THE ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE

Abstract

This study examines the role of mass media in a democratic governance. Specifically mass Media are generally assumed to play an important role in democracies, but how effective are they in performing this function within specific states hence this study. The study adopts four specific objectives to the study which are (i) To ascertain the level of equal media coverage given to political parties to candidates. (ii) To ascertain the significant relationship between mass media & electioneering campaign. (iii) To ascertain the significant level of mobilization of mass media towards elections and (iv)To determine the significant role mass media plays towards the democratic governance in Nigeria . The Methodology of the study includes :design of the study, area of the study, the population of the study, the sample of the study, the institution of data collection, validation of the instrument, distribution and retrieval of the instrument and the method of data analysis.in the cause of data distribution. Total numbers of 100 questionnaire were released to the 80 respondent . 80 administered questionnaire were retrieved from the field while 20 were missed. As a result of findings from this research work, the following recommendation have been suggested: Since it has been discovered that there is a direct relationship between media coverage and elections result, the mass media should endeavor to give equal media coverage to political parties and their candidates. In other word, the mass media should allow political parties and their candidates a level playing for their campaign.Secondly Agenda-setting programmes of mass media towards elections is an effective way of mobilizing, educating and enlighten the public and the electorates on electoral process, hence, the mass media practitioners should endeavor to package more of agenda setting programmes to ensure a free and fair elections in Nigeria. Finally the study concluded that the mass media has been effective in mobilizing the electorates towards elections as seen in various programmes before, during and after the elections in Nigeria. Various political programmes in media towards elections in Nigeria are evidence to the fact that they are playing their agenda-setting roles in Nigeria towards successful, free and fair election in Nigeria.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The mass media generally regarded as a channel of communication that are capable of reaching heterogeneous audience simultaneously with uniform message. They regularly cover all sorts of issues such as health, music, fine art, crime, sport, entertainment, political events among others (Meyer, 2002, Soela 2004). The mass media transmits ideas and new information to target audience in the society. Tosanisunmi (2004) has observed that the mass media educate, inform and entertain beyond these functions as they also persuade and catalyze for social mobilization. In other words, the mass media can be regarded as powerful service of information because they have the capability to penetrate every segment of society. They have the ability to disseminate information about issue, ideas and product.
Furthermore, the mass media has that capability to create awareness and knowledge about issues of national interest. The traditional mass media usually consist of radio, television, newspaper and magazine while the news media involves the internet technologies. Contextually, these media have the responsibility to mobilize for national development. In other words, social mobilization for development.