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1.1.0 Background to the study

Radio in the society over the years has provided and is still providing a readily available channel for effective communication to the grass root as well informing, mobilizing, enlightening and entertaining people across different age, class, sex and other societal strata. Since it came into existence is the 1920s, radio has witnessed the entry of various media outlets in the communication business like the television, internet and other mass communication channels. Many scholars and academia have wondered what chance this non-visual and imaginative media holds against these continually advancing and almost all encompassing media. And here it remains, playing a huge role in the development information and mass mobilization of people.

Radio has been defined in various ways by different scholars although all definition tilt towards a particular idea here are a few.

According to Collins online dictionary 2018, radio is defined as the use of electromagnetic waves, lying in the radio frequency range for broadcasting messages, it also defines radio as an electronic device designed to receive, modulate and amplify radio signals from sound broadcasting stations.

According to the British Broadcasting Commission English dictionary, 1992: p 946. It is the system of sending sound over a distance by transmitting electrical signals.

Akpede et al 2010, describes radio as a medium used for sending and receiving messages through the air using electronic waves.

Radio is the wireless transmission of signals through free space by electromagnetic radiation of a frequency significantly below that of visible light, in the radio frequency range, from about 30 kHz to 300GHz.(http://www.historyofradiowiki. org)

Egbuchulam (2002) defined radio as a mobilizer and a formidable factor in the new world order in economy, technology and politics. Radio is best described as the cheapest, safest and the most effective medium of communication available to man.

Radio is an essential mass medium that virtually every member of the society benefits from. Kuewumi (2009) asserts that Radio has radicalized the face of human communication and ultimately become a fixed point in the daily lives of humans whereby people are informed, taught, nurtured and reformed by way of relaxation, reinvigoration and resuscitation. This he argued, makes radio as a medium of mass communication being constantly sought after by its ardent listeners.

According to Onabajo (1999), in the developing world as in Asia and Africa, radio is cheap; it does not cost much compared to television which is expensive. It is also portable i.e. it can be easily transported from one place to another. It is credible as it transmits messages that its listeners hold important. Radio can also present news as it happens, brings the voices of news makers and artists into the homes of listeners. It also provides dramatic shows and other entertainment, which listeners can visualize even in the absence of visuals. For that reason, radio enjoys the advantage of simultaneity. It requires little effort of its consumers to comprehend its message. It is a good companion that entertains and informs its listeners.

Kuewumi (2009:148) also asserted that a world without radio would be like a garden without flowers and trees. Radio daily feeds us with information, teaches us and calms our nerves. If radio is well understood and its potentials realized, hardly will there be any one that will live without a radio. Many anxious moments will be healed.

Radio is a vehicle for projecting personality through which it attracts and holds an audience. It is an efficient instrument for getting a message to a large number of people at the same time, because it transcends the boundary of space and time, and also leaps across illiteracy barriers (Onabajo, 1999).

Egbuchulam (2002) asserts that radio has been a major communication tool for improving the quality of people’s lives, bringing to their doorstep news, entertainment and education through its programmes. Despite the world wide enchantment with the internet and web-based learning, radio still retains the advantage of being able to serve dispersed, isolated, and disadvantaged communities aspiring to overcome the barriers of illiteracy and physical distance in many countries.

These definitions or perspectives therefore reveal the technicality and sociality of radio as a communication medium for which people are easily accessed and is accessible to people, for which they can relate to and painlessly afford.

The Nigerian society is a heterogeneous one with divergent communication need, coupled with the growing world of awareness. Different people have different perception of what roles communication, in its totality should play to the listening audience in higher learning. According to Bride Seam 91:980) “communication is considered in its broadcast sense, not only as the exchange of news and messages, but also an individual and collective activity embracing all transmissions and sharing of ideas, fact and data. Its main function in any social system be identified as information socialization motivation, discussion, debate, education, cultural promotion, entertainment and integration. The mass media as an institution have been tasked to perform all these immeasurable roles. However radio which is not only the most important media in Nigeria, but also the most commonly spread, affordable and accessible to perform this enormous function as expected. One of the challenging feature of the media of mass communication is the composition of its audience the audience of radio is highly heterogeneous having a number of socio-economic stance and different interests. Base on different kinds of radio audience, it signifies that preferences of medium as well as its content will differ among members of audience, while some need a particular station or programmes for emotional releases, others may prefer serious programmes, little news and current affairs, documentaries, commentaries all pending on one’s interest. Discoing the mass media in American Bargas (1973) opined that “the media experiences in part time or activity of people engage in at certain time of the day where they have nothing of overriding importance to do and when they want to relax from boredom”. The radio audience has the capability to determine the success or failure of any station as well as its effectiveness. A station should therefore have the masses in mind before planning a station, a poorly managed programme base will cause the audience interest to wear away and the image of the station will be at stake. Therefore, for radio medium to arouse audience interest such station should select interesting programmes as well as particular message. Berelson and Jarowite “Regular viewers of news programme can be exposed to everything that is broadcast. The decision whether or not they watch any documentary programme is novel likely to be made on the basic of the issues than on the point of view which will be used for emotional release, relaxation etc.”. In his own contribution Williams Rivers (1969) in voice of AM form lecture confirmed and highlighted other aspects of selection process. That female’s students on their part pay greater attention to entertainment programmes than news and current affairs and other programmes. Radio progammes exist in a competitive situation and thus try always to satisfy their audience by good programming while the audience has the tendency to select the type of station or progamme to listen to depending on the need they intend to derive. Because of the need to continually retain audience attention, the radio station should put in their best to make sure there is a forum which its audience will air their view concerning the station progammes.


Maintaining a thriving stance despite the competition shove from other main stream media such as television and the internet, “radio remains the medium with the greatest reach and impact worldwide” (Chapman, Blench, Kranjae and Zakariah, 2003.). As a result of the heterogeneity of audience, various people listen to radio for different reasons and thus have interest in various genres for their personal reasons. Some of these reasons include education, entertainment, basic companionship, information and more.

Radio remains a prevalent mass communication medium in this part of the world. Data retrieved from the FM List Database for FM radio stations shows that northern Nigeria has the highest density of radio stations in the country and among all the northern states, Kaduna ranks third with a total of 19 running radio stations. This then means that radio is popularly patronized by individuals within the states. Being a tool for learning and information dissemination among others this study is geared at finding out how relevant this medium is among students in five tertiary institutions within the state and what gratification and satisfaction they derive from its messages and their preferred audio device for listening to radio.

Various institutions around Nigeria have embarked on similar studies to ascertain the use of radio among its students, some of these studies include radio listening habits of students in Redeemers University by Melody. M. Akinjinya and Dr.  Oguchi O.  Ajaegbu (2015) which showed that students listened for the purpose of being informed, they used the messages for decision making  but derived little or no satisfaction from listening.

Another study carried out on university students listening habits conducted in Delta State University by Dr.  Lucky Ojobor and Dr.  Oghogho Uyi Osazee-Odia (2017) showed that 75% of students were regular radio listeners; that is, they listened every day, their purpose for listening is to be informed, the gratification derived include information and knowledge, 75% derive satisfaction unlike the study on Redeemer's University, only 10% derived no satisfaction. Majority of the students preferred listening via radio sets and listened mostly in the evening.

A similar study was carried out in University of Uyo in 2016 showed that students only listen to radio by chance and derived entertainment as gratification similar to Delta State University, students mostly listen to radio in the evening.

This study intends to contribute to the research thread by finding out the program students listen to, their gratification and satisfaction they derive from message and contents of the programs in these institutions within Kaduna State. Considering the population of study being Kaduna State University, Federal Polytechnic, Kaduna, Federal Cooperative College Gonin gora, Kaduna, Federal College of Education Zaria,; being educational institutions, the majority of its population are young people from 16years of age and above.

According to the Collins Online Dictionary 2014, tertiary institution are educational institutions established for post-secondary education, for instance Colleges, Universities and Polytechnics. Tertiary institutions are comprised of individuals under going higher learning in specific fields under an organised platform, over a period of time. These institutions can be privately or publicly owned. Individuals are usually admitted to further their learning after they must have concluded secondary education and met the academic requirements of the institution. According to the ministry of education in Nigeria the minimum age for admission is 16 years, there are no specified maximums. There are 17 tertiary institutions in Kaduna state but for the purpose of this study, only four will be covered and these include Kaduna State University, Federal Polytechnic Kaduna, Federal College of Education Zaria, and Federal Cooperative College Kaduna

This study seeks to ascertain if they listen to radio and how often they do, if there are trends in their listening habits as regards specific genres as sports, entertainment, news and current affairs, educational or religious and more. And also to establish if or to what extent individual variables play a role in their differences in choice.


This study derives its necessity firstly from the need to establish the relevance and growth of traditional radio medium in the society as suggested by studies conducted by the Radio Joint Audience Research and the International Communication Market Reports (2015, 2016 and 2017)

It is also key in establishing the preferred radio program genre and the use of radio message contents by students of the tertiary institution. This would form basis for predicting future listenership patterns for students in tertiary institutions.


This study is aimed at achieving the following purposes.

·         To ascertain the type of radio programme students of higher institutions in Kaduna State listen to

·         To ascertain the reasons why students listen to radio

·         To ascertain the preferred device students use in listening to radio.

·         Identifying the frequency of radio listenership among students in higher institutions in Kaduna state

·         To ascertain the gratification students in higher institutions in Kaduna State get from listening to radio

1.5.0 Research Questions

·         How often do students of these institutions listen to radio

·         What programme genre do students of these institutions prefer to listen to

·         Why do students of these institutions listen to the programme particular genre

·         What device do students of these institutions use in listening to radio

·         What satisfaction do students of these institutions get from listening to radio


This study constitutes the establishment of sample audience demographics in other to understand and build a certain identity per audience. It is also meant to determine the student’s access to radio generally as well as determining how often they listen to radio. The study further ascertains the programme preferences of audience sample and also define the preferences by genre and hence, establish what genre receives the most student audience patronage and why


This study samples five institutions and hence cannot account for the listening habits of students in other institutions. Thus, its findings being narrow cannot be generalized. The study also samples 250 respondents which is not up to 5% of each of these institutions general population and thus, cannot be said to be representative of the general population. Rather, the study is meant to establish foundation for further studies in similar veins within these institutions and beyond. These limitations notwithstanding, the research will predict a trend in the listening habits of students in these tertiary institutions

1.8.0 Organization of the Study

This study is organized in five chapters. The first chapter: introduction covers background to the study, problem statement, objectives, research questions, significance, limitations, scope, assumptions and definition of terms. The second chapter contains review of literature regarding this topic; a theoretical framework, conceptual framework and a summary of the chapter. In the third chapter, research methodology, the research design used is articulated. The target population and sample sizes are also presented in this chapter. Data collection instruments used for the study are discussed as well. The researcher highlighted the methods of analysing and representing data. Chapter four discusses data analysis, interpretation, presentation and discussions. Chapter five is a summary of findings, conclusion, recommendations and suggestions for further research.

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