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1.1 Background to the Study
That the mass media play a vital role in the development process of a country is not again saying. The mass media generally regarded as a channel of communication that is capable of reaching heterogeneous audience simultaneously with uniform message. They regularly cover all sorts of issues such as health, music, fine art, crime, sport, entertainment, political events among others (Meyer, 2002, Soela 2004). The mass media transmits ideas and new information to target audience in the society. Tosanisunmi (2004) has observed that the mass media educate, inform and entertain beyond these functions as they also persuade and catalyze for social mobilization. In other words, the mass media can be regarded as powerful service of information because they have the capability to penetrate every segment of society. They have the ability to disseminate messages about issue, ideas and product.
Furthermore, the mass media has that capability to create awareness and knowledge about issues of national interest. The traditional mass media usually consist of radio, television, newspaper and magazine while the news media involves the internet technologies. Contextually, these media have the responsibility to mobilize for national development. In other words, social mobilization for development largely depends on the media for success. Crusade for change and dissemination of useful information against corruption, bad governance and terrorism depend on the mass media.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The role of media in every society is often to educate, inform and enlighten. It is assumed that, where those roles are adequately carried out, elections are bound to be free and fair. However, in Nigeria, several elections have been marred the question is how the mass media has mobilized the Nigerian populace. How come electoral processes have not been successful? Is the broadcast media system not commensurate to other media systems elsewhere? These and many others are questions that this study hopes to identify.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study were to:-
1. Ascertain the level of equal media coverage given to political parties to candidates in Uyo metropolis
2. Ascertain the significant relationship between mass media & electioneering campaign.
3. Ascertain the significant level of mobilization of mass media towards elections in Uyo metropolis
4. Determine the significant level of agenda setting programme of mass media town elections.
1.4 Research Questions
The study had the following research questions:
i. What was Uyo residents’ perception of mass media’s coverage of electioneering campaigns during the 2015 General elections?
ii. Did mass media’s coverage of electioneering campaigns affect Uyo residents’ voting decision during 2015 general elections?
iii. Which mass medium did Uyo residents regard as fair and balanced in the coverage of 2015 electioneering campaign in Akwa Ibom State?
iv. What other factors impacted on Uyo residents’ voting decision during the 2015 General elections?
v. Which political party/candidate did Uyo residents consider mature and issue-oriented in mass media electioneering campaign?
1.5 Significance of the Study
On the completion of this project the end result will benefit academics, students of communication studies and other researchers that may want to carry out further research on this study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this project will only cover the people within Uyo metropolis. This focus will be on the people living around Uyo
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The research work may be faced with time & fund constraints being an academic based research. The time allocated for this study is not enough as in combining the work on this study with daily academics routine. Also, the study will be limited to some areas due to the problems of funds,, shortage of texts, journals and information relevant to the study.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Audience: Group of people or individuals that views political news and programmes on NTA and other television stations.
Audience perception: This is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs in a system. It can also be seen as the complex collection of opinion of many different people and the sum of all their views or as a single opinion held by an individual about a socio-economic or political topic.
Political news: These are information and report contents such as: political happenings, events, quarrels and debates on government activities around the world made available to for public view.
Politics: Politics in the modern societies can be understood as a system of organizing and governing the public way of life and taking care of the overall interests of the citizens
Electioneering Campaign: This refers to the act or process of soliciting for support or votes for a given political party or candidate during election.
Television station: a channel of information dissemination, such as the political happenings, events, quarrels and debates, through which the audience learn, judge, analyze, makes contexts and make informed decisions about their political leaders.
Mass media: The use of different channels of transmission which include: the press, radio, television and internet with specific technical-technological characteristics with which they transmit news and other programmes.
News coverage: This is the actual style, language, positioning and viewpoint given to a story in any of the various medium of mass communication.
Digital technology: The use computerized equipment and electronic devices to process and disseminate news and information.
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