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1.3         Background of the Study

Most people accept the idea the media can influence people but the degree of that influence as well as who is most impacted, how and why, have been the subject of great debate among communication scholars for nearly a century. Media effects refer to the many ways individuals and society maybe influenced by both news and entertainment. Mass media including film, television, radio, newspapers, books magazines, websites, games and music. Although in this study, the medium used is television.

Media effect has been studied by scholars in communication, psychology, sociology, political, science, anthropology, and education among other fields. Many early communication models designed to explain the process of message dissemination were simple-one-way and linear (Shannon and weaver, 1994), positioning the medium or message as the cause and the behavioural, emotional, or psychological response as the effect (Bryant and Thompson, 2002, pp. 4-5). Morden conceptualization, however, typically illustrate a two-way process that is more transactional or interactive in nature in which the message or the medium affects the recipient(s) , but the audience, in turn, influences and shapes the senders.

In the early part of the 20th century, concerns about political propaganda, manipulation by the elite and the rising popularity of the electronic media led to the so called „cultivation‟ theory, which envisaged media message as strong drugs or potent weapon that could have powerful effect on helpless audience ( LA swell, 1991; Lippmann, 1992). However, while


these theories explained some behaviour, they did not account for the different responses individual may have to the same media source. In the 1950s and 60s, empirical research began to uncover the moderating power of predispositions and peer group, concluding that the media‟s impact was small often referred to as the „limited effect theory‟ (Klapper, 1960; Lazars Feld Bergeson, 1998 and Gaudet, 1998). In the 1970s and 80s, prominent scholars begins to look more closely again at the media relationship to knowledge, opinion, attitudes and level of violence, concluding that media effect could be significant in some cases even if not all powerful.. Scholars also came to agree that some vulnerable groups such as children may be more heavily influenced by media than others (Bryant and Thompson, 2002; Mc Combs and Shaws 1994; Mc Luhan, 2000).

The above leads to the medium of communication (ABS television) that will be used to influence the behaviour of Awka residents.

The word television (TV) is derived from mixed Latin and Greek roots meaning „far sight‟. Greek tele, far and Latin Visio, sight. From video, (vis-to-see, or to view in the first person). It is widely used telecommunication used for transmitting and receiving moving images, either monochromatic (black and white) or colour. Usually accompanied by sound. Television has been regarded as a spontaneous, most effective media that can be used to disseminate information with a lasting impression on the minds of the audience. Television has made tremendous effort in broadcasting to the Awka residents because of its audio/video ability which is appealing to the viewer.

Awka is a city in Anambra state Nigeria with so many commercial trades. Some of these trades are ignorant of the best method of rendering services to the public. In Nigeria especially in Awka, most ignorant men and women are unaware of the kind of implication


of the kind of business they engage themselves in, that is why the television from the broadcast media was established to put such people in the right path.

With the creation of Anambra and Imo state in 1967, Anambra broadcasting service was born. The federal government acquired the television area of the station in 1977, re-baptised it Anambra broadcasting corporation (ABC). The radio wing was left behind, in1982, ABC radio 2 Onitsha was born.

Gov. Jim Nwobodo in 1981, established another television station. In 1985, the radio merged with the television with appellation, ABS radio/ TV Enugu. In 1991, ABS could boast of ABS radio 1 Enugu, ABS radio 2 Onitsha, ABS radio 3 FM Enugu, ABS TV channel 5-0 Enugu and ABS channel 2-7 Onitsha.

With the creation of the new AnambraEnugu states in 1991, and the subsequent disengagement of the staff on March 16, 1992, the Anambra broadcasting service (RITV) Awka.

After the state creation, the first movement was to Ontisha-4 park road- the location of our AM station. From Onitsha, the headquarters moved to St. Paul‟s university college Awka, in January, 1993. The movement continued to party house, okpuno in January 1994. However, Anambra broadcasting service (ABS) moved to its permanent site on the Enugu/Onitsha expressway in Awka in January, 2002. There are three other operational areas:

·         The broadcasting house at 4 park road, Onitsha.

·         The television station at Awada.

·         The booster station at Enugwu-Ukwu.

Anambra broadcasting service transmits on the following frequencies;


Television- ABS TV channel 27 Onitsha, ABS TV channel 24 Awka.

With two television and two radio stations, both at Onitsha and Awka, ABS can boast of wide coverage reaching out to neighbouring states e.g. Delta, Edo, Enugu, and Imo and beyond.

Even with Anambra broadcasting service (ABS) it is not certain the kind of impact it has on these commercial traders. For instance, Janis and Hovland (1959) discussed various factors associated with „persuasive‟ and suggested that „persuasive‟ effects might depend, amongst other things, on the prestige of the source, or on the significance of the message for the receiver, or on the attitude of the receiver to the source.

Also Kelman (1961) comes closer to this in his analysis of social influence, suggesting that three main processes might be involved in opinion change. One of these „compliance‟ refers to the acceptance of influence in the expectation of some reward or to avoid punishment „identification‟, occurs when an individual wishes to be more like the source and hence imitates or adopt behaviour accordingly. A third „internalization‟, is intended to describe influence guided by the receiver‟s own pre-existing needs and values.

The television could affect these traders positively or negatively. Therefore, for positive result, it is the job of the media houses to give well programmed and packaged information to the audience (commercial consumers and he consumer at large). These commercial activities of Awka residents are their major means of survival. So the commercial developmental programmes should be well broadcasted so that it will foster the spirit of hard work and high productivity with the view of arising creativity and inquisitiveness in the people.


Many researcher adopt functional approach to the study of communication process from the perception of the receiver rather than the sender (Wimmer and Dominick, 2003; 407). These researchers base their investigation on the „users and gratification‟. Theory of media effect which posits that audience do not take media messages for granted (Tsao and Sibley, 2004: 788-87) but is at least.

As active as the sender (Fiske, 1990: 151). Fiske Firther argues that the message is what the audience make of it and not what the sender intends.

For a successful programme, „programming‟ is needed. Programming and determine where to broadcast such material. Programming means determining the kind of programme to make, the belt or slot in which to bring them out, the target audience, the ratio or mix of other programme types in relations to the ones produced, the general objectives of each programme type.

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