The Role of Radio in Mobilizing Women in Politics

The Role of Radio in Mobilizing Women in Politics

Radio is a vital force for social change through public enlightenment. It exists because people must communicate with one another. Communication is the activity by which people pursue the exchange of idea- an exchange that we pursue continuously throughout our lives. Basically, this exchange is an effort to influence the situations around us. In the light of the above the background of the study is designed to study the role, which the radio as a medium of exchange plays in mobilizing women in Enugu metropolis towards active participation in politics.

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Influencing people through communication is a mutual activity, that is why after considering other communication channels like television, interpersonal communication, traditional communication (rituals and festivals gongs, drums and rites) newspapers and magazines; and in view of how effective these channels could be used in performing the role of mobilizing of women in politics; its credibility is given to the radio in injecting political ideas and awareness into the blood stream of its market audience (women).

The newspaper and magazines for their non-transient features would have helped but it is found pretty difficult these days to be affordable by the average Nigeria. Women in the same vein find if financially tasking to spend their income in buying newspapers or magazines in the face of the present economic crunch plaguing the country (Nigeria) today. Hence, they resort to the radio for information acquisition. Also, the television due to its high cost is not easily affordable by every family.

Traditional communication is limited to the rural dwellers only. The urban-based women do not employ gongs and drums in dispersing information. It becomes pretty ineffective to use traditional communication. The women in urban centers (Enugu metropolis) have been socially developed and modern channels of disseminating information have been developed too. Therefore, they can tune to their various radio sets for information. Radio as being very vital in this case is due to its handy or portability which enables women to carry it about to their offices, business areas and so on, especially the transistor type.

Research embarked upon by Obiakalusi et al (1991) postulates that Nigerian political independence in 1960 had raised the hopes of many that the nation was being set towards achieving a free and fair democratic society. It is expected that the press as a whole and the radio in particular should be the market place of political ideas suffice it to say that the radio exists to serve the information needs of the citizenry in politics.

According to Edelstain in his 1974 study about audiences concluded that the audience evaluated sources of information not in terms of the sources credibility, newspaper in terms of content, television in breadth of perception and radio in availability.

The radio, therefore, is readily available and handy to the women.

Another issue of reference is Akpan (1985) mass communication in Nigeria Book of reading eg (Nwuneli) says that the publics entitled to all facts in a political situation and that on the basis of these facts; it can make its decisions. However, these women being informed about political news tend to revent to political interest.

Also Noelle Neuman (1985) introduction to mass communication: Agea, Warren, Kenda) says that ‘real life’ is different from laboratory controlled studies; the media are so ambiguities that it is difficult for a person to escape a message, repetitive messages have reinforced impact; and news stories are so much the same that there are few options for selective perception. However, the media for its agenda-setting role and using radio to disseminate information repeatedly about politics, these women tend to be influenced by listening to this repetitive political message. Hence, develop a proclivity for politics.

Again, Agee, Warren Kendal (1985) also postulate that radio for its special role as a mobilization channel, made American listeners to feel the brutal impact of Hitler’s invasion when Hitler demands against background of historical oratory and Frenzied Nazi Crowd reaction. American were graved when they heard murrow described war preparation in London, relieved when Katlendon predicted that Chamberlain Daladier, Muslim and Hitler would find a peace solution at Munich. However it was radio that brought to them this sense of personal participation in what they described was the world’s crisis not merely Europe’s.

The broadcast media as technological devices of mass communication are established to inform, entertain and educate. These three basic functions are vital in the democratization process of any nation whether in a homogeneous or plural society. Therefore, the radio providing entertainment to its audience especially women in Enugu metropolis sneaks in political messages to its listeners while it is entertaining them.

The broadcast media in a democratic setting are the conscience of the nation, the radio especially initiate, sustain and reinforce democracy. As an information channel, it informs the audience about politics in which women from part. Also, for its educational function the FRCN Enugu has mapped out programme time sponsored by Mrs. Florence Ejoor (chairperson Abia state family support programme) to educate them not to shy away from politics, but rather to come out enemas to compete with their male counterparts.

Mr. Fedelis Ojielo of ESBS, a commentary writer states that radio, as one of the electronic media has remained one of the greatest legacies of post independence in Nigeria. It uses and impacts in public administration political enlightenment and general development, which have made it an indispensable tool of information management and mobilization.

He also postulates that from the inception of radio in Nigeria, more than 45 years ago, it was obvious that government had a clear vision of establishing more radio stations in different parts of the country basically for information purposes, especially in engineering women in active participation in politics.

The setting up of WNBC in Ibadan in 1958 and ENBC in Enugu 1960 awakened the socio-political consciousness of people especially the women.

The importance of the radio also made the Enugu state broadcasting services (ESBS) to introduce a political programme tagged “women in politics” which was aimed at mobilizing women in active participation in politics.

In line with the above, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (1965) said that women should be informed about the political situation in the country and the need for them to participate in politics. The radio, if skill-fully used could become a very powerful means of reaching the audience specially the women.

1.1       STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

Nigeria Secured independence since 1960, over four decades. It is time that pre-independence political was under the dictates of our imperial leaders yet the Nigerian man struggled to be part of the participate in active politics.

Chief (Mrs.) Ebun Oyagbola, minister of National planning (1982) in her address to the intra-parliamentary union meeting. The role of women in Nigeria politics rightly points out that Aba women riot 1929 and the activities of a few other women which contributed to the eventual handing over power to the people will ever be recalled as part of the engineering landmarks of the drive to political independence by this great nation.

Women are often relegated to the background on the importance to integrate proper in all facets of life to enhance their social, political and economic development. Emphatically, it should be borne in mind and globally acknowledge that a woman is the moat relevant of the creator’s skill.

An aphorism has it that “women are weak and yet they weaken the strongest man”. The above implies that the weakness of women shrouds millions and mountains the will power to match forward and achieve greatness.

Also, an adage goes this way “if a good strong woman stands behind her husband, his steps shall never falter he shall never fall”. Another “Maxim” says behind every successful man there is a woman. Powerful women were the wheel on which their men rode to success, fame and acclaim. A case study is that of Abraham Lincoln and his wife who literally dragged him to the highest poli8tical seat, the United States presidency and the counseling, but persistent wife of Macbeth the hero of William Shakespeare’s tragedy: “Macbeth” (Daily star March 30, 1982). Down through the ages, there has been an example of powerful women. The biblical Esther who was able to redeem her peoples the Israelites from slavery and oppression. Queen Elizabeth I of England was one of that nation’s more capable and popular rulers. Mrs. Margaret Thatchar of Britain and Mrs. Indian Ghandi of India are not left out of the list.

Back to Africa, Queen Amina of Zaria, a formidable woman, achieved many spectacular feats, ruling a vast kingdom and still fondly remembered as a capable strategist and ruler, (CHIF/MRS.) MARGARET UDO, EKPO, and MRS. FUMLAYO RANSOME KUTI all played a very important role in Nigeria.

The 1979 constitution in Nigeria provides every citizen male or female the right as long as you have attained the eligible age to vote ad to be voted for. However, the direct opposite was the case in the past.

In order to make women grasp a clearer understanding of what 1979 constitution stipulates and the role women of equal strength have played in politic of past in different nations of the world. The radio therefore has a reasonable impact on women primarily considering its immediate and flexibility.

According to Agee Agult Emery, radio with its peculiar characteristics of being present every where the mail carrier walks a route with a transistor fastened to the male bag, the crowd on the beach listen to a singing group: the carpenter on a roof nails shingles in time, to rock beat. Hence, these women at their various places be it in the office, market place or shops tune on their transistor radio sets and with particular attention to radio messages.

Having seen the history of great women in other nations of the world and the availability of the radio, the burning questions could be drawn as follows.

Will women in Enugu metropolis after being expensed to radio political messages muster more interest to participate in National politics?

Could their exposure to radio political message activate them to holding political post?

Are they likely to perceive any political hatred as a result of their exposure to radio political messages?

2.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The credibility of the radio in dispersing political information and act as a socio-political tool for mobilizing women in Enugu metropolis to participate in National politics is the objective of this work. The work will also see the journalist as a product of the society. The Nigerian society as a conglomeration of different ethnic groups- traditions, beliefs, images, goals, aspirations and constraints must inevitable influence and be influenced upon by the journalist. He assists in shaping the magnitude and direction of what is communicated to the different “publics” especially women in Enugu metropolis of the media.

This role has its disadvantages for the constant barrages of charges of biased, prejudice, and partisanship leveled against radio and its staff.

This study will x-ray how women radio listeners in Enugu metropolis view political messages.

Again, in talking about credibility in radio reports, the researchers will consider messages credibility and sources credibility. By radio credibility, we are talking about believability of radio reports by women, in Enugu metropolis. In connection with the sources credibility, the research will be interested in knowing whether the source of the news has any influence on the credibility rating of the news report. Do women in Enugu see radio as capable of being manipulated and therefore, of presenting less credible political news report. This work takes into cognizance of the fact that the radio is exclusively owned by the government in (Nigeria) with exception of Minaj 89.4 Obosi in Anambra state and Rap power 100.5 in Lagos state and meg probable be manipulated by powers that be.

Furthermore, this study will examine whether it is the political culture in Nigeria that women should relax in participating national politics.

1.4       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Women have been relegated to the background since the inception of the Nigerian politics. However, women have raised their heads above waters in terms of socio-economic development in the Nigeria. This study is geared towards knowing why their active role in politics has been relegated to the background.

This study is long over due because of its significance to the theoretical politics socio-cultural development of radio in national politics. One of the theoretical statements will focus on whether the women in Enugu metropolis form opinion or politics, following their exposure to radio news.

Again, on the effect of radio exposure on political attitude change, on theoretical statement, it will also consider the role of inter-personal communication in relation to women in Enugu metropolis selective perception of radio messages.

The study will assist the government in making policy on radio use in a political situation especially as it effect political news presentation specifically among women in Enugu metropolis.

Finally, the study will also contribute to our socio-cultural development through an empirical linkage of credibility and sycophancy in Nigeria context. It will again enlighten our mind on the use of radio for socio-cultural integration of the women through fair political news management in the radio.

1.5       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Have you been educated about politics?
  2. Have you been listening to radio political messages?
  3. Have you attended any political seminar/symposium?
  4. Are you aware of the kind or politics practiced in Nigeria?
  5. Through which medium do you receive political message?
  6. Do you rely on radio message as a more reliable medium?
  7. How does news about politics on radio appeals to you?
  8. Do you believe news about politics you hear through the radio?
  9. For how long have you been listening to news about politics on radio?
  10. Do you discuss the radio political news with somebody?
  11. Do you believe the news report after such discussion?
  12. Do you write to or phone radio news report you hear?
  13. Do you see radio news reports about politics as manipulated by the government and its agencies?

—This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————
This article was extracted from a Project Research Work/Material Topic

THE ROLE OF RADIO IN MOBILIZING WOMEN IN POLITICS IN ENUGU URBAN AREAS

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