FACTORS AFFECTING THE QUALITY OF ‘FAMILY FORUM’- A RADIO PROGRAMME OF ANAMBRA BROADCASTING SERVICE, AWKA

FACTORS AFFECTING THE QUALITY OF ‘FAMILY FORUM’- A RADIO PROGRAMME OF ANAMBRA BROADCASTING SERVICE, AWKA

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ABSTRACT

This research is on “Factors Affecting the Quality of Family Forum-A Programme of Anambra Broadcasting Service, Awka”. The desire for this study was informed of the need for better family planning and moral upbringing of the children, now difficulties are abound and mortality is steadily in the decline. Therefore, the researcher decided to evaluate this ABS radio programme to find out its contributions towards solving the identified social problem. To execute the job, survey research design was used since the study was to solicit people’s opinion of the performance of this radio programme. Questionnaire copies were prepared and distributed to the sample population (respondents) and data generated showed a lot of things. Among the findings was that language used in presenting the programme has hindered better understanding of the intention of the programme by the audience. So, for effective understandable message delivery, the researcher made a lot of suggestions which include use of indigenous language in the presentation of the programme. 

This research work is on the factors that affect ‘family forum’ a programme of ABS Awka.

The research during her research found out some problems that affect radio  programme. She also proffered solutions or made recommendation to the problems

Researches were made from textbook, libraries, internet etc.  observations, questionnaire and simple random sampling method  were used here.

questionnaire were shared to the staff of ABS, Awka who are respondents and whose answers facilitated this work.

The response of the respondents were analyse and this helped to the conclusion of the study.

NB- The should be only a paragraph on this page.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF STUDY

“The lesson to be learned is that the future belongs to the station to the extent that the station that produces and controls programming well will be successful”. Fepper (1995).

Programming as the bedrock and mainstay of broadcasting involves a long-term calculated planned policy expressed in predetermined executable action, which if appropriately implemented and executed as individual programme operations, wins maximum success for station. Dunu (2002). Furthermore, according to Dunu (2002), programme is also defined as the strategic selection of programme materials appropriate or suitable to a particular segment of pre-defined target audience.

It is undoubtful that effective programme is synonymous with a successful broadcast station. Broadcast programming involves a series of inter-dependent processes which are expected to satisfy some specific needs of the listening and viewing audience.

A programme is a broadcast material created to meet certain specific needs or attain some set objectives and transmitted to some predetermined target audience.

Programming in radio involves the task of choosing programmes and scheduling them in meaningful order and evaluating their degree of success and or failure. Indeed, programming is constrained by time. It makes use of daily schedule for the day’s transmission or master schedule for 13, 26, 39, 52 weeks as the case may be. Programming plays a dual role between the broadcaster who views it as a means of income and society which views it as entertainment and public service.

Programming for specific audience is one of the areas of great problem to Nigerian broadcasters. The problem seems to arise primarily from lack of knowledge about the specified audience, the potentials of the radio, communication theory and the objective of broadcasting  in the first instance.

In order to increase rating and attain success, broadcast stations employ programming strategies which according to Eastman (1993) are compatibility, habit formation, audience flow control, programme resource conservation, and breath of appeal.

Radio programming poses most challenges which include making the programme clear, logical, meaningful and easy to understand . According to Robert Hillard, Radio may represent a character in one setting and in a twinkling transport him - and the audience - to an entirely different one. This is done through  the use of  narration, sound effects and dialogue.

Consequently, it is important to note that certain indices exist that undermine the quality of broadcast programmes specifically radio programmes in Nigeria.

It has been discovered that government censorship and    financial control of most broadcast stations affect the quality of programmes aired. A case in point is where incumbent government insists that airtimes be utilized in sychophany and  praise singing  broadcast of the government in power. Post and pre-censorship of programmes are in too.

There is a common saying  in regard to mass media  control in Nigeria  and  elsewhere which has become a cliche that “he who pays the piper dictates the tune”. This means that the owner of a mass media channel controls what the medium broadcast and how it broadcasts it as the case of Anambra broadcasting service Awka. Surely control through ownership is a fact of life in every society, but then the nature of this control usually varies greatly depending upon the political system, the orientation of political leaders in control of government and the political climate prevailing  the caliber of Journalists and  other professionals communicators.

These forces exert control over the broadcast media in the  sense that their individual or combine influences could shape the content, activities and orientation of the broadcasting  media   quite  considerably, depending upon the magnitude of  influences and  these affect the quality of the programmes. The broadcasters, before giving information considers if the “piper” likes it or not. They shave out the parts that will not be pleasant to the “Piper” and not considering what the public (audience) needs to hear. This is a major problem that affects the quality of ‘events from government house’, a radio programme in ABS, Awka. Any information that is not accepted by the government who is the ‘Piper’ cannot be disseminated to the public.

Aside from this, it has also been discovered that lack of qualified staff and use of obsolete equipment has become a huge  stumbling block and hindrance to effective   quality programmes. Effective programming  requires well talented and trained staff with the right orientation and sound judgment in the intricacies of broadcast productions. These include writers, directors, producers, presenters, engineers, maintenance staff, announcers, etc. Programming involves putting the right peg in the right hole. Therefore, the personnel required for programming affects it to a large extent . Thus when the staff lack talent or are not creative, programmes lose their integrity and attraction. It takes a creative mind to put out a fantastic performance. When a mind is creative, it has the ability of putting together research findings.

The radio station of Anambra broadcasting service (ABS) Awka, is an example of one of the  most broadcasting stations  where untrained staff and  analog or obsolete equipment are  still much in use  rather than the recent digital and computerized system. It is also plagued with the absence of quality   transmitters that makes radio broadcasting programmes  epileptic.

Oftentimes most of the content of programmes being aired  are not entertaining, educative and  informative. Programmes aired by radio broadcast should basically  focus on development, that is such transmissions that can spur people to greater individual and national development. It should also focus on how to sustain the attention of their listening and viewing audience. It should include  hooks, suspense and  other attention-getting  device. Programme   for broadcast is meant to  be  supplement to formal school offering but it is not so in Nigerian context. However, the recent Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) guideline stipulating 60% local content of any programming effort though good is adversely affecting the quality of most indigenous programmes.

Misuse of the broadcast media for political purpose has  always  constituted a serious problem in the country. Government   and private broadcast media sometimes disregard the started objectives of their organisatiosn by allowing their channels to be used for political selfish ends by political lackeys.

The ABS radio station is sometimes being hampered by  lack of significant independence in programming  because the prime viewing   time has been  taken over by network programmes which the ABS radio station is meant to hook onto. The scheduling of some of these radio station broadcast programmes does not coincide with audience activity. This is evident in the time scheduling to some programmes which does not suit with the timing of the listeners. For instance, ABS, Awka airs the radio programme ‘Events from Government House’ at 5.30am. This time is not convenient for its audience as they might not be awake by that time and so wrong audience who now listen to it may not understand the quality of such programmes. Lack of continuity  of such programmes and effective feedback and lack of proper research on the  subject matter are also cankerworms that have hindered the production of  quality  radio programmes. Most times, radio programmes  are  haphazardly done, and  because of this, quality programmes will never be the end product.

The feedback system through phone–in-facilities has become the lazy way out of programme production. Producers are no longer keen in searching for qualitative artists to discuss programmes on radio. Instead they allow unguarded or uncontrolled outbursts from listeners who are privileged to have telephone in their homes but  do not  know what  to do with them.

Years ago, listeners where encouraged to write letters to producers  of programmes and such letters have been constructive and of tremendous help in improving the quality of broadcast programmes. It is difficult to explain why a developing country like Nigeria will issue licenses to broadcast operators just to play music. This is true, but sad development. Broadcast Media should be channel towards development efforts and this pre-supposes the fact that recipients of broadcast messages should be part of programmes conceptualization and implementation. Every radio programme in Nigeria should be   backed up by researchers.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF RADIO BROADCASTING IN NIGERIA

Over the decades, broadcasting in Nigeria has served as the channel for government propaganda.

Radio has been found to be very useful, because it is  popular  with the rural population and also enjoys the  intimacy which other media of communication lack. In developed world, radio has been used for development purposes. Programmes that are meant to achieve these development purposes have been conceived and executed at the various levels of the society. In  Nigeria, however, radio has been seen as a one-way communication channel in which the government communicates to the governed without an appropriate feed-back  system.

Radio, according to Microsoft Encarta Premium (2009) is a  system of communication employing electromagnetic waves propagated through space.

It has been acknowledge universally as a very important  means of disseminating  information of all the modern means of communication in the world,  radio is the most popular  because  the majority  by of the members of the public have access to it. Moreover, radio has the capability of achieving its programmes for both literates and illiterates. This is particularly true in a developing country like Nigeria with its high illiteracy level. Newspapers, Magazines, posters and books which are the print media can hardly reach the illiterates. Radio can, because it employs the oral vernacular as well as   television. Launery (1962) observed  and  said: 

“Africa will in large measure own their freedom and newly found place in the world to two singular technological developments. The dry cell battery powered portable offer leaders of Africa’s newly independent countries that only practical means of reaching much of their people most of the time”.

Radio is supplemental. Most radio listening occurs while   we are doing something else–driving working, studying cleaning, falling asleep, waking up and so on. Radio rarely is the prime focus of our attention; it provides an audio background for our activities.

Also radio is portable. Virtually every household has at least one working and almost every car  is equipped with radio. Some radio sets, like the walkman, are small and personal.  Others like the boom box, are big and public. No matter their size, radio sets are easily transported and go every where-the beach, sporting events , jogging trails, the work place etc. Car radios provide  news and entertainment  to commuters on  their way to and from work. Infact, it is hard to find a place where radio cannot go.

Radio broadcasting in Nigeria dates back to 1932 and has its roots in England. It started as ‘wireless for monitoring and relaying programmes  from the  British  Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for the interest of her colonial servants’. Church (2009:9).

Before independence, all the programmes are packaged and relayed from BBC in London. Radio in Nigeria between 1937 and  1955 was an extension of oversea broadcasting organization. Programmes were purely British, sometimes tailored to suit the task of the colonial listeners. 

In 1951, the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) was  formally inaugurated as a relay station working closely with  the BBC. The ordinance No. 36 of 1956 heralded the setting up of the  Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) which was  set up among other functions, ‘ to provide  independent and impartial broadcasting services” within Nigeria. The NBC tried to maintain a national profile in its operation but according to Lan Mackay (1964) “it failed to provide a regional image to the satisfaction of the  regional government’.

The growth of radio stations often followed the creation of more states in the country. An example is in 1976 when the country was divided into 19 states, radio stations increased.

The NBC later changed its name to Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in 1979. Today in Nigeria, all the states of the Federation enjoy the broadcast service of FRCN along with the state owned stations like Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Awka. That had made radio to be the medium of the widest audience in the country. Radio is the most obvious as well as the most effective means of mass communication in Nigeria because its impact is immediate and enduring.

Therefore, radio broadcasting is regarded as a national undertaking of the highest order and an indispensable element for  public motivation by every government. Political, social and technical considerations are the cardinal reasons for the proliferation of FM radio stations in Nigeria. The federal government decided to restrict state radio stations to medium wave broadcast on December 8, 1979. This  led to the setting   up of FM station by some government  in Nigeria. This brought the existen





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