1.1 Background of the Study
Radio is an essential mass medium that virtually every member of the society benefits from. Kuewumi (2009) asserts that Radio has radicalized the face of human communication and ultimately become a fixed point in the daily lives of humans whereby people are informed, taught, nurtured and reformed by way of relaxation, invigoration and resuscitation. This he argued, makes radio as a medium of mass communication being constantly sought after by its ardent listeners. Radio is the wireless transmission of signals through free space by electromagnetic radiation of a frequency significantly below that of visible light, in the radio frequency range, from about 30 kHz to 300GHz. Egbuchulam (2002) defined radio as: a mobilizer and a formidable factor in the new world order in economy, technology and politics. Radio is best described as the cheapest, safest and the most effective medium of communication available to man. According to Onabajo (1999), in the developing world as in Asia and Africa, radio is cheap; it does not cost much compared to television which is expensive. It is also portable i.e. it can be easily transported from one place to another.
It is credible as it transmits messages that its listeners hold important. Radio can also present news as it happens, brings the voices of news makers and artists into the homes of listeners. It also provides dramatic shows and other entertainment, which listeners can visualize even in the absence of visuals. For that reason, radio enjoys the advantage of simultaneity.It requires little effort of its consumers to comprehend its message. It is a good companion that entertains and informs its listeners. Kuewumi (2009:148) has this to say about radio: “imagine a world without radio; it will be like a garden without flowers and trees. Radio daily feeds us with information, teaches us and calms our nerves. If radio is well understood and its potentials realized, hardly will there be any one that will live without a radio. Many anxious moments will be healed.” Radio is a vehicle for projecting personality through which it attracts and holds an audience. It is an efficient instrument for getting a message to a large number of people at the same time, because it transcends the boundary of space and time, and also leaps across illiteracy barriers (Onabajo, 1999). Egbuchulam (2002) asserts that radio has been a major communication tool for improving the quality of people’s lives, bringing to their doorstep news, entertainment and education through its programmes. Despite the world wide enchantment with the internet and web-based learning, radio still retains the advantage of being able to serve dispersed, isolated, and disadvantaged communities aspiring to overcome the barriers of illiteracy and physical distance in many countries. Listeners use and relate to radio in very different ways compared to other media. Listeners use radio for various reasons one of which is for emotional support, to keep their spirits up through programmes, and the result will determine to a large extent the attitude listeners would have to programmes. People listen to radio to be informed, entertained, educated, follow their favourite football team, and follow fashion trends or popular music, among others.
According to Oliveira, Portela, & Santos (2012), it is assumed that listeners make their own interpretations of a radio programme if the presentation includes something they can relate to, something familiar. The encounter between the radio programme and the listener is regarded as a meaning making process within a cultural context. This meaning making process is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the radio programme topic, design and the socio-cultural variations in experiences, knowledge and cultural dispositions. “The figures of those who listen to radio continue to increase thus indicating an increasing affinity for the free and participatory opportunities offered by radio stations” (Bamgboye, 2013). Radio plays an integral role in providing its listener with news, music and other programmes, while also acting as a voice that represents them as well as the society at large. It is therefore no argument that radio serves as a means of communication. In the aspect of information, radio provides information in terms of news that is, the day-to-day information within and outside the country. Radio also encourages its listener to know more about entertainment, education, and politics; they can also participate through phone-in programmes, talk shows and motivational programmes. Radio generally helps to broaden the knowledge intellectually and morally.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Deregulation of the broadcasting industry in 1992 led to increase in the number of commercial radio stations in Nigeria; this in turn posed a big challenge to radio proprietors, producers and directors to have a well packaged content that will gratify Nigerians, with about 70% of the total population of Nigeria as youths (Ismaila, 2013).The significance of radio in informing, educating, and entertaining students in the educational institution is not in doubt, and it is one way by which they keep in touch with the contemporary world. It can be assumed that before the advent of radio, information on what is happening outside the school premises especially in the educational and social world was (would be) difficult to discern by students. Even after the advent of radio and going a step further to establish campus radio stations, there is still doubt as to how many students are aware of what is happening beyond the walls of their school premises, and in the global world. As students, especially of higher institutions, it is imperative that they keep abreast of goings-on around them, in the country and the world at large.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study is aimed at achieving the following purposes;
1. Measuring the level of student’s attitude and interest in the total content of radio programmes.
2. Individual perspective to listening habit of students to radio programmes.
3. Identifying the extent by which such variables such as sex, course of study age, affect audience towards radio programmes.
1.3 Research Questions
To help in carrying out this investigation of following research questions were posed.
(a) Does a student’s course of study influence his or her radio listening habit?
(b) Is there a relationship between age and radio listening habits of student in higher institutions?
(c) Does gender play any role in the contents of radio programmes?
(d) Does students listen to radio at the beginning of the semester than any other time?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho: Students tend to listen more to radio when the academic load is minimal or reduced.
Hi:Students do not tend to listen more to radio when the academic load is minimal or reduced.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is important that radio station at times take a critical look outside and feel the hearing of its audience.This study is not only important to the students but will also serve as a green light to the media houses. Lecturers and media practitioners on how best they will restructure their programmes so as to suit, and attract more audience and patronage from the general public especially students.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This paper is designed to examine the radio listening habits of university students and their attitude toward radio programmes, using students of University of Uyo as the focus of study.
Limitations of study
1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Radio:Is the use of radio waves to carry information, such as sound, by systematically modulating some property of electromagnetic energy waves transmitted.
Habit: Is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously.