THE INFLUENCE OF AIT COVERAGE ON POST 2011 ELECTION SENTIMENTS AMONG RESIDENTS OF KABALA DOKI, KADUNA
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Mass Media remain one of the most potent weapons in influencing time. This is why it has been observed that no event is considered significant if it failed to attract the attention of the media.
Denis McQuail (1982) noted that “the media take the particular colouration of the environment they operate.”
Media Organization in Nigeria both the print and electronic have tended to sentiment as the motivating factor for the members of a particular place or area of the country to propagate their ideas and the same time protect their interests be them political, economical or social. Sentiment means an exhibition hostility to people outside one’s regional group within a state as well as prejudicial judgment of issues concerning sentiment groups. These phenomena among others have polarized the country’s media into two major groups, South and North.
The press is best with the social responsibility of uniting, informing and entertaining without bias, Salami Muhammad (2000:26) explain that “The role of the press in modern day society where the world has become a global village” cannot be overemphasized. The press educates, informs and entertains the people so much that if influences public opinion on a number of issues.
This research focuses on the influence of AIT coverage or post 2011 election sentiments among residents of Kabala Doki, Kaduna. The objective is to identify manifestation of sentiment of AIT coverage of post election violence.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Media are established to protect and promote certain interest or ideologies. Therefore, reporting other groups than the owners could reflect some of the reasons for which the media were established. It could also be to support or oppose particular sectional point of view.
Such interest may sometimes coincide with that of the wider national interests, such as integration, unity, cooperation and progress of all groups. At times however, the objectives of establishing may be at variance with the interest of other competing components of the society, such as regional, religion or ethnic groups. In such situation, the media assume function of serving mainly the parochial interest of the owners. If the media are found to resort to such parochial role, their potential in educating, entertaining and informing the general public are greatly curtailed. This is particularly so in a plural society such as Nigeria where the media are expected to serve as the chief agents of national integration.
The research focuses on the sentimental role of AIT’s coverage of the post 2011 election violence. Where there is manifestation of sentiments in the Nigerian media with view to understand how such sentiment in the media may impact on the polity.
As McQuail (1981) note that “the media take particular colouration of the environment they operate”.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Nigeria as a nation with a heterogeneous population of over 394 and one dialect need careful and fair treatment to each section in terms of news coverage.
Media men as watchdogs of the society are expected to remain objective in their reports. Therefore, the research will aim at looking indepth, the presence of sentiment in the attitude of the AIT and examine the extent of manifestation in reporting others.
However, this work will go to a large extent in making us understand whether sentiments and other related inclinations have really influence post 2011 election sentiment among residents of K/Doki. It will also suggest the practice of journalism and its standard ethics.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study is to reduce and forestall the extent of the manifestation of sentiment in our media reports. This is in order to obtain national integrity in the nation.
And to the body of knowledge, the significance lies in the fact that it will improve in the numerous literature, which abound on this topic. It will also give the “Gentlemen of the press” a sense of direction toward a fair, objective and balanced reporting.
Meanwhile, to the researcher, the significance of this study is to inform him with ample information and data on how sentiment affects the way, and manner events, particularly those of national importance.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research project is designed to study how African Independent Television in respect to the 2011 post election violence and how the AIT influence sentiment among the residents of Kabala Doki, Kaduna State.
Because of time and financial constraints coupled with the researcher’s other academic activities, the researcher assume to study the election and four weeks after the election.
In relation to the research work, the following questions are going to be answered.
1. Is there any evidence of sentiment bias in AIT coverage of the 2011 post election violence?
2. Does the sentiment base of AIT affect its attitude towards certain part of the country?
3. Are such biases related to sentiment, religion or ethnicity?
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
A channel through which a message/information is transferred or communicated to a large heterogeneous group of people (i.e. TV, Radio, Magazine, Newspaper and Billboard etc).
AIT: African Independent Television which is a pan – African general entertainment channel offering news, talk shows etc.
Sentiment: Can refer to activity of five material senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste).
Election: The action or an instance of choosing by vote one or more of the candidate for a position.
Violence: Is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes.
Denis McQuail (1981). Sociology of Mass Communications. Stunstall J. News Organization as Goal.
Muhammad, A. Kidaya (2000). How Media Men Report Others. Unpublished B.A Mass Communication Project.
Wimmer, R. Dominick (1987). Mass Media Research. WADS Worths Publishing Company.