ELECTRONIC MEDIA AS AN EFFECTIVE INSTRUMENT FOR CULTURAL PROPAGATION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The role, which the mass media play in the day-to-day running and shaping of the society, cannot be under estimated. The mass media, especially the electronic media, which include radio, television and film, integrate the communal functions of the society. Relating both the internal and external environments. This they do by creating, monitoring and reinforcing people. This means that in their daily operations, the electronic media operate as essential tools for the direct project of ideas, thoughts and information.
According to Becker L. (1983,20) “The choice of behaviour, policies and services which help people to select and construct picture of the world around them tend largely to depend on communication and its pattern of handling information”.
SCHRMN W. (1963,2) in his own view liased indirectly with the above writer that “All sorts of technological innovations have accompanied the explosion of the electronic media, which opened sources for information and entertainment, to support cultural and social changes”.
Despite the worldwide increaser in the studies of the televised cultural programme, little is known of how people perceive such programmes. The major reason for this study is to find out if electronic media reach millions of individuals daily and reflect societal targets for heavy scrutiny by researches interpreted in determining the effects of cultural programmes on people. There is also strong evidence that at least some dysfunctional activities have been brought interactions with television and radio. That is why chukukere G. (1988,148) in her own view stated “the electronic media have become a major force in Nigeria socio-cultural, political, political and economic development”.
Melton G. Etal (1987,20) on his own side rightly put it that “Allmedia have the potential to affect cultural and socialization”.
With all this we can see that the influence of the electronic media goes a long way in our national heritage, most especially the cultural propagation of Osina’s town.
A BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF OSINA TOWN prior to the institutionalization of mass communication in its present from the one generation to another.
In the olden days, communities or village groups undertook various forms of projects such as village halls, Village Square with juju shrines and various other traditional projects peculiar to different communities. Such development where usually initiated by age grades in conforming with established traditions of the local areas. The scale of such projects depended on the size of the community’s quality of leadership and available resources.
External influences limited these of projects to modern sophisticated projects such as school, hospital, post officers, pipe-borne water, telecommunication network and electrification of towns.
Communities in place of narrow winding tracks and logs of wood undertake modern tarred roads and bridges today across streams, which used to serve as bridges.
Some communities have gone further by establishing such infrastrural amenities as industries, mechanized farms, secondary schools etc.
This shift in scale and tempo of community development as outlined above will obviously provide an interesting aspect of this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
There are essential factors that motivated researchers to carry out on the use of electronic media for cultural promotion in Nigeria.
According to Arinze, A. (1973,5) “Nigerian’s are becoming increasingly aware of the culture and greater desire is being expressed for better understanding”. On the vein, there is an urgent need to improve our cultural heritage; and secondly to know why the western culture has displaced, dominated, destabilized and misbalanced ours. Every society that is future conscious and hopes to make a head-way development-wise must endeavour to exercise control over the background of their nation hence culture is not of their neighbours of the communities. Generally each community was contended with its own achievement and was unaware of its activities and development in distant communities. Inter-village wars and lack of means of transportation imposed restrictions or interaction between village and between towns.
In those days western education as we know it today was virtuality absent and developing projects were centered on the tradition or culture of the community. Hence, in the area, of such major development like roads, hospitals, maternities or school, the need was not felt and communities were generally ignorant.
In the area of transportation, which was felt even in those early days, developed, centered around narrow winding pathways for inter village communication and trade.
In contrast to the above situation, today’s various influences both within and outside the confines of the communities.
These influences have resulted in quest for development strategies on a comprehension scale.
Exposure of government activities stretching into nooks and corners of the stage brought about greater interaction between communities of differentiating backgrounds. Coupled with this, social, economic, and political changes have been brought to the doorsteps of various communities.
The deliberate or planned institutionalization of mass media, has been felt by various communities and this seems to have had direct bearing on both the extend the pattern of development projects.
Emphasis has now shifted from isolated local thoughts rather in hereditary. Therefore the extent Western cultural has misbalanced our is causing an eye-sour to many enlightened citizenry of this our blessed country and as such for us to remain adamant to such challenging trend to give credit to evil. Revitalization and restoration of our cultural integrity should be universal welcome opinion to every dick and Henry to this nation.
In the third world country like Nigeria, there is a perceived cultural imbalance. Lukewarm attitude of this generation towards our culture especially our youths is not something to write-home about.
The Western culture which include their way of dancing, greetings, dressing, eating, language etc, has eaten deep into the fabric of this society that we see our own style on these to be inferior and the consequences of that, is telling serious on us.
This study will go a long way in resolving the conflicts and other societal problems which where method as a result of this cultural negligence.
These problems posed on the society because of people’s poor attitude towards our cultural promotion in the hallmark for the motivation of the researcher to carryout this investigation.
1.3 OBJECTIVE FOR THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to instrument for cultural propagation. When the above is empirically identified, the researchers would move on to know the number of people who are the consumers and non-patronizes of television cultural programme.
The study is expected to un-enveloped the positive and negative effects of the cultural programme on people if any and especially to know the impact of television cultural programmes on the people. Finding out the merits and demerits of foreign cultural on people and the extent it has misbalanced our own cultural heritage should be another angle of attraction to the researcher.
Lastly but not the least, to give essential suggestions and recommendation based on finding of the researcher on why necessary joint efforts should be geared together to lubricate and revitalize our cultural heritage which is unavoidably, apparently and empirically a pivot by which the wheel of the national development revolves.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Through the analysis of the electronic media reception, this study will highlight some benefits that could be derived from cultural programme portrays. It will as well give insight s to the extent the identified borrowed culture could be arrived or altered for the greater benefit of the individual and Nigerian society at large. This would pave way to nation building which all the third world are aiming at. Since cultural programmers would influenced writers, students, producers, directors and publishers, it would not be surprising that it can be used as a historical document to measure future changes.
Another significance is to find out the effectiveness of the various existing cultural programmes in the electronic media.
Last but not the least, this study is believed to guide people in the way they live their lives such as the way of dressing, speaking, eating, dancing, and greeting. That is to say that its beneficial to the society rather than one that will make them look or behave negatively in the society.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What are the extents to which cultural programmes are representation of realities?
2) Is there equity in how the three major tribes or cultures are represented in electronic media?
3) Who influences who?- The electronic media, cultural programme or the society?
4) Are the noticeable and systematic changes in the way people react to television cultural programmes?
5) Of what importance will replace of foreign culture be to the improvement of the people’s way of life?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
For the purpose of this study, and based on the above discussion as well as relevant theories on the role of mass media in national development, two hypotheses have been formulated.
The first is: That radio and television are more readily available and useful than newspaper to Osina community in contributing to community development of the town.
Second is: That Osina people get information which led to community development of the town more from electronic media than opinion leaders.
1.7 CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITION
This study will be egg-yoke-free and thereby define some of the terms involved in the topic. Therefore, permit us to pay courtesy to that.
Electronic Media: These are media for information dissemination, which involve the use of electrical impulses. It includes radio, television and film/cinema.
Effective Instrument: This means an effect that is the impact registered on something, able to bring about the result intended.
Cultural Propagation: The promotion of people’s way of life; spread more widely.
Osina: A town in Ideato local Government Area in Imo State. Embedded with strong cultural background, which development were usually initiated by age grades in conforming with established traditions of local areas.Listenship: The act of paying attention to a given broadcast programmes.
Rural Development: Any kind of effort by people or interest groups to bring changes in the countryside.
As usual with a study of this nature, these researchers hereby made the following assumptions:
With the advancement, of technology in the field of mass communication, there trends to be growing awareness among societies. Therefore there is a general belief that people’s perceptions and understanding of media messages are considerably high.
It was also an assumption that people embark on industrialization as a result of mass media influence.
Furthermore, people more often attached importance to message programme through radio on a regular basis had chances of making impact on its audience. It was also assumed that most rural dwellers in Imo state speak and hear Igbo language in which the IBC(radio industrial development programme produced.
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