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1.1 Background to the study
The responsibilities of the mass media as a social institution cannot be over emphasized, it is not therefore an over statement to point out here that the co-existence of the society and the functionality of government and its agencies are the reason the mass media exist. This means that the mass media have responsibilities that are meant to keep the society in peace, unity and progress.
However, the mass media are the collective network of a journalists channels and instruments that are responsibility for gathering and dissemination of information to the heterogeneous audience. Among other function of the mass media to the masses are information, education and entertainment responsibilities.
The mass media owe the society the duty of always upholding the principles, views, ideas and acts that promote stability, unity and mutual co-existence in the society.
On the other hand, is sports which is very broad in its enlarged form. Sports means A series of physical activities which includes soccer, judo, volleyball, athletics, basketball and tabled tennis. Most sports can also be undertaken as recreation.
In this light, it is pertinent at this juncture, to state that the purpose of the research work is to x-ray the coverage of sports programme by the mass media.
The Mass Media in Nigeria
The history of the mass media in Nigeria can be traced down to the days of colonialism and through the white. Meanwhile, mass media is divided into two, the print and electronic (broadcast) media. For better and productive study of this research work, the two divisions of the mass media will be discussed separately. The print media (press) constitutes the newspaper, magazines, books and other journals. This division of the mass media has its roots to an Anglican revered by name, Henry Townsend, who published the first newspaper in Nigeria title “Iwo –Irohin” in 1859 and was later translated in English language. The paper was not politically oriented.
The Broadcast Media
The segment of the broadcast media is made up of radio and television; like the print, the broadcast media has it history in Nigeria in the early 1930’s when the British Broadcast Commission (BBC) started the first world regular scheduled short wave services radio station with receiving stations in Lagos, Ibadan and Kano.
Sports Coverage in Nigeria
When coverage of sports started, it was the newspaper, that is the print media that started it, later radio follows but radio based on sports commentaries. Television was the last of the media to start sports coverage.
Meanwhile, mass media coverage of sports starts with the coverage of football. The mass media starts their coverage of sports immediately participating countries for the competition are grouped. This means that, the mass media starts their coverage from the preliminary stage. The mass media always follow up the coverage right from selection of the players to the selection of the team managers, coaches, their practices and also the tournament they are vying for. The mass media will not only cover the sports, but will also reveal the finance budget for the tournament.
Furthermore, they will also give the history of the sports and number of countries that have won in the past tournament, detailing the number of goals, number of penalty kicks, players, names of goals scorers, position of the goal scorers.
The media also tells the target audience about football field if they are up to standard. Likewise they tells the mind and spirit of the referees and the reactions of the spectators.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The problem under investigation is the media coverage of sports programme in Nigeria.
This will uncover the role f the mass media in the said coverage and suggest ways of improving what this study sees as insufficient and inadequate coverage.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to estimate the extent of mass media coverage of sports programmes in Nigeria. Also it is to analyze the performance of the media in providing speedy, efficient, effective and qualitative sports coverage.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The relevance of the study is to give an insight into the effective of the mass media in promoting sports programmes.
Sports reporting and entertainment has grown from a popular pastime to a lucrative profession today.
Sports is the thing all over the world and could be seen as a strong unifying influence for world traumatized by many vices chiefly amongst whom is terrorism.
There are many sporting activities going on in many places throughout the year especially in the area of football ranging from the professional league here in Nigeria to English Premier league and to International Sporting Festivals like the African cup of Nations, Common Wealth Games, the Olympic games and the world cup.
Sports writers today have organized themselves into professional associations world wide and continually organize seminars and symposia to train and re-train their members as to update their knowledge and get them equipped for the challenges of modern sports reporting.
Finally, Fred Siebert 1963, stated the functional paradigm for analyzing mass media functions in the society.
a. Servicing the political system by providing information, discussion and debate on public life.
b. Enlightening the public so as to make it capable of self government.
c. Safeguarding the rights of the individual by serving as a watchdog against government.
d. Providing entertainment.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following question have been asked in this study.
1. Do the mass media operating within a particular geographical location emphasize the interest of that location in coverage of sports programmes.
2. Do all media participate in coverage of sports programes?
3. Do mass media coverage of sports influence the society perception of sports in Nigeria?
4. Of what significance is NTA Enugu in sports coverage in Nigeria.
5. Are all sports coverage carried out by the media paid for?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypothesis have been used in this study.
H1: Mass media participate in coverage of sports programmes in Nigeria.
H0: Mass media do not participation in the coverage of sports programmes in Nigeria.
H2: The mass media influence the society perception of sports programmes.
H0: The mass media influence the society perception of sports programmes.
H3: The mass media report objectively on sports issues in Nigeria.
H0: The mass media do not report objectively on sports issues in Nigeria.
H4: The mass media operating within a particular geographical location emphasize the interest of that location in the coverage of sports programmes.
H0: The mass media operating within a particular geographical location do not emphasize the interest of that location in the coverage of sports programme.
1.7 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
In this study, the researcher used social responsibility and agenda setting theories to describe the mass media and coverage of sports programme in Nigeria.
i. Social responsibility theory emphasizes the need for an independent press that scrutinize other social institutions and provide objective and accurate news reports.
The most innovation feature of social responsibility theory is its call for media to be responsible for fostering productivity and creativity. They provide entertainment. The theory further recommended for total freedom of the press without any form of restriction.
In the coverage of sports programmes in Nigeria, social responsibility theory serves as a means whereby the mass media have freedom to report or to cover a certain essential functions of mass communication in contemporary society.
ii. Agenda setting theory says that the news media present the public not with picture of the world as it is but an agenda of their own a selection of reports about what is happening in the world. It also stated that, audience member will adjust his or her perception of the important of issues in the direction corresponding to the amount of attraction devoted to those issues in the medium used.
The power of news organizations to influence what people think about, often referred to as ‘agenda setting”, comes from their ability to choose the stories that will gain media attention (McCombs and Shaw 1972:36).
Adding to the study, agenda setting theory of the media helps the mass media in the coverage of sports programmes in Nigeria, in the sense that the theory serves as a guide.
The research assumes that the mass media operating in Nigeria attain objectivity in their reporting of sports programmes. The researcher also assumes that the mass media coverage of sports influence the society’s perception of sports in Nigeria.. it is assumed further that the mass media participate in the coverage of sports programes in Nigeria.
This study seeks to find out the effectiveness of the mass media in promoting coverage of sports programmes in Nigeria.
The limitedness of the sample size is because of financial problems. The time allotted for the research is very short.
1.11 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The Mass Media:
Conceptual – Sources of information and news such as newspaper, magazines, radio and television, that reach and influence large members of people.
Operational – The journalists and photographers that are in involved or who work for the newspaper and magazines.
Conceptual – The reporting of news and sport in newspaper and on the radio and television.
Operational – The amount or way that NTA Enugu covers sports programme in Nigeria.
Conceptual - Activity that one do for pleasure and that needs physical or skill.
Operational – Sports are series of physical activities which are usually competitive in nature.
Conceptual – plans of things that will be done or include in the development.
Operational – An organized order of performance or events
Amuchie, F. U. and Oduyale, A. T. (1991). Physical and
health education: Ikeja: Longman.
Eze, M. (2008). Fundamental of communication theories:
Enugu His Glory Publication.
Eze, M. (2008). Dynamics of communication research:
Enugu, Cheston Agency
Eze, C. C. (2004). Elements of features and article writing.
Enugu: Providence Press.
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