BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Overtime, Mass media in Nigeria has been use as a medium of communication that seeks to impact in the life of average Nigerians by influencing positively its social, cultural, economic, political and technological thinking. It also provides news and information about national issues. Aside this, it serves as a source of entertainment. Mass media enhances cultural awareness and seek to preserve Nigeria’s rich culture. Through this medium artistic and intellectual creativity are developed. There for all programmes and coverages are audience oriented and guided by the nations’s social, political, moral, cultural, scientific, education and economic goals.
In contemporary times television is use as a tool in disseminating information to the people about the electoral process. Such enlightenment is meant to educate voters and members of the society about electioneering campaigns thereby ensuring credible electoral outcomes in elections in Nigeria. The television is been used as an instrument by politicians to advertise themselves to the electorates while at the same time educating electorates during electioneering campaigns. Jingles, advert placement, political debates, electoral enlightenment are all done through the mass media. Other political progammes such as focus Nigeria aired on AIT network, Kakaaki and democratic license are all geared towards the education and political enlightenment of the Nigerian electorates. Mass media in voters’ education have become critical in Nigeria’s political system. This is plausibly correct because political and electoral programmes have recently become the democratic watchdog of our political system, criticism, debates and discontents are all channeled through television.
To this end the role of the mass media like the television amongst other media in voters’ education cannot be over emphasized, as it remained one of the viable options towards the monitoring of our electoral system and educating our voters.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Democracy should be a celebration of an involved public. Democracy requires an active and well educated citizenry because it is through adequate sensitization, discussion, popular interest, and participation in politics that societal goals should be defined and carried out. Without public involvement in the process, democracy lacks both its legitimacy and its guiding force (Russell, 2002). In recent years voter participatory behavior and lack of adequate voter education has reached worrying levels worldwide and especially in Nigeria. Through the various generations of elections, declining voter participation, especially among the youths, has steadily and increasingly become a major issue of concern that has been equally affecting emerging democracy and consolidated ones.
Overtime, the decreasing voter participation trends are a cause of concern because voter turnout is one of the main indicators to measure the levels of democratic development and robustness of a country. Low voter turnout can be related to and originated by many different factors closely related to the democratic, economic and social development of a country.
AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study is to examine the role of mass media in voters’ education and credible electoral outcome in elections in Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:
In-order to guide the study, the following research questions are formulated for the study:
H0: There is no significant relationship between mass media and voter’s education in ensuring credible electoral outcome in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between mass media and voter’s education in ensuring credible electoral outcome in Nigeria.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is important because it provides useful and vital information on the role of mass media in voters’ education and electoral outcome in Nigeria.
The research shall expose the researcher and the entire students either as reference point or as a past literature that could be studied – thus shall be in a better position to enlighten others.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the role of mass media towards voter education and credible electoral outcome in Nigeria using the African independent television Lagos state as the case study.
Limitation of the study
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)
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.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For purpose of clarity, some of the concepts that are used in this research study are hereunder defined.
A voter is a person who has a right to participate in an election as an elector. In Nigeria, a voter is a citizen who is 18 years old and above, and is duly registered to elect political office holders. In effect anyone who can exercise the right to vote is a voter.
Voting is the main form of political participation in liberal democratic societies and voting or voter behaviour in the context of this work, is the attitude, perception, action, of an eligible voter in voting/not voting and how and why such decision was made.
Mass media as the devices for moving messages across distance or time to accomplish mass communication.
A nominee or aspirants for any position or honour.
Is a process of selecting one person or more for an office, public or private, from a wider field of candidates.
Political apathy is the lack of psychological involvement in public affairs, emotional detachment from civic obligations, and abstention from political activity. Political apathy is evidenced in mass, collective behaviour but has its origin at the level of the individual psyche. In the aggregate, political apathy is revealed by attitudes and an absence of expected activity. When people cease to care about political life, withdraw from obligations to civil society, and perform entirely nominal or rote acts- or none at all- in political institutions or organizations, apathy is indicated (Mason, Nelson and Szklarski (1991).
Voting Age Population
This is the total number or percentage of eligible voters who are qualified to vote in an election
This is the total number or percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in an election.