THE ROLE OF PUNCH NEWSPAPER IN CREATING AWARENESS AGAINST DRUG ABUSE
The research examined The Role of Punch Newspaper in Creating Awareness against Drug Abuse” (A case study of Selected Residents in Lagos Nigeria).However, mass media especially newspaper have the power to influence the feelings and attitude of people while it also help in solving social problems which drug/substances abuse is one. Advertising messages and commercials in newspaper can persuade and convince people to buy a wide range of products and services by influence behaviour. Survey research method was adopted to select respondents within Lagos state and One hundred and twenty (120) copies of questionnaire were administered to the selected respondents. Findings shown that Majority of the respondents were aware of what drug abuse is all about through mass media and friends. Almost all the respondents have one way or the other abuse drug or substance and the abuse it usually frequent that is why the degree of drug abuse in our society is very high. The Punch newspaper and other mass media educate and enlighten people on the dangers in drug abuse. It is recommended that National and International Health Organisations should banned media advertisement and publicity of substances and drug like tobacco cigarette, alcohol and other harmful drinks. While mass media should design specially campaign to create awareness on the negative effects of abuse.
1.1 Background to the Study
Mass media have been a major agent of socialization and tool for social change especially now that people depend on message from mass media. The potential power of the mass media help solve social problems. television, radio and print advertising can entice people to buy a wide range of products and services, and newspaper messages and advertisement influence our ideas, values and behaviour.
According to conventional wisdom, it could be possible to use mass communications to get people to act on behalf of their own health and well-being or to do right things. Based on this assumption, since World War II, the federal, state and local governments, private foundations and other non-governmental organizations have sponsored hundreds of public service campaigns to promote social rather than commercial “goods” (DeJong and Winston, 2000).
It is not surprising, then, that prevention advocates would look to the mass media as an important aid in addressing the problem of high-risk drinking in society. Some advocates have pushed for reform or other restrictions on alcohol advertising. Others have sought to influence entertainment producers to end the glorification of high-risk drinking on newspaper, magazine, television and in the movies (Montgomery, 2009). More recently, prevention advocates have produced a small number of media campaigns designed to change students and youth knowledge, attitudes and behavior.
Most media campaigns focused on college students drinking which have been campus based, using a mix of posters, flyers, electronic mail messages and college newspaper advertisements. More recently, a few regional, state and national media campaigns have begun to address this issue as well.
Therefore, this study is out to examine the mass media especially the print in creating awareness against drug abuse.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The continuous abuse of these drugs has lead to a situation of drug addiction and the addict developing a bondage to the drug.
The effects of drug abuse is detrimental not only to the individual but to the society as a whole. Yet this problem is on the increase especially among those in higher institution of learning. Which is a serious threat to our national sanctity.
How well can print media as a vehicle for information dissemination be relied upon to perform its role in the society, to join hand in the battle against drug abuse?
How can the power of the mass media be used effectively to reduce high-risk drinking among people? To explore that question, this research begins by reviewing three types of mass media campaigns focused on drinking: information, social norms marketing, and advocacy.
Theses and many more questions is what the study is out to find answers to.
1.3 Research Questions
¨ Does the Punch educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
¨ Has mass media awareness campaign on drug abuse reduced the unlawful use of drug in society?
¨ Is mass media faced with any difficulty in creating awareness on drug abuse?
¨ Does newspaper promote drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo?
¨ Does newspaper educate and enlighten the general public on the bad effects of drug abuse?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
To examine whether newspapers educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
To know if newspapers awareness campaign on drug abuse have reduced the unlawful use of drug in our society?
To know if there is problem facing the mass media in creating awareness on drug abuse?
To know if newspapers contribute to drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo?
To examine if mass media present adequate information on the effect of drug abuse to the people in society?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research will benefit different people, organization, and government and other agencies especially the youth.
This study has important contribution to make in the education of drug abuse among our youths and society in general.
Drug abuse has lots of effects on the health of the nation. There is a danger of the waste ofNigeria’s next generation if the best Nigerian youth is consumed by an addiction that will leave effects on the economy.
The national security implication will be disastrous, hence the need for the media to intensity their role with various organization like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac) to combat this scourge in all its ramification.
Government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will benefit from the study to know the harmful effect of media drama showing lots of drinking and alcoholic programme, advert and marking on print media to the society.
Media practitioners and students of mass communication will equally benefit from the study to understand fully on the dangers in drug advertisement.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Because of time, geographical locations, fund and other necessary logistics, the study is narrowed down to Lagos State residents as a case study since it is very difficult if not impossible to study all the people across all the state of federation and that is why Lagos State is selected.
1.7 Limitation to the Study
Wide research of this nature cannot be carried out without some constraints, this constraints pose a lot of limitations to this work.
¨ Duration for the research work is relatively short.
¨ Stress emanated from other academic activities is also another constraints.
¨ Little materials are also available because the work is relatively new.
¨ Financial constraints poses another challenges.
¨ Most information is gathered through newspapers and internet.
1.8 Definition of the Terms
Role: It is a function or contribution of print media in curbing abuse of drug in society.
Newspaper: It a periodical publication for dissemination of information against drug abuse.
Creating Awareness: It means various effort by the print media in curbing drug abuse in the society.
Drug: It refers to different forms of tables in liquid and capsules or substances like cocaine, india-hemp e.t.c use for treatment of illness and related body problems.
Drug Abuse: Is means when people use drugs or substances either liquid, tablet, injection or inhale it in amount or with methods neither approved or not supervised by medical professionals e.t.c
Dejong, W. (2000): Relapse Prevention: An Emerging Technology for Promoting long-term Drug Abstinence. London: Gulf Press
James, K. (2004). High-Risk Drinking among College Students. Massachusetts: Boston University.
Wikipedia (2014). Drug Abuse. Retrieved from http://wikepedia.com/ drug- abuse/ on2/05/2014
Montgomery, K. (2009). Abuse of Drug among Students.UK: CCT Press.