Format: MS WORD | Chapter: 1-5 | Pages: 65-80 | Price NGN3,000
This study was carried out on the impact of media in creating political awareness among undergraduate students in Nigeria using University of Lagos State as case study. To achieve this, three significant research objectives were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of undergraduate students from university of Lagos State.In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 183respondents while 150 were received and validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage. While the hypotheses were tested using chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that mass media significantly contribute to undergraduate students political awareness. And the media influences students interest in political matters in Nigeria. The findings also revealed that the media allows undergraduate students to participate in Nigeria politics. In regard to the findings, the study recommends that government agencies like the National Orientation Agency, NOA and other stakeholders should make use of Mass media to rekindle the confidence of the citizens on politically. And campaigns about the electoral process should be a continuous one on the Mass media without posting lies. This will get the electorate greatly acquainted with all the requirements and process that make one to be eligible. Ones empowered they can freely exercise their mandate with utmost ease.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The mass media have always played significant roles across the globe as the general public typically relies on it to provide information regarding political issues, social issues, entertainment and news in pop culture. In advance democracies, the media is freer and more independent when it comes to journalistic content. The media are generally defined as those channels of communication which are capable of reaching heterogeneous audiences simultaneously with uniform messages (Oyesomi, Oyero, and Okorie, 2014). This diversified communication technologies are divided into traditional media and new/digital media. The three forms of traditional media are print (newspapers, books, magazines), broadcast (television, radio), and cinema (movies, documentaries) while internet and mobile mass communication (email, social media sites, websites, and internet-based radio and television) are referred to as the new or digital media.
The notion of the media as the fourth branch of government, as watchdog, as guardian of the public interest, and as a conduit between governors and the governed is widely claimed. It is believed that an informed citizenry is beneficial to democracy. Citizens who are informed and aware about politics tend to make decisions that reflect their real interests. Citizens only need to watch the news, listen to the radio, read the newspaper or browse the internet or social media to receive a wide range of information (Lindstedt and Naurin 2010) which can help to promote and improve government performance and accountability (Snyder and Stromberg, 2010) as well as reduce corruption (Natamba, Muyomba Tamale, Ssemakula, Nimpammya and Asiimirwe, 2010). Citizens’ participation in the political process is an important element of a democratic political culture. The participation of members of a political community is usually influenced by the political information, attitudes, feelings and skills they possessed. Cognitive orientation or political awareness about the political system of a nation is important to the quality of citizenship and health of the collective (de Vreesea and Boomgaarden, 2006). Political awareness is a measure of citizen’s ability to provide correct answers to a specific set of fact-based questions (Boudreau and Lupia, 2011). It depends, in part, upon access to information about governmental actions, political officeholders, and so on, and generally refers to relevant information and the level of skills and understanding of civic and political affairs surrounding regional, national and global issues (Molaei, 2017). Bathelt (2015) opined that political awareness breed politically informed, vigilant, vocal and competent citizens who are able to evaluate their own interests and act to protect these interests in political situations. High political awareness helps citizens to better understand the current affairs shaping their societies, contributes to more stable and consistent political attitudes. It also helps citizens to achieve their own interests and make decisions that conform to their attitudes and preferences, promotes support for democratic values, facilitates trust in the political system, and motivates political participation (Galston, 2001). While citizens that lack the minimum levels of awareness and skills to meaningfully engage in politics can be described as political dropouts (Milner, 2010). The media in Nigeria are sources of political information, and avenue for political participation and discussion, right from the colonial era to the present democratic dispensation. Obasanjo (1992) described it as any agency that operates for the articulation and dissemination of ideas and information, generally with the intent to influence an audience or the institution that constitutes legalized power and authority. Against this background, the contributions of media to the political awareness of citizens over time have been a focus of social scientists and media scholars.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The question of how those who are not very politically aware can be rendered more knowledgeable about politics by means of media exposure has been focus of research by communication experts, political scientists and other social scientists. A significant quality of political awareness is required for citizens to be considered politically active, but most people’s knowledge about politics appears insufficient to meet the standards of a “competent citizen” (DelliCarpini and Keeter, 1996; Reichert, 2016). Students, especially, have been discovered to be unwitting when it comes to national politics, news and current affairs as they mostly use the media for entertainments. Similarly, previous studies examining media access relationship with political awareness have also produced conflicting results and explanations. The study therefore purposes to investigate if the use of media by students will have significant influence on their political awareness. Hence, the aim of this study is to add novel findings to the small but growing empirical research on the relationship between media access and political awareness among students in Nigerian universities.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The general aim of this study is to examine the effect of mass media in creating political awareness among undergraduate students in Nigeria. Specifically, the study is set to;
1. Ascertain if mass media have significantly contribute to undergraduate students political awareness.
2. Ascertain if the media influences students interest in political matters in Nigeria.
3. Ascertain if the media allows undergraduate students to participate in Nigeria politics.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following hypothetical statements will be validated in the course of this study;
H01: Mass media does not significantly contribute to undergraduate students political awareness.
H02: The media does not influence students interest in political matters in Nigeria.
H03: The media does not allow undergraduate students to participate in Nigeria politics.
1.5 Significance Of The Study
This study will be of immense importance to the residents of undergraduate students in Nigeria at large because it will reveal the need to use the mass media in gaining political awareness and knowledge.
The study will aid the students in understanding the nature of the impact that the media.
It will also be useful to youth, and organizations in providing information on political matters, thereby encouraging political mobilization information.
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