Economics of communication transformation deals with the motivation, attitudes, gratification beliefs and goals, the interest depends on some factors which are the social environment past experiences, motivational needs, moods and attitudes.
This topic provides a comprehensive review of major work on communication transformation. It looks at the Television Stations and the radio stations which brings the individual to the happenings around them. Knowledge they say is power and to be informed is to be transformed while to be uninformed is to be deformed.
Communication is the bound that brings and holds societies together, without it there will be no coordination, no cooperation and indeed no social organization.
1.0 Background to the Study
There is no individual or society that can survive without communicating, as no individual or society can stand as an island. Communication is the bond that brings and holds societies together, without it there will be no coordination, no cooperation and indeed no social organisation.
Obilade (1989) lends credence to this view when he submitted that; "human beings are usually referred to as social animals, without communication, human beings could be isolated from one another. Most of the communication that takes place in the society is aimed at establishing and maintaining meaningful relationship" .
Knowledge, they say is power and to be informed is to be transformed while to be uninformed is to be deformed. Nwuneli (1984) confirms this; if an individual in a society fails to get information he needs in a well-coordinated fashion, he loses confidence in the government and society. He becomes more fatalistic than ever and does not believe he is part of the development effort going on in the nation.
In essence, communication is central to human existence and all human activities, being the most vital factor in creating a sense of belonging and attaining a social harmony.
In recent time, human communication has received a tremendous boost because of technological development. The innovation of the printing press, telecommunication, radio and television broadcast, satellite and most recently, the internet has extended man's ability to transmit and receive information, ideas and messages. This has broken the barrier of diversity of cultural beliefs and vast distance, thereby turning the world to a global village where information travels from any part to another at an unprecedented pace. Akinfeleye (2003) says "in terms of the acquisition, use, misuse and management of TV for development, the entire world continues to be considered by media researcher as a global village whereby everyone knows everyone, where everyone is each other's keeper, and where every information about everyone could be received and disseminated to everyone in that "global village". The media of radio and television broadcast are widely used as good means of communication because they reach a wide and scattered audience in short time. As contained in the new Encyclopedia Britannica (1980); broadcast is the transmission of radio and television programmes intended for general public perception as distinguished from private signals to specific receivers. In its most common form, one may describe broadcast as the systematic dissemination of entertainment, information, education and other features for simultaneous reception by individuals or in groups with appropriate apparatus.
In Africa, the mass media, especially the television serves useful functions as an agent that disseminates information and in that way helps in making Africans aware of their cultural identity and their place in the modem world and such informative programmes on television are broadcast news, documentaries, interviews, e.t.c. Television provides necessary information for members of the public and helps in creating awareness of the outside world. In the words of Onabajo (2001), Political indoctrination, cultural innovation, character building and formation are part of what television could be used to achieve.
The English premiership matches are watched every weekend all over the world on television simultaneously as they are being played. Likewise on May 29, 2011, when President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan was taking oath of office, the inauguration ceremony was beamed to the whole world live; so also the 2005 MTV Base Europe Award where Tuface Idibia won an award, Nigerian viewers witnessed the event live from far away Lisbon, Portugal. All these are as a result of television broadcasting, which combines the power of sight and sound.
These unique features of television- the two dimensions of sight and sound enables it to reflect reality of event to the viewers just as it is and as such attract credibility than other communication media, because as the saying goes, seeing is believing. The television medium performs more basic functions, one of which is for education. Television with its value has been discovered to be an educational force, which is a fundamental factor to a nation's development. In a developing country such as Africa where we have a substantial number of illiterates and also where there is an abnormal poor reading culture among the illiterates, television and the radio media are thereby used to transmit, inform and educate to the people. Little wonder the early founders of television broadcasting in Africa put education first as their objectives. Also, television provides entertainment programmes, which contributes significantly to people's cultural survival, thereby preserving the cultural heritage to be transmitted to subsequent generations. More so, it performs entertainment functions which are full in value, that it helps to distract people's attention from social strains and violence, and also it fulfils recreational functions to relief one of daily upheavals. Such entertainment programmes includes drama, musicals, sports, e.t.c.
A television station is a broadcasting house, a place where broadcasting signals are propagated via transmitting antennas into the space, for the air wave to transmit the signals to the receivers sets of various audiences who are located and scattered in remote places across the reception area. The television station which houses the TV studio and the control room is stock with both human and material resources in order to achieve its objectives and it is only when these objectives are achieved that it can generate funds to be reinvested and to make more profit.
The human resources of a television station are the people that are employed by the station and they include the general manager, the producers, cameramen, presenters, engineers, public relation officers, marketers, accountants, receptionists, editors, e.t.c. Onabajo (2001) simply puts them as "broadcast personnel” that are essential for the smooth running of any organisation". While .the material resources of the television station are those equipments that are necessary for transmitting broadcast programme after being produced. Such equipments, which is quite expensive, determines the quality of programmes, the strength and the quality of signals of the station.
These equipments are; the studio &control room, the transmitters, antenna, video camera, audio consoles, microphones mixers and switchers, microwaves e.t.c. These equipments have to be handled by professionals and also they should be maintained and upgraded regularly because of technological innovations. Traditional television broadcasting begins in a television station (studio) except in cases of large spectator events. First, the camera picks up an image to be transmitted; a device in the camera called a sync generator makes sure the camera pick up tube is synchronized with the display tube in the television receiver. It does this by producing signals, which stimulate coils in the camera, this creates electronic beam that goes through designated motions and scans the image.
Television uses two kinds of electromagnetic waves; AM and FM. The FM waves are used to transmit audio signals while the AM waves are used to transmit video signals. For colour television transmission, a technique called Multiplexing is used. It allows colour images to be transmitted without a larger channel width. These waves travel from studio transmitter separately, but simultaneously; at the transmitter they are modulated separately then they combine at the diplexer. The diplexer then sends them as one signal to the antenna where the waves are propagated.
The transmitting antennas are mounted in the television station; the antennas are positioned in high places, so they can easily receive signals. The purpose of the antennas is to intercept signals that are headed into space and then redirects them downwards to individual antennas (usually on homes). A television coverage area depends on several factors;
· The capability of the transmitting antenna.
· The transmitter frequency, which could either, be on VHF (Very High Frequency) or UHF (Ultra High Frequency).
· The transmitter power.
Reception of television broadcast signals also requires the audience to have receiver's antenna that could be placed on top of buildings and pointed towards transmitters. From these antennas the signals are then sent to receiving apparatus (television set). It is the effective management of these activities (human & material resources) that however help generate funds for the television station, as it will attract advertisers particularly for the private stations who basically survive on spot advertisements. In Lagos state, there are television stations whose signals are received by television audience across the state and these stations are owned by;
· Federal Governments
· State Government
· Private Entrepreneurs
The Federal government owned stations are the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA 2 Channels and NTA 10). They operate public service broadcasting and are funded by the Federal government through subventions. They sometimes generate funds through spot advertisements or sponsorships. The NTA stations which seem to be a symbol of Nigeria Unity has been in existence since its establishment in 1977.
NTA 2 Channels 5 whose slogan is, "your reach out station" is situated at Television house, Ahmadu Bello way, Victoria Island. Lagos. It operates on VHF with frequency 175.25 MHz.
NTA 10 (the station for the nation) also operates on VHF, with frequency 210.]5 MHz. It is situated at Tejuosho Avenue, Surulere, Lagos.
Emenaku (2003) says, "prior to 1992, private individuals and organisation were not allowed to operate broadcasting in Nigeria. The right to operate radio and television stations were vested only in the Federal government of Nigeria and the state governments", but since deregulation in 1992 under the Decree number 38 by the General Ibrahim Babangida's administration, private investors have being legalized to partake in broadcasting and this has brought about proliferation of television stations in the country.
All of these stations are for commercial purposes which are aimed at making profit by meeting with the desires of its audience. They are run by entrepreneurs and their money comes from (i) spot advertisements (ii) programme sponsorship (iii) joint ventures promotion.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, television has become a source of entertainment as well as a good medium for keeping oneself updated with informative and enlightening issues, This is largely due to the fact that it has audio-visual characteristics i.e., the unique ability to see and hear thus appealing to the senses of sight and sound. Now, the influx of cable stations and TV makes the array of choices wider.
As mentioned earlier, Emenaku (2003) says, "Prior to 1992, private individuals and organisation were not allowed to operate broadcasting in Nigeria. The right to operate radio and television stations were vested only in the Federal government of Nigeria and the state governments", but since deregulation in 1992 under the Decree number 38 by the General Ibrahim Babangida's administration, private investors have being legalized to partake in broadcasting and this has brought about proliferation of television stations in the country. Because of this, people now had choices to pick from as there were specialized stations that provided for specific and targeted viewership.
But as they say that everything that has an advantage also has its own disadvantage. Programming contents started to seem diluted and more commercially oriented. There was more focus on the advertising probabilities and the money to be made than on the content of program. It is now impossible to watch a 30 minute program without being attacked by different adverts and commercials at 10 minute intervals.
As ides this fact, there are more entertainment program on TV than there are educational and informative program partly due to the commercial viability and advantage to the stations and then their audience. Yet, this defiles the essence of the medium. People want to get entertained while they get informed and educated along side. The ability to strike a balance is suddenly missing.
Furthermore, the actualization and realization of the aims and objectives placed before television stations are bound to produce certain reactions from its audience who are its primary public. Viewers represent distinct group of people who watch television. The viewers of mass media come about as a result of the media programmes and activities. Such programmes draw criticisms or support from the public.
The major programmes of television stations are either for information, education or entertainment purposes. Through news, interviews and documentaries, they satisfy the information needs of people. Documentaries and some special programmes on sciences fulfil the educational function of television, while sports, musicals, drama and cartoons all play the entertainment role of television. All these programmes pull certain number of audience who use television for gratification. But all of them cannot pull the same number of audience at the same time. Emenaku (2003) says, "One element that has been introduced by deregulation is variety and this in tum, has created competition because stations need to retain their viewers". In other words, the viewing pattern of one programme of the different stations by the people will be different and such different viewership pattern of the television station can be attributed to some factors.
The audience preference of one television station over another is not arbitrary. According to Paterson (1980), "certain psychological variables, such as self credibility can influence media preference of television. Therefore, the competition becomes high where there are many television stations around. This study therefore intends to investigate the audience preference for television station among the youths in Lagos State i.e. television stations that young ones view most. This study will also look into the reasons why they have a preference for these stations and how the programming contributes to their choice.
1.2 Research Questions
1. What television station(s) do youths in Lagos metropolis prefer to watch?
2. Why do the youths in Lagos metropolis choose these television station(s) as their preferred?
3. What do the youths in Lagos metropolis use television medium for?
1.3 Research Hypothesis
Ho: Economics of communication Transformation does not contribute positively to the youth.
Hi: Economics of communication Transformation does contribute positively to the youth.
1. To find out the television station(s) youths in Lagos metropolis watch.
2. To find out the reason(s) why youths in Lagos metropolis prefer these station(s).
3. To find out what these youths use these station(s) for.
1.5 Significance of the study
The significance of this study lies in its potential for contributing immensely in the area of research as it is a recent study on "audience preference for television stations among youths in Lagos metropolis".
This study will be of immense benefit to Mass communication scholarship where students would find it interactive and would provide a basis for future studies in the area of television broadcasting. It would also serve as a guide for future programming policies.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study could have being wider and more detailed but for the constraint of manpower and adequate financial resources on my part, it will be difficult to generalize my findings. Therefore, this study has been limited to the youths in Lagos metropolis alone. The youths range from the ages of 15 to 24 and this study is going to concentrate on those ones that live in the urban places in Lagos state. These youths are either students; those leaving their parental home and establishing new living environments; completing their full-time education; forming close, stable personal relationship outside of the family, often resulting in marriage and children; testing the labour market, finding work and possibly settling into a career.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Audience: A group of people that watch or listen to the radio/television content.
Preference: The choice for one thing at the expense of another.
Broadcast: The transmission of radio and/or television programmes by airwaves or cables to individual receivers.
Signal: Electrical impulse conveying sound and visual information in communication system television- Electrical telecommunication system used for instantaneous transmission of live or recorded sound and visual image to airwave or cable to the audience.
FM: Frequency modulation used for transmitting audio signals.
AM: Amplitude modulation used for transmitting video signals.
Programme: Contents of the television medium. Things shown on television.
Youths: The period between childhood and adult age.
Metropolis: The capital or Chief city of a country or region; A very large and densely populated city.
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