People’s Perception Of Televangelism In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

People’s Perception Of Televangelism In Nigeria


Abstract


The researcher measured People’s Perception of Televangelism in Enugu Urban. To ensure the accuracy of data generated, Survey research method was adopted. The researcher framed questionnaires comprising open ended and close ended questions and administered them to a chosen population sample as instruments of data collection. The researcher adopted chi-square formula to test the hypothesis and measured the audience response to research questions. The study was anchored on this theories, Cultivation theory, Uses and gratification theory and social learning theory. Findings based on data generated and analyzed showed that (60%) of respondents accepted that Televangelism was responsible for the repentance of christens, while (80%) of respondents also accepted that viewers had benefited from watching Televangelism. Findings based on data generated and analyzed also depicted that (80%) of respondents accepted that Televangelism had made positive impact on viewers. The researcher therefore recommended that the gospel preacher should concentrate on gospel messages rather than canvassing for prosperity messages because Televangelism is responsible for repentance of Christians. Also, viewers need gospel messages to grow in their Christian faith.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

Television as a medium of mass communication has gained acceptance among the clergy and gospel preachers globally, hence its use by them. Evangelism has become a household trend as television viewers irrespective of their diverse and pre-existing knowledge are exposed to gospel and Christian messages from the confines of their homes.

Nwogbunyama (2006, p. 90) observes that television started in the late 19th century and 20th century, many lands contributed to the development of Television. In 1884 Nikpow, a German, patented a scanning disk for transmitting pictures by wireless.

In USA Jenkins began his study of the subject about 1890. Rigeneux and Fourneir conducted television experiments in France in the 1900’s. In 1915, Maconi, predicted “visible telephone” in 1923, Zworykin applied for a patent on the iconoscope (television camera tube). Two years later Jenkins demonstrated mechanical television apparatus. They were experiments by Alexanderson, Fransworth and Baird in 1926 – 1927. An experimental television was sent by wire between New York and Washington by the bell Telephone Laboratories in 1977, in which Herbert Hooven, the secretary of commerce, participated. The next year the same laboratories experimentally televised outdoor programme. In 1939, Milwaukee Journal filled the first application to broadcast television programmes on a commercial basis. At a hearing in 1040, the Federal Communication Commission found the industry divided on the question of whether television was ready for commercial use. A National Television System Committee was considered standardized and reported in 1941.

Okunna (1993, p. 55) contends that television in Nigeria in 1959 with the establishment of the Western Nigerian television (WNBS/WNTV). In 1960 the Eastern region established the Eastern Nigerian television (ENTV) and two years later the then Northern regional Television Kaduna Service known as Radio Television Kaduna Started transmission. In April 1962 the NBC – TV known at that time as Nigerian Service Channel 10 (ten) Lagos came on air to mark a new era in television broadcasting in Nigeria. When the country was divided into twelve states in 1967, there was a proliferation of TV stations, a phenomenon which took a new dimension. In 1976, the number of states increases to nineteen. The direct result of this was the emergence of state owned television stations. However, in 1997 a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was established to function separately.

Televangelism as a trend has its roots in the United States of America where deregulation and liberal press was dominant. Eze (2008, p. 68) submits that socio-economic system accepts freedom of the press”. Some of the early pioneers of television evangelism are Sheen who won numerous Emmy Awards for his programme that ran from the early 1950’s until the late 1960s. Oral Roberts was the largest broadcast of the time. In 1957, he reached 80% of the possible 500 stations. The 1960s and early 1970’s replaced radio with Television as the primary home entertainment medium, but corresponded with a further rise in the evangelical protestant Christianity, many through the international television of Billy Graham. Many well known televangelist gospel preachers began during this period, most notably are Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, and Pat Robertson. Most of them developed their own media networks, news exposure and political influence in the 21st century, the television church services of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and Robert Schuller Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California continue to attract large audiences.

Some of the pioneer church stations in Nigeria are Believers Love Word aka Christ Embassy, the Living Faith church aka Winners Chapels, the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Synagogue and some ministries like Adoration Ministry. Some televangelist are also regular pastors or ministers in their own places of worship often a Mega Church, but the majority of their followers come from their Television audiences. Others do not have a conventional congregation as such and solely work through television to preach the gospel.


1.2 Statement of Research Problems

In this study, the researcher will ascertain the diverse views of viewers on the effects of televangelism on them. Defleur (1970, p. 22) agrees that individual differences occur because people vary greatly in their psychological make up and because they have different perceptions of things, therefore the media influence differs from person to person.


1.3 Objective of Study

The effectiveness of televangelism on viewers will be measured in this study. The factors that encourage their viewing preference and choice will be ascertained.

  1. To establish factors which shape their choice of programmes.
  2. To ascertain if televangelism worth the airtime allotted to the programme.
  3. To know factors that encourage their viewers attitude.
  4. To know the impact and influence of televangelism on them.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Does televangelism reach mass viewers?
  2. How effective are televangelism programme?
  3. Does televangelism shape viewers altitude?
  4. Does televangelism satisfy viewers’ needs?

1.5 Research Hypothesis Statement

  1. Hi: Televangelism reach mass viewers.
    Ho: Televangelism does not reach mass viewers.
  2. H2: Televangelism are effective.
    Ho: Televangelism are not effective.
  3. H3: Televangelism shape viewers altitude.
    Ho: Televangelism does not shape viewers altitude.
  4. H4: Televangelism satisfy viewers needs.
    Ho: Televangelism does not satisfy viewers needs.

1.6 Significance of Study

The essence of this study is to ascertain the effectiveness of televangelism communication to viewers, and to know the opinion of viewers on how televangelism has affected their lives with the gospel messages and how it has changed their attitude and encourage their viewing.

Asika (2004, p. 44) submits that with cluster sampling, one can divide the state into districts, villages, countries and select group of people from these areas. It is the process of selecting one unit or subject at a given population. Enugu Urban will be divided into (6) six zones. Zone A comprises of Abakpa, Ifo Abakpa, Texaco, Liberty. Zone B comprises of GRA, Polo, Okpara Avenue, Zone C comprises of Ogui, Fire Service, 82 Division. Zone D comprises of New Haven, Chime Avenue, Upper Chime. Zone E comprises of independence Layout, Agric bank, ESBS, Nkponkiti, Zone F comprises of Uwani, Keyetta, Amaokwe, Amaubia. This research will be a guide for Academic purpose, policy makers and practitioners, if successfully concluded.


1.7 Scope / Limitation of the Study

This work is limited to People’s Perception of Televangelism satisfy viewers of Enugu urban. It will not be extended to other television programmes. It is limited to Enugu Urban which would be divided into clusters and will not be operational to other places where televangelism is watched. It will only focus on six Enugu Urban places which are Abakpa, Ogui, GRA, Uwani, New Haven and Independence Layout. Asika (2004, p. 44) Ibid that with cluster sampling one can divided the state into districts, villages, countries and select group of people from these areas. It concentrates mainly on Enugu Urban because of want of time and resources.


1.8 Operational Definition

Viewer:

A person watching television

Perception:

People’s perception of visual reality; an idea, a belief or an image viewers have as a result of how they see televangelism.

Televangelist:

A person that comes air regularly to persuade people to become Christians

Televangelism:

The practice of taking gospel message to homes with television.

Enugu Urban:

The city divided into clusters for gathering primary data.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on people’s perception of televangelism in Enugu Urban. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on people’s perception of televangelism in Enugu Urban.The study is was specifically set to; establish factors which shape their choice of programmes, ascertain if televangelism worth the airtime allotted to the programme, know factors that encourage their viewers attitude, and know the impact and influence of televangelism on them.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were residents in six zones of Enugu Urban, Enugu State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. Televangelism reach mass viewers.
  2. Televangelism are effective.
  3. Televangelism shape viewers altitude.
  4. Televangelism satisfy viewers needs.

5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations were proffered with respect to the findings of the study;

  1. To deliver more compelling messages televangelists should read widely and conduct research about their needs of the target audience.
  2. The Christian bodies – PFN, CAN should come up with a censoring measure and yardstick for identifying the genuine ones among their ranks, they should identify these ones to both NBC and the populace.
  3. Tele-evangelists should particularly address their mind to the ills of the society with a view to applying the gospel message for changing them. Tele-evangelists should particularly be concerned for the moral condition of the society and use their preaching to address same. They should be able to call a spade a spade.

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