THE ROLES OF THE MEDIA ININFLUENCING ENUGU STATE GOVERNMENT POLICIES DURING GOVERNOR CHIME’S GOVERNMENT FROM 2007-2011
This study focuses on “The Role of the Media in Influencing Enugu State Government Policies during Governor Chime’s Government from 2007-2011”. A survey method of research was used, five questions were raised and three hypotheses were formulated of which one was accepted and two rejected. The population of 3,267,837 was estimated for the study and a sample size of 400 was randomly selected as the representation of the population, which were administered of the questionnaire that serves as the measuring instrument of the study. The simple percentages and tables served as the the system for data analysis. From the three hypothetical test conducted, the result indicated that the State Media of Enugu State in a marginal sense influence the Government policies of Governor Sullivan Chime in his first tenure. In conclusion, the study portrayed the fact that the State media of Enugu reflected effectively the policies of Governor Sullivan Chime and had a limited influence of those policies, thereby recommending that the Media should influence better the Government policies of Governor Sullivan especially in his present tenure in Administration.
1.1 Background of the Study
The Media in the actual sense have a lot to do with the individuals, government and the society at large. It effects are so notable that they cannot be swept under carpet. In five decades, the Media influence has grown exponentially with the advance of technology; first there was the Telegraph, then the Radio, the Newspaper, Magazines, Television and presently the Internet. We live in a society that depends largely on information and communication to keep moving in the right direction and fully involved in our daily activities. The decisions we make and take are most of the times derived from the amount of information obtained from the Media in that the Media through it channels, seculate and disseminate information, ideas that can help built our views towards a particular issue in the society especially as it concerns government programmes and activities.
The importance of the Media especially in the advancement of the society attained the echelon to the extent that a one time American President, Thomas Jefferson portrayed preference to the Media (print) over the Government because of the powerful roles of the Media, in that through their persuasive mechanism can reshape the view of the members of the society against or for it Government that is why the Media are viewed as one of the powerful agents that assist in the national stability of which their messages can either incite or stabilize the society in line with the policies instituted by an existing Government which becomes in tune with the interest of the masses. The Media and the Government needs each other, the Media needs news to report and the Government needs coverage, therefore both the Government and the Media works hard to utilize one another. Public problems that receive the most coverage are considered to be the most important issues by the public thereby giving the Media an important role in the public agenda, and this, the Media orchestrate by providing the Government a better understanding of the need and desires of the society.
Over the years, it has become very clear, that the media excerts powerful influence on Individual behaviour, Government and the Society at large that is why a research carried out by Bernard Berelson (1948: 172) affirms that “that some kinds of communication on some kind of issues brought to the attention of some kinds of people under some kinds of conditions have some kinds of effects”. The Media pattern of influence exert effect especially on the societal views as pertains the highlighted policies of an existing Government in that the media draws the attention of the masses in the acknowledgment of those policies, therefore helping to mould their views in line, on how such Government policies interest them (populace). Sequel to this, Lang and Lang (1966: 105). Observed that “The Mass Media Force Attention on Certain Issues”. They constantly present objects suggesting what the members of the society should think about, know about and have feelings about the issue. Any existing Government that is sensible and pivot as uppermost the citizen’s interest in mind should collaborate effectively with the Media in the formation of their policies for the betterment of the public.
The Media project to the Government, the feelings of the Masses which are obtained from their reactions to the policies introduced by the existing Government which might be favourable or unfavourable to them. An existing Government initiate and make visible certain policies of action, thereby anchoring on the expectation of the masses participation and support to their raised policies for it to be a success, this the Government tends to achieve through the involvement of the Media of which the Media takes into consideration the effectiveness of those policies most especially as it pertains to the masses, before persuasively mobilizing and sensitizing them for their support to such policies.
In a democratic society, where the Media does not function as the Government chattered boxes or megaphones, but free to practice with accorded responsibilities, the Media liaise effectively with the Government before the implementation of policies, basically to determine how such policies benefit the masses, this becomes so, taking consideration of the fact that the publics are not aware of any existing policies of the Government, except disclosure by the Media through their channels. However, the masses believe that the media has their interest in mind and same with the government in power, so any policies of action introduced must pivot in line with their interest and gratification. Policies which is describe as a principles or role to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes does not only depicts what is been done but procedures that identifies the what, why, how, where and the when of a particular plan of action. Outside Government policies, Organization, Institution and Individual possess their own policies.
Government enforces their policies in line with the impactation of the people bearing in mind the set out goals they intend to achieve, and this they make possible, through their relationship with the media, who through their varying channels of communication and information disseminate and mobilizes the masses for their support. However, the Media disclose to the public, the Government policies through it channels, for instance the Broadcast Media plays a sensitive and convincing role by displaying to the masses the government policies, it execution and implementation especially as it pertains to the public interest, therefore creating avenues for their reactions and participation in such Governmental programmes.
The Print Media and the Social Media equally aid in the galvanization for support of Government policies by the publics thereby x-raying within the pages of the daily tabloids the existing governmental road map of administration embellished for the masses to view. Same becomes applicable to the social media, that creates wider avenues for the public reactions of an existing government policies of action, for instance the demolition permeated by Governor Sulivian’s administration in government especially in his first phase policy of Road expansion were highly criticize upon, in that diverging views of the masses especially the citizens of Enugu were pasted via facebook, twitter (social media) while some negated the policy, some pivot support it.
The Mass Media contribute a lot to political values of openness and democratic accountability that go by the name of transparency and likewise participatory involvement in the government policies in Enugu State in that they (media) took into assessment the raised policies of Governor Chime in his first phase in government especially as embedded in his blueprint of administration called “Four Point Agenda”, thereby enquiry of the citizens statement and reactions to such policies through media programmes and events example the media link , an audience participatory programme in English designed and aired by FRCN Enugu, with it equivalent ka oha Malu, which is an audience participatory programme aired in Igbo. The programme creates an avenue by which the citizens of Enugu project their opinion aired in reactions to the Governor Sullivan’s Road Maps of action, especially as it reflect to the public interest. The media programmes and events have been an effective instrument used by the mass media in galvanizing the people’s opinion on existing government policies. It has been denoted, that media events involving both government displays and public reactions are designed by the media to look spontaneous.
America politics has employed media event for many years, a case in point is that of America Former President Bill Clinton who lost the ability to push large scale reforms through the recalcitrant congress, increasingly looks in governing through small scale initiatives of which such initiatives were announced and touched in a series of media events designed to make his presidency appear active, robust and engaged with popular sentiment and concerns. In the same vein, Media events were adopted by Gov. Sullivan’s administration within his first phase in governance, of which through the aid of the media programme announced the non-existence of the motor-cyclist riders off the dual carriage route and also the non-movement of Okada Riders once it is 7’oclock in the evening. The Governor was able to enforce this policy and however had the affirmed motor cyclist mobilized and sensitized by the media. However, Government or Public figure especially in a democratic society, tends to engage with the media in making known convincingly their policies to the publics without any form of conflicting constraint that might be culminated by the masses, since it is said that the media can make a society to be against or for it government. The influencing measures adopted by the media as it pertains their effects on government policies, decision, culture and society at large can be realized in a functional democratic system.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
It has been seen as a prevalent issue known to the government of Nigeria, for policies and programme of action to be introduced and initiated without them being accomplished to the latter, and this problem to an extent is known to all the states in Nigeria but emphasis is on Enugu which is the case study of this research work in that observations and researches has it that some of the government policies introduced by Governor Sullivan in his first phase in administration were not fully accomplished to the latter, while some failed, some were yet to be completed.
For instance in his four point agenda which is the blue print of his administration, it was realized that not all the raised policies embedded in the Agenda were completed to the latter, some like the rehabilitation and repairing of collapsed network of road which is part of the physical infrastructures were accomplished to an extent but not in totality because most of the road in some rural areas were not looked into. Same goes with the policies of economic expansion and employment, and that of service delivery and good governance, in that in Governor Sullivan first tenure in government, these policies where not fully realized likewise with the one pertaining to the development of the rural areas of which the government of Governor Sullivan Chime at most cases in his first tenure gave deaf ears to the projection and reflection made known by the state media as to the pertinent needs of the people. These being identified as the problems, spurred the researcher in the course of study to looked into the possible remedies that will be reflected upon thereby ensuring that the media roles were fully realized and given it pace in influencing positively the present government policies of Enugu, as it pertains the interest of the citizens.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The role made visible by the Media as it pertains the influences generated by them on the policies of any existing Government are to a realizable effect borders on how it interest the populace.
However, in this research work, the following objectives will be looked into;
1. To find out how the media programmes influenced the government policies of Governor Sullivan Chime in his first tenures.
2. To identify the role played by the media in establishing a meaningful relationship between Governor Chime and the citizens of Enugu.
3. To know whether the government policies of Governor Chime met the pressing needs of the people of Enugu.
4. To find out the role played by the media in mobilizing and sensitizing the citizens of Enugu in support of government policies of Governor Sullivan.
5. To know whether the media channels of communication and information played an effective role in influencing Governor Chime’s policies.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to establish and determine the role played by the media in influencing the government policies of Governor Sullivan in his first tenure in governance. These questions were viewed pertinent to the study.
1. Is the media function of mobilization and sensitization essential in influencing Governor Sullivan’s policies?
2. Did the media channels of communication and information play an effective role in influencing the policies of Governor Sullivan’s first tenure in administration?
3. Did the media establish a meaningful relationship between the people of Enugu and her government especially in the first phase of Governor Sullivan’s dispensation in government?
4. Where the pressing needs of the citizens of Enugu met in line with the raised policies of Governor Chime’s administration in the first tenure?
5. Did the media programme influence the government policies of Governor Chime’s?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0: Media function of mobilization and sensitization is not essential in the government policies of Governor Sullivan.
H1: Media function of mobilization and sensitization is essential in the government policies of Governor Sullivan Chime.
H0: The interest of the Enugu people were not fully represented in the government policies of Governor Sullivan.
H2: The interest of the Enugu people were fully represented in the government policies of Governor Sullivan.
H0: The media programme did not influence the government policies of Governor Sullivan in his first tenure.
H3: The media programme did influence the government policies of Governor Sullivan in his first tenure.
1.6 Operational Definition of Terms
Certain terms that were administered for the distinctive explanation of the study requires an elaborate and pertinent understanding of their connotative meaning which are:
Role: In reference to the study, this entails the part played by the media in line with their functions thereby influencing the policies of Governor Sullivan’s administration in government during his first tenure.
Media: In this study, they function as the organ by which government policies of Governor Sullivan were made known to the citizens of Enugu through the aid of events and programmes disseminated by broadcast media (TV, Radio) print media (newspaper, magazines) and social media (face book, twitter).
Influence: This affirmed term in the study denotes how the media portrayed an effect on the government policies of Governor Sullivan in his first tenure especially as regards the citizens of Enugu.
Government: In the study, this entails the group of people that are situate at the helms of affairs as far as issues pertaining to the citizens of Enugu state are concerned, thereby having one official leader to be in charge in the person of Governor Sullivan Iheanacho Chime.
Policies: In reference to the study, this entails the plan of action or programme of activities of Enugu state government which are being implemented by Governor Sullivan in his first phase in government.
1.7 Significance of the Study
In a democratic society, the government to an extent engages in a good term rapport, with the mass media especially as it pertains the interest of the masses, that is why the media as the fourth estate of the realm, should be involved in the policy making of an existing government thereby pivot into consideration the interest of citizens, because if the citizens are not pleased with the governmental policies, they put across their reactions and responses through the media that guarantee them a voice. However, the importance of this study will assist in bringing to projection the role played by the media in influencing the government policies of Governor Sullivan especially in his first tenure in administration.
Equally the pertinence of such policies to the citizens of Enugu state especially as it concern their welfare and interest is emphasized as part of the salient point in this study. However, an indication of the means adopted by the media in mobilizing and galvanizing the views of the citizens of Enugu which in turns gears towards their active participation in the raised policies of Governor Sullivan in his first phase in administration, forms part of the importance as far as this research work is concerned? Moreover, the study equally identifies the rational behind the completion and non-completion of certain governmental projects in Enugu state by Governor Sullivan in his first tenure in administration, and the role played by the media in the projection of those projects especially as it affect the masses that are resident in such areas that are yet to be looked into in terms of development.
1.8 Scope of the Study
This project centers on the role played by the media in influencing the Enugu state government policies during Governor Sullivan’s first tenure in administration.
In this study, certain assumptions were made:
1. The study rest on the assumption that certain factors appeared as an impediment for the media especially in their influencing of government policies in Enugu state during the first phase of Governor Sullivan’s dispensation in government and among these constraints are uncooperative nature of the government of Enugu state towards the media on matters pertaining to the implementation of most plan of actions, and subjection of government owned media in the projection of policies that are not of pertinent interest to the citizens of Enugu.
2. The researcher assumes that not all the needs of the citizens of Enugu were met in line with the raised policies of Governor Sullivan on the first tenure.
3. The researcher equally assumes that the media practitioners operating in Enugu metropolis assist in the representative of the needs of the citizens of Enugu state by their government.
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