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This research work, “The Impact of TV Broadcasting in the Promotion of Igbo Culture, using NTA Abakaliki as a case study”, has five chapters. Chapter one has to do with general introduction/overview of the work. In chapter two, relevant literatures were reviewed. The chapter three has to do with the methodology, which is survey through the use of questionnaires. In chapter four, the data gathered in the

research were presented and analysed using chi-square test as the inferential statistics tool. And in chapter five, the summary, conclusion and recommendations were presented based on the result of the study.




1.1   Background of the Study

Culture can roughly be defined as a people’s way of life. It has to do with the totality of a people’s cherished norms, values and attitude towards issues of common communal interest.

Quoting Edward Tylor (1870), Uche (2000:49) defined culture as:

“That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, law and custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of a society.”

Deriving from the above definition, culture is a social creation; it is a social heritage that is transferred from generation to generation through the use of language. No doubt every human society has a culture; there is no cultureless society in this world. Culture distinguishes one society from the other. People are identified, recognised and discussed in most cases on the basis of their culture. Suffice it then to state that

culture apart from being a major characteristic of a particular society could enjoy the pride of being a people’s identity. As noted earlier, language is a culture carrier. In fact, to really understand and appreciate the culture of a particular society, a sound and genuine knowledge of its language is important. The language itself is a product of the society’s cultural realities. In other words, the language borrows

from the culture and also plays the rule of a transmitter. Culture is broadly divided into material and non-material culture. Material culture are those cultural things one can see, feel and touch, that represent their cultural realities while non material culture implies norms, values, beliefs of a people. It is noteworthy that the belief of common ancestry, common history is a force that builds a people together.

       It cultivates in them a sense of ones, togetherness and unity of purpose. However, for such affinity to gain strength, they must not only believe that they have a common culture but they must know and see that they have a practicable and common culture. Indeed every human society has a culture. A people’s culture distinguishes it from another. Nigeria is and has remained a multi-ethnic state. This implies that

it has more than one ethnic group. However, despite opinionated conjectures on the number of ethnic groups, Nigeria actually has three dominant ones viz, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa.  These groups with ranging culture realities have metamorphosed into political power blocs that play recognizable roles of determining who gets what in Nigerian politics. In view of the above stated, the Igbo cultural group

would be studied in much detail as therein lies the cruise of this research effort at finding out how the TV as a mass medium promotes Igbo culture. Igbos have really enjoyed historical relevance in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. The activities of the long juju of Arochukwu in the era of slavery and legitimate trade popularized the Igbos into historical relevance. Even though the various Igbo speaking societies do not

have exactly the same culture, their natural characteristics are essentially the same. More so, the creation of states in Nigeria has tried to create conjunction in the traditions, communality of so many Igbo people. However its historical belief of common ancestry has remained a powerful tool at welding varying interests together. Ebonyi State is a case in point. The derailment of some areas in Abia State

into Ebonyi State has continued to threaten the cultural affinity and relationship between Edda people, Ohafia, Abiriba and Arochukwu people. However, their culturally cherished values still hold them together so much so that they have continued to mar geography in the performance of their traditional, cultural and ritual demands.

Igbo Origin and (Historical Perspective

Like other Nigerian cultures, the history of the Igbo origin has not benefited from the ‘Hermitic axe’ i.e. the Eurocentric perspective of the origin of most African states. This notion that Igbos (like other African states) migrated from Hebrew States has produced what we commonly refer to in the Harritic Hypothesis. For instance, according to Afigbo in Ikimi (1985:7), “Rev. Mr G. T. Basden posits that Igbos

were a branch of Hebrew nation or at least their cultural history could satisfactorily be explained in terms of Jewish impact. In his view, he seemingly justifies in claims that the Igbos are deeply religious, practises circumcision and mummification and have sentence structures commonly found in Hebrew constructions such that the unresting cannot help being stuck with the similitude between them.

For Dr M. D. Jiffrey, “ancient egyist held the key to Igbo origin and history”. He was impressed by the feature of dual division in Igbo social structure which according to him corresponds with the division of ancient Egyist into upper and lower societies. Based on glotto-chronological evidence, Igbo is one of the languages designated as ‘Kwa’ sub-group of the Niger-Congo family. Other members of this group

include Edo, Yoruba and Idoma. According to this school, Igbos started emerging as a distinct people from about 6000 years ago. It is the firm belief of this school that Igbo people as members of this ‘Kwa’ subgroup separated to the region of Niger Benue Conference. As migration continued, they occupied the Nsukka-Okigwe area, this area runs from Nsukka in the North to Okigwe in the heart of Igbo land with a

south-eastern bridge stretching to Arochukwu. The  above views of Igbo history of origin may have perhaps been faulted by professor A. D. Hertles excavation test at the university of Nigeria Agricultural farm, which showed evidence of human occupation dating back to 2,555 BC + 130. One may want to ask if the people who lived there at that point in time were Igbos, however arguable this is, what is perhaps

important is the close resemblance of material artefacts of Nsukka people of today. Perhaps drawn from the above views is another school of thought which sees in the course of migration, that the Igbos’ earliest area of settlement was Nri Awka and Isuama area popularly called the Igbo core where from other migrations took off. Despite the above historical disagreement in the origin of the Igbos, what is perhaps

important is that the Igbos do exist, occupying the south=eastern part of Nigeria, have an age long culture which identity it still carries today. The basic transmitter of this Igbo culture is the Igbo language. Suffice it then to say the history of the Igbos is the history of Igbo culture.

Television Broadcasting (Historical Perspective)

In preliterate Igbo society, information was passed down through oral history – folk tales etc. Also important were material artefacts that tell stories. Despite the benefits derived from it, they had the problem of distortion or misinterpretation. The story teller tells and interprets from his bias perspective, which the perceiver of the material artefact interpreter is based on his bias understanding.

However, the era of the literate age has brought in some mechanism of message transmission that is more efficient, more effective and can reach a large number of people at the same time. Suffice it to say that the advent of the mass media has brought a quantitative increase in the nature, character of message transmission. This technology being into the concept of mass communication. Baran (2002:6)

simply defines Mass Communication as the process of creating shared meaning between the mass media and their audiences. By mass media, he means the instruments, tools, channels of mass communication. They are channels of transmitting information, ideas, attitudes, view from a mechanical source to a heterogeneous audience who must get such messages simultaneously. We have TV, radio, newspaper,

magazine, bulletin, etc. as mass media. However, they are broadly divided into print and broadcast. The print media like newspaper, magazine, books, journals make use of printed works and pictures while the electronic media i.e. radio, TV make use of verbal and motion pictorial messages. Television therefore belongs to the category of broadcasting. TV is a broadcast tool for the transmission of message, ideas,

culture, attitudes to a mass audience through the air waves. What distinguishes the TV from radio? TV appeals both to the eyes and ears. This audio-visual advantage of the TV makes for believability and credibility. This justifies why it has been seen as the most powerful medium of mass communication.

Short History of TV

What became TV is a combination of efforts from different scientists. A mission scientist Paul Nipkow in 1884 developed the Nipkow disk. This device was capable of generating signals which can suitably transmit a scene which people could see. This disc produced 4,000 picture dots (pixels) per-second and produced a picture which was composed of 18 parallel lines. In 1923, Vladnit Zworykin produced

theiconoscope tube which was the first practical TV tube in 1927. San Francisco made his first public demonstration – film clips of a price fight, scenes from a mery pickford more, and other graphic images – thus TV was born.

TV in Nigeria

Broadcasting in Nigeria evolved from wired broadcasting known as Radio Distribution Service. Such programmes were packaged and transmitted form BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) in London. This was a major tool that propagated the Whiteman’s denomination of his colonized (captive) states. This situation held sway till 1959 when Chief Awolowo established the western Nigerian TV (WNTV), the

Eastern Nigerian TV (ENTV) followed suit in 1960 which the Northern Nigeria TV (NNTV) and the federal government had theirs in 1962. This signalled a new dawn in Nigeria political history. At least they were owned by Nigerians even though they manifested the characteristics of their white (colonial) masters. Re-organising the pivotal role the TV plays at shaping the life and times of a people, every state

went into ownership of TV broadcasting.Better still with the promulgation of Decree No. 38 of 1992 which gave legal teeth to private ownership of the broadcast media, many Nigerians went into ownership of TV broadcasting. However, it is pertinent to stress that such ownership seemingly revolves around political actors.

Brief History of NTA Abakaliki

Prior to Obasanjo’s civilian administration, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) had 36 stations. How in 2002, government saw the need to have an NTA station in all the state capitals. This is primarily aimed at reaching the ruralities and bringing them nearer to government policies, programmes and activities. Ebonyi State was one of the states that benefited from the above philosophy. Consequently, on December

2, 2003, NTA Abakaliki was commissioned. Being commissioned, NTA Abakaliki started transmitting for 4 hours. After that, started transmitting for 6 hours and now 15 hours. More so, NTA started with staff strength of 5 but now NTA houses not less than 45 staff which include 4 managers.


1.2   Statement of Problem

Most TV stations have been accused of transmitting more foreign films/programmes than local programmes; do not advertise the Igbo culture even when most stations are in Igbo land.

More so, the quality of these local programmes or TV cultural programmes are very low, so also is their time of transmission short. Owing to the fact that culture remains a people’s identity, the researcher attempts to find out if NTA Abakaliki retains or advertises this identity or otherwise.

The confirmed call for a new world information and connection by most third world countries against the disparity in news flow pattern calls for an inward assessment of our local stations to find out how responsible they are in line with the realities and the obvious need for the promotion of our culture – Igbo culture, particularly Ebonyi State.

1.3   Objectives of Study

this research work aims at finding out the degree of consistency at which TV stations in Igbo land (in this case, NTA Abakaliki) transmit Igbo programmes and to measure the extent to which the people expose themselves to Igbo cultural programmes. All the same the researcher will also find out the impact of these cultural programmes on Igbo culture.

The study also will be delimited to ‘Ebonyi Anyi’ NTA Abakaliki programme in view of its popularity, general acceptance and seeming credibility. This choice is indebted to the fact that it would be difficult to measure the impact of all Igbo programmes on the promotion of Igbo culture in the life of the people.

Therefore, the study will measure the impact of these programmes on men as it affects the promotion of Igbo culture in the life of men in Abakaliki. The result of this would be generalised on other Igbo programmes of NTA Abakaliki.

Obviously, the result and recommendation of this research effort would help NTA in making amends where necessary as to meet the cultural need of the people.

1.4   Significance of the Study

  1. This study will help put NTA programmes in the annals of academics.
  2. It would increase interest and widen a sense of Igbo cultural consciousness both to staff of NTA Abakaliki and the audience of such programmes.
  3. The result here from would help in conceptualizing and transmitting quality Igbo cultural programmes that would imperatively promote Igbo culture.
  4. The result of this study will help the TV stations to know the programmes that actually make impact in the promotion of Igbo culture so as to improve on them and to replace those programmes that do not achieve their purpose.
  5. This study will help the stations to know the extent at which their programmes of Igbo culture achieve their set purpose.
  6. It will place Igbo programmes with pride of place in TV programmes.

1.5   Research Questions

  1. Is there any relationship between TV programmes and Igbo culture?
  2. Does NTA Abakaliki transmit Igbo programmes to Ebonyians?
  3. Do Ebonyians have access to these TV Igbo programmes?
  4. What impacts do these programmes have on Igbo culture?


1.6   Hypotheses

  1. H0: There is no existing relationship between the programmes of NTA Abakaliki and the Igbo culture.

          H1:    There is existing relationship between the programmes of NTA Abakaliki and Igbo culture.

  1. H0: Ebonyians do not have access to NTA Abakaliki Igbo cultural promotion programmes

          H1:    Ebonyians have access to NTA Abakaliki Igbo cultural promotion programmes

  1. H0: NTA Abakaliki Igbo programmes do not in the actual sense promote Igbo culture.

          H1:    NTA Abakaliki Igbo programmes in the actual sense, promote Igbo culture.

1.7   Theoretical Framework

Three theories are significant in the study. They are: Bullet theory, two step theory and cultural theory.

The bullet theory supposes that the media do have an unhindered and over-whelming direct influence on the audience. It sees media audience as passive and at the mercy of there media messages.

However, the 2-step flow theory of Lonerfil et al  hold a contradictory view. It argues and at the mercy of there media messages as a result of the interpretation of those messages to them by people they regard as opinion leaders. Their opinion leaders so much influence their decision and actions.

The cultural part argues that media audience through the selective process selects those media messages that make meaning to their cultural realities. In this case, the media audience is active and synthesizes, programme contents with their cultural ones. Pertinent to it is the idea of cultural mainstreaming which supposes that the media especially TV is used to enculturize a people.

1.8   Operational Definitions

Some terms may need to be defined for better understanding while going through the study.

Broadcast: This is the process of sending out programmes by radio or television which are both electronic medium of mass communication.

Mass Communication: This is the process of creating shared meaning between the mass media and their audience. The process of communicating to the masses through mass mediums like television, radio, newspaper, etc.

Igbo Culture: This is the culture through which the Igbo clan are being known for. Culture which is the identity or the people’s way of life, affects everybody, every clan and every nation. Every society is known for a particular way of living.

TV: An electronic mass media that appeals to audio and vision.

Programme: TV media content that is transmitted to the audience.

Programme Scheduling: Allocation of time for programme.

Programme Packaging: The quantity and quality of TV media content.

Cultural Domination: The process of enforcing a foreign culture on another. The process of using western culture to dominate Nigerian culture.

Impact: It is the measure of effect of NTA Abakaliki cultural programme on the audience.

Promotion: The process of placing Igbo culture in a higher position in the society.


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