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THE IMPACT OF THE PRESS IN SHAPING NIGERIAN POLITICAL STRUCTURE (A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU STATE)

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

        The Nigerian press has been a vital instrument for dissemination of governments policy and news for opinion leaders and decision makers within a political structure as well as the general public. Those in decision making body who are not able to come in contact with international; communities for the foreign policy rely on the pr4ess or such issue.

         The press therefore stands as a link between the government and the public, the old and new era of administration etc.

          A regime tat newly arrives into power can hold its predecessors capable for some economic an political problems through the press. Such regime also users the press to communicate its record in implementing popular project, compares its record in funding popular service with he part regime and reminds the public of the oppression they received form the oppression they received form the opposition. All these analysis hinges on the fact that the press is a veritable channel through which the government bares its mind to the public.

        This chapter surveys a segment of the series of related national policy decision made byNigeriain the period of British imperialism to the present political dispensation.

        Nigeria come into existence as on in 1914 when Lord Fredrick Luggard first government general, amalgam prior to this period, the quality and the quantity of the press coverage towards agitation for self-rule formed the general of the press roe in shaping Nigeria political structure. To substantiate our points, mention should be made of the first newspaper in the country. Iweiroyin established in 1859 atAbeokutaby an Anglican Reverend, Henry Townsend. This paper combined social, cultural and political commentary with religious reporting with an effort to reach large commentary with religious reporting with an effect to reach large native readership. In similar dimensionm, he participation of Anglo African by Robert Campbell in laying the foundation far press involvement in shapingNigeriapolitical structure cannot be far fetched. All these are clear testimony to the fact that the activities of the press inNigeriapolitical structure are as old asNigeriaitself.

       In the view of this, the press as the survey of information should be held in high esteem by all and sundry.

        In the institution of the press, the media must be regulated and guided accordingly especially in this democratic dispensation by guarantee the dudicious discharge of their function. To achieve this, the press council must be given the appropriate legal status to punish any erring media activities during election period. This is to present them from becoming political tools to the determinent of the concept of fair play in the election period.

       Until 1930, the government had no control of the press ownership. This period saw the emergency of political parties and the begging of creating mass awareness in political matters. The return of 21k form gold coast nowGhanagerminated the seed of private press ownership. Realizing the impact of the press in political mobilization. He established he 21k press limited publisher of the west African pilot in 1937. Other political parties that emerged also used one newspaper or the other as political tool by which they create awareness for their parties.

        However as time goes on the government started to interfere in the activities of the press through licensing, pre and post censorship etc. and this affected the quality f coverage the press have in stock on political matters. As journalist and media work kill like to risk its life or Job, they started succumbing to the tunes and dictates of the government.

     Not withstanding the oppression form the government the press no doubt facilitated in creating political awareness in rural areas. Not only this, it strikes to educate individuals  on political participation and interpret it to those who are ignorant of the political activities in the country.

 1.2   PROBLM ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUBJECT MATTER.

  The genesis ofNigeriapress via the establishment of the  first newspaper Iwe Iroyin by Henry Townsend in 1959 indicates thatNigeriapress was born in freedom, the objective of the newspaper which includes getting  people to  read and cultivate the habit of reading left a blue print in the annals ofNigeriapolitical structures.

    The statement of the problem therefore includes the following:-

  1. The role of the press in political mobilization
  2. The impact of the press in creating political awareness to rural dwellers.
  3. The awareness created by the press in political matters.
  4. The quality of coverage the press carries out on political matters.
  5. The enlightenment programme of the press on the need for political participation.
  6. The position of the press in disseminating political information the resident inEnuguState.

 1.3             PROBLEM THAT THE STUDY WILL BE CONCERENED WITH

  The objectives in mind for the thing includes the following                

  1. To enquire into the impact of the press in creating political awareness to residents inEnuguState.
  2. To ascertain the role of the press in political mobilization.
  3. To find out the impact of the enlightenment programme of the press on the need for political participation.
  4. To find out the impact of the enlightenment programme of the press on the need for political participation.
  5. To know the consequences of the press effort on creating awareness to rural dwellers on the issues of political importance’s.
  6.  To find out the quality of press coverage on political issues.
  7. To find out the position of the press in disseminating political information for the people inEnuguState.

 1.4   THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING THE AREA

         The study is significant owing to the following reasons. In the first place, the study will serve as a viable reference work to our political celebrities in the discharge of he political activities. That is to say, it will enable them to assimilate the impact the press have in arousing and creating political awareness for their political parties. It will also motivate them on the need o contract the service of the press before and during election period.

      In a similar token, the study will equally help opinion leader and policy makes to bear in mind that the press stand as their go-between with the international communities for design policy and other issues in the formulation of the policy.

          Political science students with the administration students will no doubt find this study consistence and imperative in their various field. This is because it is uniform to their profession and line of education. Realizing this importance of the study, it will also help students to understand that the press in an indispensable instrument in political activities. And as this study centers on the impact of the press in shaping Nigerian political structure usingEnuguStateas a case study. It help students and political enstuaisiast alike to have a bird eye view on how political juggernanats form the old eastern region used the press extensively as a weapon to extricate Nigeria form the claws f British imperialism in 1960.

             Particularly, the study will enable business administration and management students to note that their field

 of study requires balance, objectively on the other hand, the study will help political science students on how to cultivate affable relationship with the press and the masses during election period.

          To a large extent, the study will service as kneader that directs both the state and federal government in planning their programmes for the press. Succinctly put, it will help them to articulate their right and privilege of the press in political matters so that they (the press) will not be intimidated and tramped upon in reporting some government activities. In addition to this the study will also inspire the government on the need to engage the service of the press disseminating government and political programmes to the people and the correlation of the opinion of the people in government on these programmes.

          The study goes afar to serve as a reservoir for pestering se of the press in shapingNigeriapolitical structure. That is to say, the study helps to pressure information for generation to come on how the press fared in uplifting the image of Nigerian political structure.

         Finally, the study is also of prime importance to media houses that are griped with fear of possible oppression for reporting political matters to the public. It will simply erase their cowardice. In reporting political matters to the public and also in bile them to blaze the trail in reporting any political activities of the government, which is their sole responsibility.

 1.5     DEFINITION OF IMPORTANT TERMS

         CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITION

  The following conceptual and operation definitions and assigned as in the study.

1. The press, connectional definition

     The press can conceptually be defined as the carrier of news and information about an issue, people, averts etc.

 OPERATIONAL DEFINITON

The press operationally can be defined as a group of newspaper, magazines, and radio workers (journalist) who report and issue, event happening etc that affect the life of people.

ii. REPORT, CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION

          Report can conceptually be definition as the account and statement about something heard, seen and done etc.

 OPERATION DEFINTION

Operational report can be defined as the communication of new about people issue events etc through print and electronic media.

  REFERENCE

Agbo, I.O (1995)  Certificate government for colleges and  Polytechnics Enugu, J.FC publishers.

Akpature and crowther (1996)  NigeriaA modern history For schools London, faber and faber publisher.

Elias, T.O (1980)Nigeriapress law,London CambridgeUniversitypress.

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