AN ASSESSMENT ON MASS MEDIA AS A TOOL FOR POPULATION CONTROL IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
The study of population is as old as the world itself and the need to study demography or population studies can be over emphasized.
It is phenomenon, which has been critically evaluated and accessed because of its distinct effect on the human race. It is known, every good thing in life will always have shortcoming likening this, despite its numerous advantage in the country, it’s negative implication has always been considered in the disastrous.
In this case, effort is being made by different media to reduce, if not eradicate high population in the country even in the world at large through its information function and fear appeal. High degree of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, congestion among others has been identifies to be the end product of population. Considering these factors, it is however of paramount need to check the impact and effect of mass media on the population and it’s control.
The roles of mass media used considering the social class of the audience in the society. traditionally, the mass media has 3 distinctive roles. These are the information, education and entertainment function.
The information is the basic of all and their duties is to provide truth and reliable information to that, which occur in their jurisdiction as it has been proved that people are more interested in event that happens in their immediate environment they lived in the outside world.
Constitutionally, in the chapter 2, section 22 of the 1999 Nigeria constitution, titled obligation of the press. The duty of the media is purely explained;
“the press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media shall at all times be-free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people”
However, in Nigeria several attempts has being made to fight against population because of its implicating effect. Even the country has been collaboratory with various foreign bodies to reduce, if not eradicating population in the world at large. In my personal point of view, I believe this phenomenon is a gradual process it can’t just be eliminated instaneously that population but gradually. Once can critically analyze this that population is not a thing that just happen in a day or a year and the process of stopping or preventing it will also take some time.
Several programmes have been innovated to control but none of its yield positive result, instead of eliminating the people, family in the nations population otherwise the world’s population for instance, if every couple agree to adopt the family planning programme as a control to population, the number of offspring to be produce will be minimal otherwise stabilizing the nation population aid the world at large
In addition, the claim put forward by the population controller was that the population of the world is increasing at a geometric rate while the resources are increasing at the arithmetic rate which means that, if not checked, the resources of the world will one day be excluded and the increase in population will possibly lead to low standard of living of the people. To support this point, Cornell university professor disclosed this “Total population should not be move than 2 billion rather than the present 5.6 billion of today” but in this study one will conclude that for this to be achieved different countries most especially America and some parts of Africa needs to be analyzed.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the fact that it is the media that meditate for the world as a determinant, that dictate how people view things, it has been observed to treating only one side of this burning issue “population control” of which is of urgent national development for developing nations like Nigeria.
Though the mass media different program types; campaigns, announcement, have been able to change the perception of most people in the world at large about the basic need for population control.
In 1790, a Venetian Monk, Giamana Ortis, concluded that human population growth could not continue indefinitely. The debate about human numbers remained academic, however, until the 1950s, when a surge in population, occurred as a result of the comparative pace and prosperity following world war II.
Rapid population growth has several economic consequences. It requires heavier investment in education, health and transport merely to maintain these services at their previous level; yet the working population has a higher burden of dependence to support, making both individual and national saving more difficult. Although population growth s not the only problem dividing rich and poor countries, it is one important variable that has widened the gap in growth in per capital income between developed and developing nations. Advocates of population control see it as means to prevent the personal and social pressures that result from rapid population growth,
In this regard a lot of measure ought to be in place by various organs of the mass media in the agitation for population control, such patient questions include whether:
Mass media informative role have any effect on population control.
Mass media instruments have effect on population control
Mass media communication appeal to the public on population control.
Do mass media have any negative effect on population control.1.3 Purpose of the Study