PROJECT TOPIC- THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMES; AS A MEANS OF ASSESSING AUDIENCE ACCEPTABILITY    OF MEDIA CONTENT (A FOCUS OF RADIO NIGERIA ENUGU, MEDIA LINK PROGRAMME)”.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Interactive programmes like talk shows and feedback according to Encyclopedia Britannica “is a type of radio and television show that mainly deals with conversation between a host and well know personalities. It involves a process where a personality interviewer questions famous people, sometimes with interludes  of music or without music, with serious discussions, documentaries or lectures”. This pattern involves a panel of distinguished figures answering questions on topical issues from members of the audience and equally solicit questions from members of the audience, who call on telephone.

Interactive programmes elicit dialogue which is conversation, talk, interaction, parlance, repartee, in which people exchange views based on the issues to be discussed. It provides a forum for debate, publicity of ideas and discoveries and for the exchange of experiences. According to Ikechukwu Nwanze (2003) “The federal government after independence in 1960 saw the interactive programmes or broadcast media as a viable tool for support and supplementing education, for mass mobilization of the people in nation building, development and national integration. Interactive programmes like our focus “media

link” done in Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) is primarily information oriented and deals on indepth research of every topic. Each episode is shaped, designed and professionals on those topics are invited to talk on the issue, while non-professionals as well take active part in the communication. “Media link” which is part of the interactive programmes engender immediate feedbacks from the targeted audience and feedback mechanism enables the source to know how well his/her communication is being received by the audience. Phone-ins on radio are more faster and more informal adaptation, when

compared with the letter to-the editor on newspaper page. These feedback received from the target audience help in knowing or assessing audience acceptability of media content and all those contributors or callers to the programme are regarded as making the programme a success since their perception towards the topics are regarded as the opinion of the members of the public.

EVALUATION OF THE INTERACTIVE PROGRAMME

          Interactive programme originated from the United States of America (USA). It evolved in three stages: The establishment of Public broadcasting service (PBS) in USA, however, sprang up the amount of educational and more thought provoked materials available on radio and television.  However, Broadcasting media were also used by some countries to support teachers in their duties of educating and informing fight against illiteracy and advice on matter of hygiene, agricultural methods and other social works were made possible by use of broadcast media.

          Secondly, in the United State, at about 1960, a kind of talk show entitled “Girl talk”, a Syndicated talk show came up. This programme attracted audience from both sexes. The hostess  gossiped and opined about various subjects especially a home – related issues like “whether parents should walk around nude in the presence of their children”. She also interviewed notable female celebrities on various issues and events, and such interviewees may be in the studio or contracted by the hostess, as is frequently the case on the phone from long distance. (Broughton 1981).

          Thirdly, a section of the Fifth Amendment to the constitution of the USA, which called for equal access to media by everyone, contributed to the evolution of talk shows. This idea of equal access to the media necessitated the 1960 presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard, M. Mixon before that year’s presidential election.

BROADCASTING IN NIGERIA

          Broadcasting in Nigeria dates back to the year 1933. Broadcasting house opened in London in 1932, that year, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), began the world’s first radio programme service. It was named the Empire Service. The British Government aimed to use the empire service to provide cultural, economic and political links with British colonies and protectorates, as well as other English countries. The empire service, therefore, required a number of monitoring stations. A monitoring station was accordingly located in Lagos. The Lagos station advised the empire service at Daventory  (UK) on suitable wavelengths and aerial design and, in some cases, provided valuable information on broadcast reception in tropical

information on broadcast reception in tropical areas. Mackay (1964:1). In respect of suitable wavelength and aerial design, later the BBC allowed the colonies to rebroadcast programmes of the empire service. Nigeria was one of the beneficiaries of the offer. In 1934, the Nigeria Post and Telegraph department (P & T) introduced the wired wireless. A method of distributing programmes to the main population centers. Interested members of the public subscribed to the relays of BBC broadcast through re-diffusion boxes. The relaying was done by piping programmes by landline to loudspeakers in

subscriber’s houses or homes. The method was known as radio distribution service (RDS).  About 1936, the Lagos BBC monitoring station was converted to a wire distribution center and subscribers increased. When the central government established the public relations department, the department began to produce programmes. For the first time, each relay station located in a Nigerian township was controlled by  broadcasting officer. The townships included Abeokuta, Enugu, Ibadan, Ijebuode, Kano, Lagos, Port-Harcourt  and Zaria. For the first time, the Lagos station began to broadcast under the name “Radio

Nigeria”. By 1948, relay stations had been extended to Calabar, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Katsina, Maiduguri, Onitsha, Sokoto and Owerri.  In  1951, the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) was established as an arm of the ministry of information. Although, the character, structure and function of the NBS was nothing different from the past except in name. It continued to serve as a relay station, working closely with the BBC and relaying national news and other programmes from London. Meanwhile, in 1957, radio broadcast in Nigeria assumed some relevance to the Nigerian audience, as programmes were to

some extent Nigerianized. Earlier in 1956, through an Act of parliament No 39 (of 1956), the Nigerian Broadcasting Service was re-named Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). It began operation as a statutory body on 1st April 1957. While the NBC maintained a national station, radio stations were gradually established in each of the three regions. In East, there was the Eastern Nigeria Broadcasting Service (ENBS), while the West had the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Company, (NNBC). This was to effect more efficiency in broadcasting industry. The first television station in Nigeria (also the first in

tropical Africa) was established in 1959 at Mapo Hall in Ibadan by the Western region Government. In October 1960, the Eastern Region Government established its own television station in 1962, which it called the Radio Kaduna Television  (RKTV). In 1959, the NBC submitted a proposal for inclusion of television broadcasting. The proposal was approved and television broadcasting at federal level began in 1962, though confined to Lagos. The war which broke out between Nigeria and the defunct Biafra further gave awareness of the potentialities of the broadcast media. It was during the war that the old

regions were converted to states. Starting with 12 states, they are now 36. Apart from the states which inherited the former regions’ broadcast stations, other states based on their knowledge of the power of broadcasting, established their own radio and television stations. It is remarkable that all the states broadcast stations were independent of the NBC. However, the All-Africa Game hosted by Nigeria in 1977, gave ample opportunity for co-operation among the broadcast stations in Nigeria. That experiment gave rise to the establishment of Broadcast organization of Nigeria (BON). The positive results achieved

in the cause of national unity and understanding through the federal military government informed the reorganization of federal broadcasting to a network with broadcast stations in all the state under one  command based in Lagos. This led to the renaming of the NBC to Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria. That meant a separation between radio and television broadcasting under one management and one board. A television network was also established and named National Television Authority (NTA).

PROJECT TOPIC- THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMES; AS A MEANS OF ASSESSING AUDIENCE ACCEPTABILITY    OF MEDIA CONTENT (A FOCUS OF RADIO NIGERIA ENUGU, MEDIA LINK PROGRAMME)”.

1.2  STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

Interactive programmes broadcast in the media like radio are designed with the interest of the target audience in mind to provide them with information they want to know on issues affecting the society. For the audience to listen to those programmed with seriousness, the programmes ought to be packaged in a way it will attract and hold their interest.

The Researcher chose the FRCN, Enugu, as a focus, using its interactive programme, “media link”.

However, the problem of this study is to examine how audiences view the “media link” interactive programme. Whether the programme achieve its aims.

1.3  OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

This study will find out the ways the audience reacts to interactive programme. The Researcher plans to achieve the objectives through:

  1. Finding out the acceptability of the programme
  2. Finding out the format of presentation
  3. the effect of the programme on the target audience
  4. Finding out the nature of the audience and their interest.

 1.4  SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will be of benefit to prospective researchers on media interactive studies. It will serve as a good information bank to the planners and presenters of interactive programmes.

1.5  RESEARCH QUESTIONS

As Adepoju Tejumaiye noted in 2003, the bedrock of research is to answer as many questions as possible. With this in mind, the following research questions are posed:

  1. What is the level of acceptability of media link programme by audience?
  2. What are the formats of presentation of the programme?
  3. What are the effects of the programme on the target audience?
  4. What are the nature and interest of the audience?

PROJECT TOPIC- THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMES; AS A MEANS OF ASSESSING AUDIENCE ACCEPTABILITY    OF MEDIA CONTENT (A FOCUS OF RADIO NIGERIA ENUGU, MEDIA LINK PROGRAMME)”.

1.6  THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

For the purpose of understanding the basis of this study, the research has chosen one of the powerful effect media theories. The theory is the uses and Gratification Theory.

The theory perceives the recipient as actively influencing the effect process, since he selectively chooses, attends to, perceives and retains the media messages on the basis of his/her needs, beliefs etc. It focus on media consumption function. The question in this theory is “who uses which contents from which media under which conditions and for what reasons?” The scenario is:

  1. An individual has some needs related to communication
  2. He/she selects the media that appear likely to satisfy those needs.
  3. He/she selectively consumes the content
  4. An effect may or may not occur (Kunczik 1988: 176A).

However, there are weaknesses identified in the theory, which are:

  1. Needs are simply listed (entertainment, relaxation, knowledge acquisition etc) and not properly classified or operationalised.
  2. Needs are defined in a circular way, needs are identified from behaviour which is in turn explained in terms of needs.

PROJECT TOPIC- THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMES; AS A MEANS OF ASSESSING AUDIENCE ACCEPTABILITY    OF MEDIA CONTENT (A FOCUS OF RADIO NIGERIA ENUGU, MEDIA LINK PROGRAMME)”.

1.7  DEFINITION OF TERMS

For easy understanding of this study, some key operational terms used need to be defined. They are:

  1. ELECTORAL MEDIA

Conceptual: This is one of the two categories of the modern modes of most communication, which delivers its messages through electronic gadgets, such as radio and television.

Operational: This is the media that is used in delivering interactive programmes such as radio media link

  1. INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMES

Conceptual:  This is a kind of broadcast programme in which discussions, interaction and conversation about issues and events are exchanged between host and hostess or the audience on topics they know best.

Operational: These are programmes where guests and audience are invited to share their different opinions towards a particular topic of discussion. Such programmes like Radio Nigeria Enugu media link and Ka Oha Malu, ESBS etc,

  1. ASSESSMENT OF AUDIENCE ACCEPTABILITY

Conceptual: Appraising of the audience opinion of the programme to know whether they accept or reject the programme.

Operational: This means testing and finding out the degree of acceptability of what is contained in the media e.g. Radio Nigeria Enugu media link.

  1. MEDIA CONTENTS

Conceptual:  These are the different events and programmes including news packages that are delivered by the media.

Operational: Radio Nigeria Enugu media link, which is an interactive programme is one of the contents delivered by the media.

  1. RADIO NIGERIA ENUGU MEDIA LINK

Conceptual: This is one of the numerous programmes delivered by FRCN Enugu.

Operational: This is an interactive programme by Radio Nigeria Enugu. It is a forum through which audience and guests ask questions and share their individual views respectively towards a particular topic of discussion. It is presented every Sunday by 1.30 p.m.

PROJECT TOPIC- THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMES; AS A MEANS OF ASSESSING AUDIENCE ACCEPTABILITY    OF MEDIA CONTENT (A FOCUS OF RADIO NIGERIA ENUGU, MEDIA LINK PROGRAMME)”.

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