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The objective of the study is to ascertain the role the radio place in the political mobilization of Nigerian women. Factors like radio, interpersonal communication, exposure, objectively and sycophancy were examined to impact on the effectiveness of radio political news in mobilizing Nigerian women. Relevant theories and the literature that constitutions the basic frame work of the study were examined. Data collected were analyzed in order to determine the effects of these factors on the effectiveness of the radio political news in mobilizing these women. From the finds, it is observed that radio political news has influence in mobilizing women, it motivated their political opinion and attitude, leads them to political formation and although they tend not to see the news being non objective, they indicated that the government and its agencies distort the news. Also importantly, interpersonal communication was observed as a motivator too.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The background of this study looks into the role played by the radio as a medium in the political mobilization of women in Nigeria. There are other communication channels like television, interpersonal (rituals and festivals, gongs, drums), newspapers and magazines; these are channels of information dissemination. But in view of how effective these channels could be used in performing the role of mobilizing women through out the nation into participating in politics, its credibility is given to radio in getting political message to its target audience (women) informed. Even though the newspaper and magazines for their non- transient features would have helped, it is found difficult these days to be affordable by average Nigerians and women in their own situation finds it more difficult to spend their income in buying newspapers or magazines in order to get information in this economic crunch situation in the country today. Hence, radio is used as their resort for information acquisition. Also, the television due to its high cost is not easily affordable by every family, and for the traditional communication, since these targeted audience (women generally) some of which are from urban areas, it is found difficult or ineffective to disseminate information to them. This is because they have socially developed too. Hence they can tune to their various transistor radio sets for information.
Obiakalusi Lynda et al (1991) in their research work stated that Nigerians political independence in 1960 had raised hopes of many that the nation was being set towards achieving a free and democratic society. In such a democratic society, it is expected that the press such as radio in particular should be the market place of political thought. The radio therefore, should exist mainly to serve the information need of the citizenry in politics.
Akpan (1985) mass communication in Nigeria: book of reading (Nwuneli) say that the public is entitled to all facts in a political situation and that on the basis of these facts, it can make its decisions. However, these woman being to revert to political interest. Again warren, Kendall (1985: 1990) position that radio for its social role as a mobilization channel made American listens to feel the brutal impact of Hitler’s demands against the background of hysterical orator and frenzied nazi crowd reaction. They (American) were graved when they heard morrow described war preparation in London, relieved when kilter born predicted that chamberlain and Hitler found a peace solution at Munich. However, it was radio that brought to them this scene of personal participation in what they realized was the world’s crisis not merely Europe’s.
The mass media generally performed broad social functions to the audience and these functions are entertainment, information and education. Therefore, the radio playing the same function, in terms of providing messages to its listeners while it is entertaining them thereby reminding its targeted audience (women). Radio as an information channel has continued to wax stronger as a medium of the people. Just like kristie person, executive director of the Cape Town, south Africa- based free play foundation posit that, radio is the one tool that the greatest potential to reach the most people. Again, as an information channel, it informs its audience about politics and enables them participate in political programmes or transitions. Also, for its educational function, the F R C N in 1998 mapped out a programme time sponed by Mrs. Florence ejoor (chair person Abia state family support programme) to educated the woman not to stay away from the ongoing terminated in that year (1998), but rather to came out enmasse to complete with their male counterparts towards making them achieve their objectives of the programmes.
Mr. fidelis Ejiolo of ESBS, a comment writes states that radio, as one of the electronic media has remained one of the greatest legacies of post independence in Nigeria. Its uses an impact on public administration, political enlightment and general development have made it an indispensable tool for the information management and mass mobilization. He also posit that from the inception of radio in Nigeria, more than 45 years ago, it was obvious that government had on dear vision of establishing more radio station in different arts of the country basically for information purposes. This according to Mr. Ejielo is crystallizing into policy objective aimed positively at influencing social values by improving and strengthening the social, cultural, political and economic fabrics of the nation. The establishment of radio stations becomes, as it was the embodiment of the nations strategy and political awareness. As a matter of fact, the strategy was anchored on information dissemination and galvanizing the opinions in support of w omen towards political enlightenment and objectives.
Apparently, development should not be seized from being mentioned while discussing politics. According to Nwosu 1985, he says that development and politics are so intertwined that one cannot talk about or deal with one with the other, especially in a developing country like Nigeria. Hawing observed the above statement; it is rarely difficult to distinguish between politics and development especially as it relates to Nigeria politically. Radio could be seen as a more possible agent of social and political mobilizing in the country than television especially in mobilizing women towards participating in politics. For instance, Mrs. Evenly chukwu a barrister in an interview with the researcher discloses that she got motivated from the various political messages she hears from the radio and felt that with these messages she could challenge the male counterparts. She also said that the woman who came to vote for her during the main election got mobilized.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS
Nigeria gained independence since 1960, although the ruling colonial government dictated pre independence politics the Nigeria man did not want to be left out in the art of governance. The activities of the women folk not in the same scale as of the men were nonetheless not worthy. Oyegbola (1986) in her address to the intra parliamentary union meeting. The role of women in Nigeria politics rightly points out the Aba women Riot of 1929 and the activities of few other women which contributed to the eventual handing over of power to the people, will always be remembered as some of the pioneer landmarks of the journey to political independence by this great nation. However, a lot of write-ups are prejudiced while others are geared towards educating the society especially, African society, where it is frequently alleged that women are relegated to the background of the needs integrate. Well in all facets of life to enhance their social, political and economic development.
Obviously, it should be universally acknowledged that a woman is the most useful product of the creator’s skill. There is a “maxim” which says that, “behind every successful man there is a woman” for instance, there were some powerful woman who were the wheel on which their men rode to success, fame and acclaim. For example, the case of Lincoln and his wife who literally dragged him to the highest political seat, the United States presidency. Satellite (march 6, 1982) “ own through the ages, there have been examples of powerful women. The biblical Esther was a powerful, beloved of her husband who was also to redeem her people Israelites from slavery and oppression. The queen of Sheba gave birth to many nations. Cleopatra was a queen who through her Armour and political inclination nearly brought down the entire Roman Nation. Cleopatra was a queen who through her Armour and political inclination nearly brought down the entire Roman Nation. Queen Elizabeth l of England was one of that nation, more capable and popular ruler.
Back to Africa, Queen Amina of Zaria, a formidable woman, achieved many spectacular seats, ruling a vast kingdom and is still fondly remembered as a capable strategist and rule. Although in traditional African context woman were seen to be playing a second fiddle role by the male counterparts especially in Nigeria politics. It is widely held that woman are under privileged in traditional Africa culture, but pre-colonial politics in Nigeria represents a dual sex role, in other words, woman should stand alongside their male counterparts to find solutions to problems of prime national intersects. For instance, under the 1979 constitution, law prohibits indiscrimination of any kind women and very citizen male or female of eligible age can vote and be voted for. However, this is contrast to what the situation was in the past.
In recent years in Nigeria, women also engage themselves in some development projects. An example is the “Better life for rural women” championed by Mrs. Maryam Babangida and “Family support programmer” by Mrs. Maryam Abacha (Nationally). Women also partake in petty trading association some of them bind themselves together in socioeconomic bodies or trade groups like “women cooperatives” to carter for the need of their common occupations and objectives this, collectively make substantial contribution to the social development of their immediate areas of operation and influence. Another good example was the “National council of women society”, which was aimed at assisting women in towns and villages in their important role as nation builders. These organizations to mention but a few have strived to mobilize and sensitize women folk on the need of modern politics. Also, the 1995 Beijing conferences help by women of raious categories from different countries, was also a forum to mobilize women towards their rights to compete4 with the male counterparts in politics participation. Apparently, the federal government has created ministry of women so that Nigeria women would be mobilized in participating in politics.
According to Agee Agult Emery (1998:45) radio with its peculiar characteristics is being present everywhere, the mail carrier walks a route with a transistor radio fastened to the mail bag, the crowd on the beach listens to good music through the portable radio they carry alongside them on the beach, the carpenter on roof nails shingles in time to rock beat. Hence, these women at their various places be it market, the office or shops, tune on their transistor sets and pay particular attention to political messages. There are some who in one way or the other participated in the past national or star like Adetoun Ogunseye, Mrs. Ebun Oyegbola, Mrs. Janet Mokely, political advice to the Anambra state chief Executive (1982) chief Mrs. Uche Ofia Nwuli, legal luminary, Dr. Helen Chukwuma etc. Having looked into records or listened to various national women who had participated in one time or the other in Nigeria politics and seeing how decreasingly the women post in the Nigeria political positions are being occupied by their male counterparts, the questions which could be drawn here are.
Will women in the state after being exposed to radio political messages gear more interest towards participating in the national politics?
Could their exposure to radio political massages activate them towards holding political post?
Could their exposure to radio political message expose them to political hatred?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study will focus on the credibility of radio in the dissemination of political news and socio-political tool for mobilizing women to participate in national politics. Also, the study will see the journalist as the product of the study. The Nigeria society with its various facets, traditions, belies, mages, goals, constraints must inevitably influence and de-influence upon by the journalist. He helps to shape the size and direction of what is communicated to the different publics.
This role has its implication for the constant barrage of charges of bias, prejudice, partisanship, untruthfulness, and especially sycophancy level against radio and its staff.
Also, in discussing credibility in radio reports, the researcher will consider both messages credibility and source credibility. Radio credibility here is referred to as the ability of the radio news reports to be believed and accepted by their target audience (women). In relation to source credibility, the researcher will be interested in knowing whether the source of the news has any influence on the credibility rating of the news report.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Since the inception of Nigerian politics women have been relegated to the background. However, women raising shoulders in the areas of socio-economic development in the country, competing with their male counterparts, why then should their active role in politics be relegated? Anyway, researches have been carried out in other spheres in politics issues, but there has never been any that carried out research on how effective the radio as a mobilization fool could be used to mobilize women generally towards their participating actively in today’s national politics. One of such theoretical statement will focus on whether women in Nigeria form opinion on politics, following their exposure to radio news. Again, on the effect of radio exposure on political attitude change on theoretical statement the researcher will consider the role of interpersonal communication in relation to women selective perception radio messages. Furthermore, the study will help the government in making policy or radio use in a political situation among women. Finally, the study will also contribute to our political and socio-cultural development through an empirical linkage of credibility and sycophancy in Nigerian’s environment. It6 will again enlighten our mind on the use of radio for socio-cultural integration of the women through fair political new management in the radio.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. Is the radio the major source of political information for women?
ii. How do women react to political news from the radio: Do they depend on interpersonal communication?
iii. Judging the exposure of political news on women, its impact on women how does it affect their opinion formation.
iv. What is the women’s rate of response to physical news emanating from the radio?
v. Do radio news mobilize women. Do they think reporters are sycophants to the government?
vi. Is the transistor radio more popular among women when compared to other types?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
- H1 Women get most of their political information from radio.
H0 Women do not get most of their political information from radio.
- H2 Women tend to believe radio political news only after interpersonal communication.
H3 Exposure to radio political news will likely respond or result to political opinion formation.
H4 There is tending for women radio listeners not to respond to radio Political news due to non-objectivity in the news.
H0 Women radio listeners are likely to respond to radio political news due to perception of objectivity in the news.
- H5 Women generally believe political news on radio because of perceives Sycophancy of the news reports of the government.
H0 Minority of the women does not believe political news on radio because of perceived sycophancy of the news report.
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H1: Women get most of their political information from radio.
H0: Women do not get most of their political information from radio.
H2: Women tend to believe radio political news only after interpersonal communication.
H0 women are not likely to believe radio political news from the radio even without interpersonal communication.
H3 Exposure to radio political news will likely respond or result to political opinion formation.
H0 women exposure to radio political news may likely not respond to political opinion formation.
H4 there is tendency for women radio listeners to respond to political news due to perception of objectivity in the news.
H0 there is tendency for women radio listeners not respond to radio political news due to non-objectivity in the news.
H5 women generally believe political news on radio because of perceived sycophancy of the news reports of the government.
H0 minority of the women does not believe political news on radio because of perceived sycophancy of the news report.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In this study the variables and concepts that constitute the study have to be clearly defined conceptionally and operationally. However, the conceptual definition of variable, while the operational definitions involve the working definitions for the study.
1. Message Acceptance: Someone’s favour reception of message.
2. Radio Exposure: An individual’s acess to the radio and its message contents.
3. Radio Mobilization: The act of influencing someone by radio programmers and news.
4. Participation: The act of someone taking part in something (political).
5. Politics: The act of someone taking part in leadership of a town, state or in general, public affairs.
6. Media Sycophancy: Supporting the government activities by the pluralist.
7. Opinion Formation: Stated emotion of political idea after listening to particular radio political information.
8. Interpersonal Communication: Act of mouthpiece or face to face discussion.
9. Radio Accessibility: The act of someone being able to have a transistor set and turning the radio transistor set before news (political news).
Message Acceptance: Self- willingness reception of a particular news content.
Radio Exposure: The total periods to radio political message in mobilization of women.
Radio Mobilization: Stated motivation to radio political news message on women.
Participation: The totality of women who are engaged in active politics.
Politics: The number of officers or activities that women can contest for in the election.
Media Sycophancy: Stated women views of radio news reporters as distorting political news to favour the government.
Interpersonal Communication: Number of discussion with friends, lovers and family of political news heard from the radio on mobilization of women in politics.
Opinion Formation: Stated arousal of a political news, listening to a particular news on mobilization of women in politics.
This research work assumes that radio political information have been tale-guided and manipulated by the government and influential political woman that stake in the radio operators. In this regard the saying that he who pays the piper dictates the tune is assumed to be obvious political news management. Also, the media agents setting theory is likewise portrayed. Furthermore, it is assumed that the government used the newsmen and radio editors to influence these women attributes towards politics through their repetitive radio political message appeal in order to make sure that the message appeal correspondent with what the sponsor (government) wants. Besides the study assumes that the researchers target audience listens to radio political news. Finally, there are literates and semi-literate women, this is because, if they are illiterates they will not understand news broadcast in English except when it is broadcast (aired) in vernacular.
1.10 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study is focused on the mobilization and participation of women in political news on radio. The study will focus on such aspect as the rate of usages of ride. This is because according to various researchers made by some researchers mass communication, it is observed that an averages of about 60 – 70 % of the women that listens to radio. Also, the study will associate some effective theories of the mass media. Another aspect of exclusive interest in this study is pure political news. The study will however, be interested in political programmers. Finally, the researcher presumes that the scientific nature of her samples and the standard of her measuring instrument (questionnaire) will help her to generalize the large population.
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