselves subjectively as much as possible from the work.

1.5 Theoretical Framework

This linear transmission models provided the framework with in which many studies in the first half of the tweenth century were conducted. The models assumed that sources designed messages that influenced passive recipients of importance to researcher during this period was the need to understand how people could get messages across to others clearly and efficiently so that such messages would have the desired effects.

In this research, the theoretical framework focused on the agenda setting theory. According to Dr. Dede Eleme J. Okonkwo focused mainly on how much, it at all the news media were able to influence the views and opinions of the general public especially voters.

Quite in contrast to earlier beliefs about the omnipotence of the media, later studies as we have seen and having tested the persuasiveness of news stories found that the media did indeed have minimal consequences “or” limited effects” credited the user of news with a certain degree of reluctance to change his /her opinion and values.
It was also of interest to researchers to know what types of information news consumer liked and understood. Apart from the facts of the news stories, they were also understed to know what other message were being conveyed through connotations, presentations or style. Research has shown that one effect of the news from the emphasis the news media place on them thus as maswell MC combs (1954) has noted that “ journalists play a vital role in shaping our pictures of the world as they go about their diary task of selecting and reporting news.

By shifting through potential news items ranking and detecting stories according to time and space limitations and news criteria (editing) journalists (i.e editors and news directors) should exercise a lot of influence over what people get exposed to and think about, limiting what the public can have knowledge of as well as bestowing a certain degree of importance on each topic (in newspapers, magazine or broadcast media).

The notion of agenda setting is the importance journalists attach to their stories by what they say and how they say it helps determine how important the public think the topic is. This is especially critical with regard to political campaigns, on which some candidates cease their performance.

It is in this regard that Bernard Cohen (1963) made the following statement “ the press may not be successful in telling us what to think but is stunningly successful in telling us what to think about”
However, agenda-setting may be more effective in a situation where the audience have lessen needs for orientations about a topic an issue or an event.

1.6 Research Question / Hypothesis

Based on the objective of this study, the following research questions were drawn to act as a guide.

  1. Does radio play a significant role when compared with other media like the television, newspaper and magazine in mobilizing the students?
  2. Do the students of tertiary institutions see radio as an aid of getting information?
  3. Have the students formed it as habit by making the radio their source of getting information concerning day to day activity?
  4. Has radio been seen as the most powerful and audience targeted mass medium?


The following have been put forward for the research.

  1. H0 All radio listeners do not like news commentaries
  2. H0 Listeners of news commentaries do not agree that news commentaries are educative information and entertaining
  3.  H1 Radio commentaries affect the socio-cultural lives of radio listeners.
  4. H0 Differences in educational level do not affect perception of radio news commentaries.

1.7 Definitions Of Terms

Opinion Formation:

Can be defined as that which a person or people think about something “or a judgments done by professionals.

Radio Commentary:

This has to do with the detailed and analytical interpretation of news events which have taken place or are about to take place.

Broadcast Media:

The transmitting of information entertainment, education programmes, news and others through radio and television.

Audience Reaction:

it is how the people who listen to radio programmes react to them.

Chapter Five

Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The objective of this research work is to find out the Opinion Formation on Radio News Commentary among students of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri.

However, the data generated from the study were discussed in the light of previous listenership studies and are related to the agenda setting theory, even though the study is not a direct test of the theory.

The theory is concerned with the gratification people received from media they use, mainly the positive effect/influence of news commentary by federal polytechnic Nekede students. There is evident in table 5, where 72% of students indicated that news commentary influence their opinion about issues in the society. The influence of radio news commentary are further noted in table 6, where 65% of students said news commentary corrects and identified social ills among students.

However, the effects of radio news commentary are positive because it informs and educate them. It is clearly shown in table 3 that numbers of students who regularly listen to news commentary are 55% while those who do not listen are very small in number showing 13%. Although, many student like news commentary, a greater number of them do not believe that radio news commentary is packaged well and adequate. In table 4, 44% of people answered “Yes” in terms of inadequate packaging in radio news commentary.

This research also shows that 50% of students agreed that news commentary are treated objectively and in-depth while 50% disagreed.

5.2 Conclusion

This study has proven that radio news commentary has a positive effect/influence on the behaviour of students in federal polytechnic Nekede, as the case study. The study proves that radio news commentary guides young people in this modern age.

Generally, exposure to the media, whether electronic or print will have an effect on the individual’s opinion formation, skills, taste, attitude and action.

It is seen that the media can serve as an agent of change in formation of opinion negatively or positively. It is important that the content of radio news commentary be developed and diversified.

5.3 Recommendations

Based on the above mentioned findings, the following recommendations are proffered:

  1. The research of this nature should be extended to other states of Nigeria in order to effectively determine the effects of radio news commentary on the news of individuals in Nigeria.
  2. That further research on the effects or influence on radio news commentary is carried out to determine the effects on students.
  3. That the research of this study is then recommended that individuals should be listening to radio news commentary.

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