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1.1 Background to the Study
Mass media have been a major agent of socialization and tool for social change especially now that people depend on message from mass media. The potential power of the mass media help solve social problems. Television, radio and print advertising can entice people to buy a wide range of products and services, and newspaper messages and advertisement influence our ideas, values and behaviour.
According to conventional wisdom, it could be possible to use mass communications to get people to act on behalf of their own health and well-being or to do right things. Based on this assumption, since World War II, the federal, state and local governments, private foundations and other non-governmental organizations have sponsored hundreds of public service campaigns to promote social rather than commercial “goods” (DeJong and Winsten, 2000).
Drug abuse being, an extreme desire to obtain and use increasing amount of one or more substance, this include alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cigarettes, codeine and other substances which are harmful to the health of the individual. When considering drug abuse one should be able to differentiate it from drugs dependence or drugs addiction, which is the physical dependence on drugs to function. Drug abuse is a deliberate in-take of drugs for purposes other than its intended purpose without the supervision of a physician or a medical practitioner while drug addiction is the continuous uncontrolled, compulsive use of a drug not only to include intoxication but also to avoid the tortures of withdrawal. Despite the unrelenting effort of individuals, agencies, mass media and the government at different levels against drug abuse, the prevalent practice among secondary school students, and even adults in the community has not reduced but on the increase geometrically.
According to Ajayi and Ayodele (2002), drug abuse is the wrong use or inappropriate use of chemical substances that are capable of changing functions of cells in the body. Bayer, as cited in Egbochuku and Akerele (2007), saw stimulants, which are substances that cause an increase in the activity of an organ in the body, as chemicals that excite certain activities of the central nervous system. Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010) also saw drug abuse as over-dependence and misuse of one particular drug with or without a prior medical diagnosis from qualified health practitioners.
It is not surprising, then, that prevention advocates would look to the mass media as an important aid in addressing the problem of high-risk drinking in society. Some advocates have pushed for reform or other restrictions on alcohol advertising. Others have sought to influence entertainment producers to end the glorification of high-risk drinking on newspaper, magazine, television and in the movies (Montgomery, 2009). More recently, prevention advocates have produced a small number of media campaigns designed to change students and youth knowledge, attitudes and behavior.
Most media campaigns focused on college students drinking which have been campus based, using a mix of posters, flyers, electronic mail messages and college newspaper advertisements. More recently, a few regional, state and national media campaigns have begun to address this issue as well. Therefore, this study is out to examine the mass media especially the print in creating awareness against drug abuse.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The continuous abuse of these drugs has led to a situation of drug addiction and the addict developing a bondage to the drug.
The effects of drug abuse is detrimental not only to the individual but to the society as a whole. Yet this problem is on the increase especially among those in higher institution of learning. This is a serious threat to our national sanctity. How well can print media as a vehicle for information dissemination be relied upon to perform its role in the society, to join hand in the battle against drug abuse?
How can the power of the mass media be used effectively to reduce high-risk drinking among people? To explore that question, this research begins by reviewing three types of mass media campaigns focused on drinking: information, social norms marketing, and advocacy. These and many more questions is what the study is out to find answers to.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
i) To examine whether newspapers educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse
ii) To know if newspapers awareness campaign on drug abuse have reduced the unlawful use of drug in our society
iii) To know if there is problem facing the mass media in creating awareness on drug abuse
iv) To know if newspapers contribute to drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo
v) To examine if mass media present adequate information on the effect of drug abuse to the people in society
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) Does the Punch newspaper educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
2) Has mass media awareness campaign on drug abuse reduced the unlawful use of drug in society?
3) Is mass media faced with any difficulty in creating awareness on drug abuse?
4) Does newspaper promote drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo?
5) Does newspaper educate and enlighten the general public on the bad effects of drug abuse?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research will benefit different people, organization, and government and other agencies especially the youth. This study has important contribution to make in the education of drug abuse among our youths and society in general. Drug abuse has lots of effects on the health of the nation. There is a danger of the waste of Nigeria’s next generation if the best Nigerian youth is consumed by an addiction that will leave effects on the economy. The national security implication will be disastrous, hence the need for the media to intensity their role with various organization like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac) to combat this scourge in all its ramification. Government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will benefit from the study to know the harmful effect of media drama showing lots of drinking and alcoholic programme, advert and marking on print media to the society. Media practitioners and students of mass communication will equally benefit from the study to understand fully on the dangers in drug advertisement.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION TO THE STUDY
Because of time, geographical locations, fund and other necessary logistics, the study is narrowed down to Lagos State residents as a case study since it is very difficult if not impossible to study all the people across all the state of federation and that is why Lagos State is selected. A wide research of this nature cannot be carried out without some constraints, this constraints pose a lot of limitations to this work.
Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which is allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher has to combine other academic work with the study.
Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.8 Definition of the Terms
Role: It is a function or contribution of print media in curbing abuse of drug in society.
Newspaper: It a periodical publication for dissemination of information against drug abuse.
Creating Awareness: It means various effort by the print media in curbing drug abuse in the society.
Drug: It refers to different forms of tables in liquid and capsules or substances like cocaine, India-hemp etc. use for treatment of illness and related body problems.
Drug Abuse: Is means when people use drugs or substances either liquid, tablet, injection or inhale it in amount or with methods neither approved or nor supervise by medical professionals etc.
Legal drugs: Legal drugs, also known as legal intoxicants or, more commonly, as legal highs, are those intoxicating drugs which are either completely legal or not commonly prohibited by various drug laws.
Illegal drugs: Illegal drugs are drugs which have limitations on their ownership or use by a government, and are illegal in certain situations (meaning a person is not allowed to have them).
Stimulants: Stimulants also referred to as psych-stimulants is an overarching term that covers many drugs including those that increase activity of the body, drugs that are pleasurable and invigorating, or drugs that have sympathomimetic effects.
Inhalants: Inhalants are a broad range of household and industrial chemicals whose volatile vapors or pressurized gases are concentrated and breathed in via the nose or mouth to produce intoxication (called "getting high" in slang), in a manner not intended by the manufacturer.
1.8 Organization of the study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.
1.9 A BRIEF HISTORY OF PUNCH NEWSPAPER
Punch Nigeria Limited is perhaps the largest daily newspaper with highest circulation in Nigeria. The newspaper covers both local and international news and has been around for quite a while. The online representation of the paper has undergone remarkable improvement...It is well organized into easy to navigate sections. It is certainly a great source of Nigerian news. Undoubtedly, the most patronized daily in the country is the Punch newspaper Nigeria. Punch started operations in Nigeria in 1965. The company started operations between 1971 and 1973, and was founded by the duo of Sam Amuka and James Aboderin. Punch basically centers its news on political development in the local and international scenes, and with about 80,000 daily circulations, it is the newspaper with the widest circulation rate in Nigeria. Over the years, Punch Nigeria Limited has been dishing information to Nigerians at home through its tripartite newspaper series – the PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH and Sunday PUNCH. However, with the technological boom we are experiencing, Punch Newspaper Nigeria has been taken to the electronic format to cater for the general consumption of the global community. For the upwardly mobile, the company’s official website is www.punchng.com. Likewise, interested individuals can follow the publisher on Twitter @mobilepunch. Meanwhile, the company has also provided “Punch Mobile,” a real-time application for android users to keep up with the news.
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