1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
There is no limit to the study of media and society. Media and society as a subject covers a wide range of issues. Communication has a lot to do with the individual. It effects and defects are so notable that they cannot be swept under the carpet. Media and society are interwoven and neither of them can exist without the other. But first of all, what is communication?
Fiske (1990) defines communication as “social interaction through message” Jaya- weera (1991) sees it as an interaction process through which persons or groups relate to each other and share information, experience and culture. Looking at the above definitions communication can be said to be the transferring or transmitting of ideas, attitudes and information from one person to another. Okunna (1999) throws more light on the above assertion when she says “to communicate basically means to share ideas information, opinions, feelings or experiences between people?
According to Okunna (1999) the mass media perform a number of functions, which benefit the individual as a member of a society. She goes on to say that these functions range from serious informational and educational functions to lighter functions like entertainment.
The functions of the mass media in the society include.
1. Information:-This is the constant stream of information about event in the society. Among the positive consequence of this function is the guidance it gives to the individuals in his or her daily life.
2. Interpretation :-This is the function of appropriately interpreting news and information in such as way as to avoid over sensitization and induce appropriate or necessary action. It includes prescribing what to do, how to do it and why it is necessary.
3. Education:- The mass media help unify society and increases social cohesion by upholding teaching a broad base of common social norms values and collective experiences. The mass media do this transmission mainly through informal education (unconscious learning) and non- formal education (conscious attempt to impart knowledge outside the formal school system).
4. Entertainment:-This is the mass media function that is geared towardsproviding some diversion and amusement, relaxation and respite.
The mass media is known as the watch dog of the society and with the information and education function, it will be known if the mass media has played roles in the campaign against drug abuse in Nigeria. This is because like the dry rot that eats away the wooden beams of a house, drugs can corrode the whole structure of society. For human society to function properly, it must have stable families, healthy workers, trustworthy governments, honest polices and law abiding citizens . Drugs corrupt every one of these fundamental elements.
The home however is probably where drugs do the most damage. Parents who are distracted by their craving for drugs rarely provide their children with a stable home life. Many children who grow up in this environment take to the streets or even get involved in drugs themselves.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Drug abuse has become rampant in our society and this has posed a problem because a society filled with drug addicts and drug dependents cannot move forward. A nation filled with people who misuse, abuse or are addicted to drugs will have a high rate of increase in crime, prostitution etc. it also makes way for drug traffic kicking in the society. It constitutes a major public health hazard and is a part of general and social disorganization we see around us that is, breeds comatose patients, and various melody cases that constitute the urban eyesore that dent the image of a nation. It contributes significantly to breakdown of law and order and establishment of various circles of abuses, deficiency, criminality and further abuse.
Drug abuse has also led to the diversion of scarce resources to cure addicts, and to rehabilitate them, building of psychiatric hospitals, breakdown of societal norms and values, leading to up heavily, anarchy and other vices in the society, posing more problem than to be solved.
Such problems call for in-depth research to help salvage the situation to avoid the set back it created for our society and this has to be done with the help of the mass media in order to inform and educate the people on what that effects of drug abuse can cause to the society, and to the people involved .
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
In the research statement, I highlighted some of the problems which called for the research. The objectives of this study thus include:
a. To find out if drug abuse has increased crime rate in Calabar Municipality.
b. To investigate how far the mass media has gone in informing and educating the society about serious issues in Calabar Municipality.
c. To evaluate its assessment in the role it has played in the campaign against drug abuse in Calabar Municipality.
d. To find out the impressions people have about drug abuse in Calabar Municipality.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
My research questions focuses on the mass media and the campaign against drug abuse in Calabar Municipalityand also on the impressions people have about drug abuses in Calabar Municipality. The questions are:
1. How far have the mass media gone in the campaign against drug abuse in Calabar Municipality?
2. To what extent have the mass media gone in informing, and educating the people against drug abuse?
3. What rate is drug abuse getting to in Calabar Municipality?
4. Has drug abuse increased crime rate in Calabar Municipality
5. Has drug abuse increased crime rate in Calabar Municipality ?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study cannot be over-emphasized. Drug abuse has been in the media for a very long time and much has been written and government is worried about it. Large amount of money are expended to rehabilitate victims of drug abuse. This research is done in order to alert the society about drug abuse and the impact it has to the society. And also to engage the media to be faithful allies to reap the society off this problem. This is because a country with healthy citizens will have a good work force which in turn boosts the economy of that country. This study will also show the people the work and part the mass media is playing to combat this problem.
1.6 DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is delimited to the mass media campaign against drug abuse on the citizens in Calabar municipality. With this, all responses to the study will be aimed at how drugs are easily abused by the people in this area of Cross River State.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
CAMPAIGN : This means series of planned activities with a particular social, commercial or political aim.
MASS MEDIA :This means the means of communicating with large numbers of people.
DRUG : A substance used as a medicine or in a medicine.
ABUSE: This means a wrong or excessive use of something.
Calabar Municipality: A place in cross river state
CAMPAIGN : This means avenues by which the mass media is carrying out its role in the fight against drug abuse e.g. through seminars, workshops or programmes.
MASS MEDIA:- This means the television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
DRUG:- This means those substance like alcohol, cocaine, heroin that stimulates the nervous system and is addictive .
ABUSE: This means using those drugs like cocaine, alcohol or heroin excessively.
Calabar Municipality: A place in cross river state