1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Journalism is the collection, preparation and distribution of news and related commentary and feature materials through such media as pamphlets, newsletter, magazines, Radio, Motion Pictures, Television, the internet and books. The earliest known Journalists product was a newssheet in ancient Rome called the ACTA DIURNA published daily from 59 BC, it was hung in prominent places and recorded important social and political events. Journalism in the 20th century was marked by a growing sense of professionalism. In our society today it has been observed that female student Journalists have negative attitude towards taking Journalism as a career. This negative attitude is highly reflected in the number of mass media houses. Almost all institution of higher learning in Nigeria offer mass communication courses leading to the award of various degrees and certificates, including National Diploma, higher National Diploma, Bachelor, and masters degrees.
The increase in the number of female graduates from all these Institutions are not reflected in the media of communication in the country. Each Year, hundreds of female students graduate as mass communicators. A close look shows that the number of female Journalists students surpassed the number of males. But in the filed today, a good number of these female graduates are not seen working in the various media houses scatted all over the country. Reference to the convocation booklets from these schools revealed that a good number of female mass communication students graduated from these schools. In the year 1997, about 150 female Journalists graduated from federal polytechnic Oko. The Ogun state polytechnic in the same year turned out about 86 female Journalist students. Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu had about 140 female graduates. Bida polytechnic had about 26 female graduates from the department of mass communication.
In July 1996, the Ogun state polytechnic turned out 146 female student Journalists in both OND and HND levels, The Institute of management and Technology (IMT) Enugu turned out about 120 female student graduates in both ND and HND levels (1996 convocation lists/booklets). Similarly with other mass communication schools in the country for instance, in 1995, the convocation booklets of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, revealed that 45 female students graduated from the department of mass communication. In the year 2008, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka turned out about 58 female graduates from the department of mass communication. Between the year 2008 and 2009, Caritas University Enugu graduated over 50 female Journalists.
Presently, in my class in the department of mass communication, we are 54 students in number. 51 out of the 54 students are females while only three are males. In other levels, the number of female students surpassed the number of male students in the department of mass communication with a great difference. In recent years, media houses in the western countries lack trained female Journalists in the various communication activities. Invariably, it has been the same in Nigeria and this could be seen in most cases of the media houses in Nigeria. There has been an imbalance in the number of female, and male trained Journalists working with them. Those who are worried about this situation said that if there were more women than men seeking jobs in the media houses and they all have the same ability and background, more men get the jobs. (women in communication pg 8) she noted that women could only be awarded a job if they are had working and qualified, they must be awarded or offered a job in the Journalism profession. The Enugu Television Authority has about twenty five trained Journalists on its staff. Five out of the twenty-five are female. The Daily star newspaper has only six female Journalists on its staff. The situation is similar in other media institutions throughout Nigeria and in most western countries.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
This study was undertaken because of the low participation of the female Journalist graduates towards practicing Journalism as their career. Despite the fact that there is considerably good number of trained female journalists, very few of them are working with media houses in Nigeria. A large number of female Journalists are produced from different Institutions offering mass communication, but female participation in the profession is very negligible. According to Omenugha (2004:4) “One thing that is glaring in the Nigeria media is the near absence of Nigerian women as news makers”. Though Nigeria is developing, it has gotten to a stage where the female Journalists and their male counterparts should be competing in the media houses. The number of female Journalists in the field is very few compared to the number that graduates from Journalism schools and universities. The female tend to run away from practicing Journalism.
Women Journalists are not often seen as lecturers neither do women help in the development and promotion of the profession unlike in other professions where the female and male compete and seek superiority over each other. This dormant attitude of females towards the profession has resulted to the males claiming superiority over them in the field and as such not portraying a good image of women in the society. This is because most men in the society believe that Journalism exposes the practitioners and makes the female counterparts loose their dignity. Many female Journalists who work in the media sometimes do not show keen interest in their job. This affects the female practitioners as the male practitioners always tend to over shadow them both in position and in interest to work.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Because of the way the image of our women in our society are been portrayed when it comes to them practicing Journalism as their profession, the study is therefore aimed at finding out the Attitudes Of Female Mass Communication Students Towards Journalism As a Career. This study therefore tends to look into the image of women in the media and more also to find out why there has been this imbalance in the Ratio of working male and female Journalists. This research work will also help to reveal why there is sharp contrast from the number of female Journalists that graduate from Journalism schools and the number in the field. Finally, this research work helps to give suggestion based on findings.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is very important because a lot of people are baffled over the issues of why women do not take up Journalism as a career after studies. It has really agitated the minds of some professionals and has equally created a lot of controversies. The researcher, therefore, has deemed it fit to find out the reasons for such negative attitude of females towards Journalism. Journalism as the researcher could understand is very controversial and there is no need to live on mere assumption. This study has therefore provided an avenue for an in-dept study on the controversial issue of knowing the militants against the idea of women going into Journalism as career, how do these women see The practice of Journalism, do they go into the study with the intention of practicing Journalism or taking it up just as a career? The researcher also observed that female Journalists do not only disengage in the practice of Journalism but also do not contribute in the development and achievement of Journalism schools. According to Okunna (1990) “In most schools in Nigeria, women are not often seen as lecturers both at universities and polytechnics”. They do not involve in the teaching of mass communication courses. Women prefer working in other fields to the career of Journalism. The study will serve as a resource material for programme design and implementation in the effort concerning women in development and to students of women studies, mass communication, and Journalism. It will be a useful reading and reference materials.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Do female mass communication students have negative attitude towards Journalism as a career?
2. Is there any discrimination against the women Journalists?
3. Are the female Journalists shy of caring out their duty?
4. Are there wrong impressions about the female Journalists?
5. Are the female roles as mothers and wives some of the problems facing female Journalists?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Based on the research questions, the following hypotheses are derived:
H1: Female Mass Communication Students Have Negative Attitude Toward Journalism as a Career.
Ho: Female Mass Communication Students do not have Negative Attitude Towards Journalism as a Career.
H1: There is discrimination against the female Journalists.
H0: There is no discrimination against the female Journalists.
H1: Female Journalists are shy of caring out their duty.
H0: Female Journalists are not shy of carrying out their duty.
H1: There are wrong impressions about the female Journalists.
H0: There are no wrong impressions about the female Journalists.
H1: Female roles as mothers and wives are some of the problems facing female Journalists.
H0: Female roles as mothers and wives are not some of the problems facing female Journalists.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
CONCEPTUAL:- This is an act of setting ones mind to Acquiring knowledge and understanding, through reading, research etc.
OPERATIONAL:- It is an act of considering or examining something in detail. It can also be said to be a piece of research that examines a subject or question in detail.
CONCEPTUAL:- This is a way of thinking or the Character which someone exhibits towards something or somebody.
OPERATIONAL:- This is a way of feeling or your opinion about something or somebody.
CONCEPTUAL This is a particular sex or gender of the primate (Human being) that can give birth to children.
OPERATIONAL:- It is a situation of being a women or girl.
CONCEPTUAL:- A large number of people or things grouped together.
OPERATIONAL:- A large number of people in a community, Society, and nation.
CONCEPTUAL:- The process of expressing, or passing ideas, feelings, or information from one person to another, or to a group of people.
OPERATIONAL:- Methods of sending information to a large number of people, especially through Television, Radio Computers, Newspapers, Magazines etc.
1.8 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
A good number of professionals have already made similar studies of women image in the media and their attitude towards Journalism. In this study, the researcher raised a number of assumptions. She assumes that the attitude of the female mass communicators towards Journalism as their career is very poor. She equally assumed that the way image of the women are being portrayed in the society as Journalists have created an Imbalance in the ratio of working male Journalists to their female counterparts. In essence, the researcher has deemed it fit to concentrate more on Nigeria female Journalists and the issues that affect them as working Journalists.
1.9 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher has decided to limit this study to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, female students in mass communication department. It was therefore limited to find out only the Attitude of Female Mass Communication Students Towards Journalism as a Career, including the attitude of others towards female Journalists. The ideal situation would have been to study a much wider area and a larger number of female student Journalists, and practicing women Journalists to enhance the reliability of the data and to make generalization more appropriate. But due to financial constraint, it was limited to the institution mentioned above.
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.(2nd ed.). (2003). UK:
Cambridge University Press. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary. (3rd ed.). (2005). New Delhi:
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (6th ed.). (200). New York:
Oxford University press.
Ukonu, O. M. (2007). Specialized Journalism: A Complete Course. Enugu: Ex Kelle Publishers.