1.1 Background of the Study
The political impact of the mass media and the important role they play in guiding the direction of political activity have made it imperative to the study of mass communication and its effect. No doubt we have accepted the popular view of media as omnipotent and capable of being used to manipulate the audience. How does this assumption play off on the influence of communication on people’s political opinion and attitudes? It becomes certain why we are concerned about the persuasive effects should have resulted in unbalanced efforts to find out the impact on the audience rather than what happens in the use of communication to achieve an end. Examples are available to show the successful uses of mass media to sell political beliefs and the growth. It has also given rise to and reinforced the conviction that the primary target for investigation should be processes of opinion and attitude change among individual receivers of mass communication messages (Gurevitch and Blumer, 2007). The subsequent erosion of the myth of the media’s irresistible powers of persuasion through the publication of contrary evidence had no consequences. First, there was a marked broadening and diversification of the problems regarded as open to enquiry. Consequently political communication provides a fertile field of study nowadays for researchers in a wide range of disciplines and methodologies. Historians may compare the technologies, rhetoric and publics for political communication prevalent at different periods of time, mass media operations may be described through concepts borrowed from pressure-group analysis, the relations of media institutions to political parties may be examined, the influence of internal constraints on the political output of the media may be observed and audience members may be studied from perspective other than that of effects.
Second, in some cases, those shifts of focus resulted in a virtual rejection of the audience as an object of research interest. This stemmed mainly from the assumption that the original seekers after persuasion effect had not only exhausted that particular seam of enquiry but had also returned from their endeavours with precious gold to show for their trouble. What ought to be understood is that political communication as sociological phenomenon could be enriched by adoption of a systems outlook in our analysis.
Three benefits could ensue from an attempt to lace political communication phenomena in a system framework. First, pressure would be generated to link diverse bodies of evidence in broader analytical perspectives. Second, there would be an antidote against the tendency to under or over emphasize any single element of the political communication system audience. Third, by drawing attention to system factor which, is varying across countries, there might have been macro level consequences that could be measured and compared and cross national investigation would be facilitated. An underlying assumption of such approach, of course is that the main features of the political communication process may be regarded as if they formed a system, such that variation of its components would be associated with variation in the behaviour of its other components. Before developing the implications of this assumption positively, however, it may be useful to see how certain existing tendencies in political communication research could be subsumed under a systems perspective.
There is a shift of interest involving a diminished concern to heightened interest in charting their likely cognitive effects. This is not the ability of the mass media to create images of social reality with which we may reorder our perspective about the world around us. Furthermore, the influence of the propagation of such images is unlikely in the longer run to be confined examples that when an individual’s original orientation conflicts with the view of the world that consistently being projected by a trusted mass communication medium, the former will eventually modified to fit the latter (Wamsley and Pride, 2002). This feature of the new look in political communication could be improved by a system approach, if there is reason to suggest that the perspective on social and political reality offered audience in mass communication content depend in turn on other aspects of the organization of the media.
This suggestion is relevant if we examine the agenda setting function of the media. This stipulates that the relative frequency of references to given political issues in media content will be reflected in a corresponding set of issue priorities in the minds of readers, viewers and listeners (McCombs and Shaw 2004, Mcleod, 2005). A system perspective links such questions to media and political structural conditions that might determine the kinds of issue or agenda that mass media outlets present to their audience.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since the democratic set up in Nigeria, the media audiences have not been impressed about the ways the media have so far been involves into the 2015 political campaign. In addition, the government bureaucratic policies on the media have not allowed the media audience to really appreciate the performance and effectiveness of the media on this aspect. It is against this background that this study intends to highlight more on the need to beef up media in terms of effective approach in subsequent political campaign in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are to:
1. find out the addictions level of different audience to the types of media during its coverage of the 2015 political campaign.
2. find out the media’s performance during the coverage the 2015 political campaign.
3. find out the extent in which the media have been considered as tools for effective mobilization during the coverage of 2015 political campaign.
4. find out the ratings of both public and private media’s performance in coverage of 2015 political campaign prior to the 2015 general elections.
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions formulated to guide this study are:
1. what was the addiction level of different audiences to the types of media during the coverage of the 2015 political campaign?
2. How did the media perform during the coverage of 2015 political campaign?
3. What extent was the media considered as tools for effective mobilization during the coverage of 2015 political campaign?
4. What was the rating levels allotted to both public and private media’s performance in the coverage of the 2015 political campaign before the general elections?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study is significant because it intends to add more to academic growth that is to say it will be known as a scholarly exercise to both students and the researchers on this subject matter. Secondly, the study intends also to highlight more on the subject matter most especially in the use of media for political campaign during the 2015 general elections. It is agreed that at the end of this research, students of the Department of mass Communication, media experts, management of various media houses shall benefit from this research.