THE ROLE OF TELEVISION IN ELECTORAL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Historically, television broadcasting in Nigeria has been use as a medium of communication that seeks to enrich the life of average Nigerian by influencing positively its social, cultural, economic, political and technological thinking. It also provide news and information about national issues. Beside this, it serves as a source of entertainment. Television broadcasting promotes cultural awareness and seek to preserve Nigeria’s rich culture. Through this medium artistic and intellectual creativity are developed. There for all programmes and coverages are audience oriented and guided by the nations’s social, political, moral, cultural, scientific, education and economic goals.
In contemporary times television is use as a tool in disseminating information to the people about the electoral process. Such enlightenment are meant to educate voters and members of the society about electioneering campaigns and other issues related to it. The television is been used as an instrument by politicians to advertise themselves to the electorates. Jingles, advert placement, political debates, electoral enlightenment are all done through the television. Other political progammes such as focus Nigeria aired on AIT network, Kakaaki and democratic license are all geared towards the education and political enlightenment of the Nigerian electorates. Television broadcasting in electoral education have become inevitable in Nigeria’s political system. This is plausibly correct because political and electoral programmes have recently become the democratic watchdog of our political system, criticism, debates and discontents are all channeled through television.
To this end the role of television in electoral education cannot be over emphasized, as it remained one of the viable option towards the monitoring of our electoral system.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Democracy should be a celebration of an involved public. Democracy requires an active citizenry because it is through discussion, popular interest, and involvement in politics that societal goals should be defined and carried out. Without public involvement in the process, democracy lacks both its legitimacy and its guiding force (Russell, 2002). In recent years voter participatory behavior has reached worrying levels worldwide. Through the various generations of elections, declining voter participation, especially among the youth, has steadily and increasingly become a major issue of concern that has been equally affecting emerging democracy and consolidated ones.
Decreasing voter participation trends are a cause of concern because voter turnout is one of the main indicators to measure the levels of democratic development and robustness of a country. Low voter turnout can be related to and originated by many different factors closely related to the democratic, economic and social development of a country.
The specific question to be addressed include:
i. What is the impact or consequences of television in electoral education of the people.
ii. Why do we need electoral education in our political system.
iii. What role has television played in electoral education.
iv. How can electoral education be better encouraged in the electoral system.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study is to examine the role of television in electoral education in Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:
1. To identify the nature of electoral education
2. To identify the main reasons of electoral education.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In-order to guide the study, the following research questions are formulated for the study:
1. What is the nature of electoral education in Nigeria?
2. What are the main reasons for electoral education in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses will be proved and disproved in the data analysis.
1. Do the people lack electoral education.
2. The impact of television in electoral education.
3. Electoral education provides stability to the electoral system.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is important because it provides useful and vital information on the role of television in electoral education.
The research shall expose the researcher and the entire students both as reference point or as a past literature that could be studied – thus shall be in a better position to enlighten others.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will be centred on the five districts of Kawo, Makera, Magajin Gari, Ungwan Rimi and Malali. All in Kaduna North Local Government where NTA Kaduna is located.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
A major limitation to this study was the vastness of the Nigerian landscape, which will be problematic in terms of coverage. Therefore the study just covered a small area as the sampling frame from which data was elicited from respondents.
Moreover, the objective of the study was misconstrued by some of the respondents (especially the illiterates) who saw it as a government initiative to identify persons who do not participate in the electoral process for possible sanctions. They were therefore, unwilling to fully cooperate with the researcher in terms of supply of accurate information.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For purpose of clarity, some of the concepts that are used in this research study are hereunder defined.
A voter is a person who has a right to participate in an election as an elector. In Nigeria, a voter is a citizen who is 18 years old and above, and is duly registered to elect political office holders. In effect anyone who can exercise the right to vote is a voter.
Voting is the main form of political participation in liberal democratic societies and voting or voter behaviour in the context of this work, is the attitude, perception, action, of an eligible voter in voting/not voting and how and why such decision was made.
Mass media as the devices for moving messages across distance or time to accomplish mass communication.
A nominee or aspirants for any position or honour.
Is a process of selecting one person or more for an office, public or private, from a wider field of candidates.
Political apathy is the lack of psychological involvement in public affairs, emotional detachment from civic obligations, and abstention from political activity. Political apathy is evidenced in mass, collective behaviour but has its origin at the level of the individual psyche. In the aggregate, political apathy is revealed by attitudes and an absence of expected activity. When people cease to care about political life, withdraw from obligations to civil society, and perform entirely nominal or rote acts- or none at all- in political institutions or organizations, apathy is indicated (Mason, Nelson and Szklarski (1991).
Voting Age Population
This is the total number or percentage of eligible voters who are qualified to vote in an election
This is the total number or percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in an election.
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