This study examines empirically the effect of media imperialism on the Nigerian culture. Media imperialism is an issue that is very relevant mostly to the third world countries especially Nigeria. In Nigeria the level at which the media has corrupted our way of life and behaviour through the electronic media cannot be over emphasised. This study uses the uses and gratification theory to provide the frame work for this research. The result of the study showed that most Nigerian youth know very little or even nothing at all about their culture and imbibed the foreign culture because of their exposure to the foreign media. This study suggests that a deliberate and concerted effort should be made to change the situation. Such effort should include better funding, Investment in the development of home-grown media technologies, investment in high man power development, innovative programmes and more specialized programming with indigenous flavours by both the public and private television outfits operating in the Nigerian broadcast clime. Also Nigerians must value the beauty of our culture which can lead us into remarkable development. This will only happen, if the Nigerian media organisations take it as their full responsibility to always project and properly manage our culture and norms.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION The impact of the mass media on human societies is undoubtedly tremendous. By the revolution in the communication industry, the world is totally a global village. The media represents one of the most significant institutions of the twentieth century and a powerful tool for socialization as well as domination. Domination involves the exercise of great influence in the society as well as political and economic influence. In other words it means holding superiority or mastery in our strength and to suppress or overshadow us in dominance, recognition and prestige. There is no doubt about the advantages in modern communication that is obviously continuous. But the world of information has fostered media imperialism leading to serious consequences for Nigeria as a result of Western domination over our culture. According to Karl Kautsky (1968׃243) imperialism is a product of highly developed capitalism. It consists of the striving of every industrial capitalist nation to bring under its control or to annex a large area of agrarian territory, irrespective of what nations inhabit it. Imperialism according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary means a system in which one country controls other countries after defeating them in a war. It also connotes the fact of a powerful country increasing its influence over other countries through business, culture etc. hence we talk of economic or cultural imperialism. Lenin on his part, defined imperialism as capitalism at the development which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established in which the export of capital has acquired importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed (Lenin1968׃23). Sunny. E. Udeze (2005׃26) in his book stated that imperialism at the economic and political front is now being helped by the media. In other words to buy those goods and services, the people’s mind are first of all prepared via the mass media to accept these goods or services to accept this behaviour or lifestyle as the superior one. This attitudinal change can also come from the kind of education we receive which most often are shaped or designed by these multinational. According to Wikipedia, Media Imperialism is the practice of promoting, distinguishing, and injecting of a culture or language into another through the mass media. Consequently, Nigerian cultural values are not only subordinated but also threatened by the Western culture, since the West controls the system. It uses the media to promote its culture, which our youths today see as the ideal way of life and worthy of adaptation. The culture of dependency here refers to the kind of attitudes engendered in a dependent society through their exploitation by the dominant people such as political socialization. That is the process and means by which an individual absorb the norms, values, attitudes and behaviors accepted by the ongoing systems to believe and accept as their own. For instance, the use of English as our national language. What will happen if we use our local language as our lingua franca the way other countries such as Germany, France and Italy do? Apart from imposing Western values on the citizens, Media Imperialism also distorts Nigeria’s culture and supplements it with Western values. Thus changing the thinking process of Nigerians through expression in the mass media – especially television determining the way they think and their lifestyles. For instance, out of 10 homes, there is a video or television set in almost four of the homes and greater parts of the films viewed are largely Western. Even the Nigerian films supposedly with local themes, have strong foreign – European, American culture emphasis. Thus, the result is the control of people’s mind which is the gradual but steady process of “modernizing” Nigerian culture. So what is culture? Culture can be defined as the customs and beliefs and art, way of life and social organization of a particular group. According to (M.Haris 1983, pg. 5), Culture can be defined as the learned socially acquired tradition and lifestyle of the member of a society, including their patterned competitive ways of thinking, feeling and acting. Also Clyde Kluckhohn (1905-1960) an influential American Anthropologist defines culture as the total way of life commonly followed by members of the society. John Vivian in his book “the media of mass communication” also stated that the mass media are linked with culture because it is through the media that creative minds and people have their strongest sway. Culture is an important aspect of living. Therefore, it endows each group of people with a “we” attitude, but this is no longer so, for our culture has fallen drastically as a result of media imperialism. Media imperialism penetrates Nigerian television broadcast through programme content; which has a heavy Western inclination even our daily transmission ends with a foreign film and almost all the television stations in the country devote most of their time on foreign programmes. In this manner, the Third World markets are flooded with Western entertainment such as the satellite decoder leaving the vague minds of the youths with chance. THE HISTORY OF ILE-IFE Among the unsophisticated people of Ife, the popularly accepted traditional accounts of the founding of the ancient city of Ife are two. The first is the mystical version that “Oduduwa descended from Heaven charged by Olodumare, the Lord of Heaven to establish the kingdom of the earth. The earth was covered with water, and a five fingered fowl was sent by Him from the summit of heavens with magical sand under the charge of a priest whose title was Ojomu. The Ojomu threw the sand while the spread it all over the earth. By the power and ordinance of Olodumare, dry land appeared and Oduduwa with the reputed sixteen elders and their followers descended by means of a chain at Moore quarter.” The second is that Oduduwa was one of the people who lived before the deluge and that after the deluge he, together with his followers and their families descended onto a dry land by means of chain ropes from their life boat, which anchored on Oke-Ora (Oramfe hill) between Ile-Ife and Itagunmodi on the Ife-Ilesha road, from where they came to Moore Quarter in Ile-Ife. And this is the reason why Oduduwa and all the people who were saved from the deluge were known to the ancient Ife men as Ooye i.e. Awon ti o ye- those who were saved. Ife East Local Government Area is situated in Ile-Ife town, in Osun State of Nigeria. Ile- Ife is a town with a population size of over 350, 000 people. The Ife people are Yoruba speaking of the South-Western geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Ife -East Local Government has grown and developed over the years to an urban centre and currently has a total of over 20 Primary Schools and 15 Secondary Schools owned by both public and private sectors. There are four tertiary institutions owned by Federal and State Governments as well as the private sector. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife owned by the Federal Government, Ife Technical College owned by Osun State Government, and Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu and The College of Technology, Ife owned by private organisations. The local people are mostly farmers who produce cash and food crops such as cocoa, palm produce, timber, yam, maize, cassava. Other inhabitants from virtually all parts of the country engage in trading and commercial business. With regards to the mass media, the focus of this research work, Ife East Local Government Area has influenced both the Federal Government and Osun State Government with the establishment of three electronic media stations, namely: 1. Orisun FM Radio station, located at Oketase – Ilare Road, Ile- Ife and 2. The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) situated along Mokuro Road, Ile-Ife; and 3. OAU FM Radio Station, located at the Obafemi Awolowo University. The Print Media organisations have some of their branch offices located along Iremo Road, Ile-Ife. Such media houses include The Nigerian Tribune, Vanguard, Nigeria Herald, The Guardian, The Nigerian Independent, etc. Prior to the arrival of the Colonial Administration in Nigeria, the culture of the Nigerian people generally was one that was well respected. Youths were known for their high sense of responsibility, decency, respect for elders, humility, fear of God and hard work. Even with the advent of western education Nigerians respected each others; children obeyed their parents and helped their fathers and mothers on their farmlands and homes respectively, for those who were farmers and girls helped their mothers in trading and commercial activities. As events would unfold later, things are no longer the same in the community just ad it can be found in other parts of the country and global world at large. The other neighbouring towns to Ife are Ilesa Oshogbo, Gbongan and Ondo covering Osun, Oyo and Ondo States of the South Western States of Nigeria. The traditional king of the town is Ooni of Ile-Ife and he is assisted in the day to day administration of the Ife kingdom by other High Chiefs-in-council. Ife people are generally peace loving, very hard working religious, and God fearing STATEMENT OF PROBLEM Sunny .E.Udeze also stated that imperialism is subtle conditioning through the mass media of the minds of the people to make them imbibe values which will make their desire for certain goods, services or ideas to increase. In our country, for instance before the middle of 1970s, young maidens braid or plait their hair. Today, intrusion of western values through television, films, international magazines and newspapers have made such thing to be looked at as archaic. It is now perming, curl or wig. This study will, therefore, look at the gate keeping function which is the basic activity or business of the press and how the mass media has affected our culture both negatively and positively. JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY Media imperialism has been a worrisome phenomenon in most if not all underdeveloped countries and the western countries. Normally a country that does not have what it takes to resist, block, and close their gates at the penetration of the foreign culture on Nigerian culture. This study focuses on the effects of media imperialism in Nigeria. It also focuses on how the media affects the Nigerian culture both negatively and positively, and how much of Mass Media messages has negatively influenced on our culture. This study examines how much of cultural based messages are accepted by the people. This study also helps to make the Mass Media present programs that will promote Nigerian culture. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study helps to examine in detail the effect of media imperialism on Nigeria culture. It also exposes the elites in the Nigerian society to ills and damages of media imperialism on the norms and values of the Nigerian culture. RESEARCH QUESTIONS The following questions have, therefore, been constructed to address the research problem; 1. What is the effect of mass media messages and programmes on Nigerian culture? 2. What is the effect of media imperialism? 3. How much of cultural programmes are produced by the Mass media in Nigeria? 4. How much of cultural based messages are accepted by the people? 5. How has the mass media message influenced the Nigerian culture? RESEARCH OBJECTIVE This study examines how the media affects the Nigerian culture both negatively and positively. This study examines effect of media imperialism on the Nigerian culture. Media imperialism, from the third world perspective is the attempt by the western countries to use their transnational companies to pass information and values inimical to the interest of the developing nation to such countries. How the mass media messages has negatively influenced our culture. Most of our culture has been bastardised because of mass media messages, film and other articles that preach other nations way of life as superior to our culture. In other words, the developed countries push unimaginable amount of information to the developing countries and the content of such information are normally such that citizens of the developing countries read , eat and think exactly the way these transitional corporations want them to eat and think. This study examines how much of cultural based messages are accepted by the people. This study also helps us to appreciate ancient cultural values and portraits that explain more about our culture. SCOPE OF STUDY This study is going to pay attention to the inhabitants of Ife–East Local Government area, Osun State, Nigeria and some selected broadcasting industries such as the Nigerian Television Authority N.T.A and Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) in Ife–East Local Government area, Osun state, Nigeria. This study will also look into how much of cultural progrmmes are produced and are accepted by the people of east local government. Theoretical Framework The theoretical approach to be employed in this research work is the Uses and Gratification theory. The uses and gratification theory was propounded by three researchers: Elihu Katz, Jay Blumler and Michael Gurevitch in 1974. This theory sees theaudience of the media as active. The theory states that the viewers are goal oriented and attempt to achieve their goals through the media source. The theory sees the recipient as actively influencing the effect process, since he selectively chooses, attends to perceive and retains the media messageson the basis of his/her needs, beliefs, etc. The focus was thus shifted from media production and transmission function to the media consumption function. The theory also tends to shed away from emphasizing on the media effects but rather on the communication intentions.Get Complete Materials