SOCIAL MEDIA AS EMERGING TOOLS FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN NIGERIA
(A study of 2015 Presidential Election)
The study examined the influence of social media as emerging tool for political participation in Nigeria. (A study of 2015 Presidential Election). The emergency and proliferation of social media otherwise known as citizen media has reshaped political education and mobilization in Nigeria. It offers platform for political debates, cyber activism, political campaign and political mobilization. Survey research method was used coupled with 300 copies of questionnaires that were administered to the three tertiary institutions from Ogun state i.e Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Babcock University,, Ileshan and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere. This political dispensation, political office holders, politicians, including president and governors now have and manage social media account such as facebook, twitter, Instagram among others. Political leaders and political candidate now share their political agenda and mobilize people towards it propagation. It is recommended that, social media can be improved to enhance better public mobilization, sensitization and true democracy in Nigeria through citizen sensitization programmes, registration that involve national identity card.
IMPACT OF BILLBOARD POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS ON THE ELECTORATE VOTING BEHAVIOUR IN THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTION IN OSUN STATE
The study is on the thrust to examine the impact of billboard political campaigns on the electorate voting behaviour in the 2015 general election in Osun State. Billboard as one of the outdoor media was extensively used in the just concluded 2015 presidential election in Osun state with direct communication, persuasion, mobilization and influence on voters. Electorates have direct knowledge of contested candidates aspiring for elective positions, party and manifestoes. Survey research method was used and three hundred (300) respondents were drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state. One hundred (100) respondents were selected each from Osun Central, Osun West and Osun East Senatorial Districts respectively using non-probability sampling technique (accidental sampling method) in selecting respondents. However, two hundred and eighty seven (287) copies of questionnaires were returned out of the 300 copies that were administered which were analysed and interpreted using frequency, percentage and table. It was inferred that billboard cached and arrested voters’ attentions easily due to its permanency and interpersonal nature. It was recommended that political billboard should be strategically located in such as manner that it will not destruct environment while the billboard should be well erected to withstand winds and other environmental factor that can put it down untimely.
ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN ELECTORAL PROCESS AND COVERAGE OF POLITICAL PARTIES ACTIVITIES IN 2015 ELECTION
The study is geared toward finding out the role of mass media in electoral process and coverage of political parties activities in 2015 elections with reference to four media houses and four political parties i.e Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Gold 95.5 F.M, Ilesa, Osun Defender Newspaper and Nigerian Tribune Newspaper. Political parties include: All Progressive Congress (APC), People’ Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and Accord Party (AP). It is revealed that the role and contribution of media in political awareness, mobilization, education and in the entire political development especially during election cannot be overemphasized. Survey research method was adopted in which 200 copies of questionnaires were administered and 180 were returned. Respondents were drawn using probability and non-probability technique. Also, the data were analysed and interpreted using table, frequency and percentage method. However, the sustainability of the democracy through public mobilization rest on the shoulder of the forth estate of the realm (media) which is achieved through media social responsibility and constitutional role. Similarly, most of the people in Osun state are affiliated to All Progress Congress and Peoples’ Democratic Party with majority of them participate in politics serving different roles as voters, party agents, pressmen, and election observers. It is recommended that journalist should try as much as they can to be fair in their news coverage so as to give equal coverage to all political parties.
ROLE OF RADIO IN MOBILIZING ELECTORATE FOR THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTION
The study examines the role of radio in mobilizing electorates for the 2015 general elections with a particular focus on Ogbia Local Government of Balyesa. Several efforts and empirical research have shown that mass media most especially radio plays a significant role in educating, enlightening, sensitizing and general mobilization of electorate for political development. Radio is the most effective channels of political education because it offers signal to every nooks and crannies of society and it is very rich in educating, enlightening, mobilizing the electorates for political participation. Survey research method was adopted coupled with 100 copies of questionnaire that were printed and administered to the respondents within Ogbia Local Government of Balyesa and out of 100 copies that were administered 90 copies were returned. Therefore, the data were analyzed by using table, frequency and percentage method. It is recommended that journalists should see their role in community especially during election as vital which they must not toy with while government should provide more freedom and security for the press to act without fair or favour.
INFLUENCE OF SMS POLITICAL ADVERTISING (MESSAGES) ON VOTING PATTERN OF ELECTORATES IN THE 2015 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN ABIA STATE.
The research is carried out on the thrust to examine the influence of SMS political advertising (messages) on voting pattern of electorates in the 2015 Governorship election in Abia State. Short Message Service otherwise known as SMS play a crucial role in political mobilization, political awareness and in influencing the voting behaviour of electorate as it was tested during the 2014 governorship election in both Ekiti and Osun State that is why it was also used in Abia State gubernatorial election. Survey research method was adopted coupled with 300 copies of questionnaire that were administered to the electorate to find out whether they receive any sms that associate with politics during 2015 gubernatorial elections in Abia State and the how it influenced them. Out of 300 copies that were administered, 289 copies were returned upon which analysis was based. Frequency and simple percentage method coupled with table were used in analyzing the data. It is recommended that political parties, politicians, INEC and other stakeholders like National Orientation Agency etc should keep in touch with voters individually by sending SMS to them either to canvas for vote or to educate them on political conduct and in an attempt to get text messages across to the electorate, they can get the data of this demographic group from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) data base with the new SIM registration phenomenon, this should not be a difficult task.
ROLE OF RADIO IN MOBILIZING ELECTORATES TOWARDS PARTICIPATING IN 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS
(Appraisal of Residents of Osun State and GOLD FM, UNIQUE F.M and OSBC)
The research focused on the role of radio in mobilizing electorates towards participating in 2015 general elections. Without doubt mass media particularly radio plays a very prominent role in political and socio-economic development of society. Because of the accessibility of radio signal in every nooks and crannies of society it is very rich in educating, enlightening, mobilizing the electorates for political participation. Survey research method coupled with 150 copies of questionnaire that were printed and administered to the respondents in each of the radio station (GOLD FM, UNIQUE F.M and OSBC) and the people of Osun State in which 130 copies were returned. The data were analyzed using table, frequency and percentage method. It is recommended that there should be more radio to serve different taste and language and radio should be free from few influential politicians to avoid turning the media into tools of propaganda.
ROLE OF TELEVISION IN ELECTORAL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
The research was geared towards examining the role of television in electoral education in Nigeria with a particular focus on OSBC and NTA Osogbo and electorates in the 2014 governorship election in Osun state. Without doubt television plays a very prominent role in political and socio-economic development of society. The power of television lies in its ability to transmit in audiovisual signal. It is very rich in educating, enlightening, mobilizing the electorates for political participation. Electorate can easily understand any political information such as how to vote, how to dress at the polling unit, how to using PVC readers among other things. Survey research method coupled with 150 copies of questionnaire were printed and administered to the respondents in their areas. The data were analyzed using table, frequency and percentage method. It was recommended that there should be more television stations especially in rural areas to serve different taste and language.
CHALLENGES OF TELEVISION BROADCASTING IN A DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION
(A case study of NTA, Jos)
The research project was set out to examine the challenges of television broadcasting in a democratic dispensation with a case study of NTA, Jos. It is observed that access to government information is more visible under democratic administration than during military which prohibit press from accessing government information and as a result of this; press is able to exercise its constitutional role as stated in chapter 2 sections 22 of the 1999 constitution. The researcher adopted survey method and NTA, Jos was selected as a case study while simple random sampling technique was also adopted in selecting respondents. Also, the frequency and percentage method of data analysis was used. It is clear that NTA and other press are able to criticize the government under democratic government. Press has no access to government information under democracy. It is recommended that media houses and media associations should organize workshops and seminars for their staff on how to make use of the new freedom of information law (FOI) in shaping the practice of journalism in this democratic era.
NEWSPAPERS REPORTAGE OF FEMALE POLITICIANS AND ASPIRANTS IN THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA : Nigerian Tribune and the Punch newspapers
The research examained the gender sensitivity of the media and their imbalances in the 2015 general election, it is on that assumption that this research examines the Interface Between Media, Women and their Identity Construction in the 2015 General Election which means the level of attention and coverage given to women in politics particularly the female contestants in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. The research was built on the assumption of the Agenda Setting Theory which stated that media may not tell us what to think but may tell us what to thing about. The reserach used content analyses coupled with coding book and 14 content categories to collected secondary data from the Nigerian Tribune newspaper and the Punch newspaper respectively with 90 editions in all. The data collected were analysed using frequency and percentage table method for easy understanding. Findings revealed that newspapers pay less attention to issues sorrounding women particularly the aspirants, contestants, and women political activists as it was evident in the content analsed that no story about women contestants appears in the first and backpages of the all the editions which affected the level at which electorate aware of their manifestoes, position and other things that can make people vote for them. In fact, many electorates did not aware that there was female prediential candidate under KOWA party the person of Ms. Remi Sonaiya. Also, the focus of the Nigerian Newspapers during the elections was majority on the two main political parties i.e the rulling PDP then and the major opposition party APC and none of the stories focuses on the KOWA party that have female presidential candidate meaning that female party were given less attention no wonder women stories accounted for about 1% and none of their stories appears either in the front page or back pages which are major focal parts of the newspaper. It is recommeded that mass media particularly the print media should try to maintain balance in coverage given to all parties and gender. Though personality involve in the stories determines stories sales but nevertheless women or female folks should not be relegated while female journalists are expected to be in the vanguard in fighting for the position of women in politics because if they don’t who will.
INFLUENCE OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGN HATE SPEECH BY FACEBOOK USERS ON VOTERS’ CHOICE FOR THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
This research examines the Influence of Political Campaign Hate Speech by Facebook Users on Voters’ Choice for the 2015 Presidential Candidate. The study was anchored on Source Credibility Theory and Technological Determinism Theory. The theory stated that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how society are operates as we move from one technological age to another (Tribal- Literate- Print- Electronic-Internet). Social media as an emerging tools for political mobilization, organisation, education and political interaction was used to the fullest for the first time in Nigeria politics. The main data collection instrument are questionnaire and interview. The research used qualitative and quantitative method (survey and indepth interview). 200 copies of questionniares were administered to respondents that were purposively selected using frequency and percentage table method with SPSS version 20. It is obvious that many of the respondents come across hate speech online particularly on Facebook. Findings further that many of the hate speech that was trending on facebook at the time of 2015 electioneering campaign dominated by ethnicity and religion. Though, many of them frawn at hate speech in whatever forms. Similarly, many of the respondents did not post hate speech but click like on those post. They also share hate speech. The core factors responsible for hate speech on facebook according to the findings are political benefit, high freedom of speech, weak regulating body and lack of orientation on the part of politicians and electorate. It was submittd that social media will better Nigeria politics as it provide free place to express ideas, view and mobilize electorate. Also, electorate were not influenced by the hate speech. It is recommended that political terrain of Nigeria demands lots of adjustment and formulation of law to guide against the abusive of social media in the future election.
MEDIA ETHICS AND THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: A STUDY OF AIT (NBC CODE)
BREACH OF MEDIA ETHICS AND THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: APPRAISAL OF AIT
Ethics of journalism compel journalists and media houses to be objective, accurate and fairness in their reportage. Also, during electioneering processes all political parties need to be given equal attention and publicity without any tone of fear or favour. This is a cardinal principle that guides the operation of journalism world over.
Tuchman (1978:2) cited in Kate, A. O. and Majority, O. (2013) describes objectivity as `facility’ (a mechanism which allows the journalists to hide even from themselves the `constructed’ and `partial’ nature of their stories). This view seems to have garnered force as increasingly, scholars suggest that news even when professionally `selected’ is guided more by organizational needs than by professionalism.
In 2015 Presidential Election, the core ethical standards of journalism were eroded and traded in exchange for political benefits from concern political parties by some media organizations. Although, some serious minded media organization adhered strictly to the ethical principles of their profession in the face of growing abuse of journalistic etiquette.
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It is against this backdrop, that the research examines media ethics as it was demonstrated among the media organisations in the 2015 Presidential Election with a particular focus on AIT and NBC code of conducts with a view to finding out the degree of ethical application by the broadcast media houses in terms of their reportage and the extent at which AIT and some broadcast media have violated the code.
IMPACT OF FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND YOUTUBE AS AN EMERGING MEDIA OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION IN THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA
The study basically examined the impact of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as an emerging media of political communication in the 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria. The emergency and proliferation of social media otherwise known as citizen media in this digital era have revolutionalised the socio- economic and particularly political development of Nigeria. It offers platform for political debates, political campaign and political mobilization. Survey research method was adopted in which data were collected among Bingham University students using questionnaire. Four hundred (400) questionnaires were distributed, out of which, three hundred and sixty (360) copies were retrieved and analysed. Findings show that many of the respondents maintained that, they participated in the 2015 election while they also search and participated in political debate and discussions on social media before, during and after the election with many served as voters during the 2015 elections. In the same vein, social networking usage during the election was very high for the first time in Nigeria political history, no wonder many submitted that their participation in the election was as a result of the online discussion platform such as facebook and twitters. Similarly, lots of respondents were busy reading and commenting on political matters during the 2015 electioneering period, they also, optimistic that the future of social media in election is very bright in Nigeria and some of the element that need to correct in future use of social media for elections include but not limited to “name calling” and “posting of unverified information or result during election”. It is recommended that social media should be improved to enhance better public mobilization, sensitization and true democracy in Nigeria through citizen sensitization programmes.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND VOTING PATTERN OF YOUTH: A STUDY OF 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN FCT
This research looked at the social media and voting pattern of youth in 2015 presidential election in FCT, Abuja. The study was anchored on Technological Determinism Theory by Marshall Mcluhan (1962). The theory stated that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how society are operates as we move from one technological age to another (Tribal- Literate- Print- Electronic-Internet). Social media as an emerging tools for political mobilization, organisation, education and political interaction was used to the fullest for the first time in Nigeria politics. The research used quantitative method (survey) coupled with 100 copies of questionniares as a data collection instrument in eliciting data from the respondents that were selected using multi-stage sampling to draw respondents from Gwagwalada Area Council. The data collected were analysed using Descriptive Statistics (frequency and percentage method). Findings show that (81.1%) have access to social media platforms with Facebook, Twitter and Youtube topped the list of social media visited regularly. Also, voting choice of electorates during 2015 presidential election was influenced by the social media partially and lots of respondents were busy using social media for one activities or the other ranging from getting exposed to political campaign, reading and commenting on political matters etc and it is very obvious that the future of social media for electioneering is bright if the challenges sported such as poor internet access, source credibility, low level of the literates, poverty, abuse of social media among others could be corrected. It is therefore, recommended that political office holders, those who loss and politcial parties should keep maintaing their online fans, followers and keep relating with them, seek their opinions on matters, know how they are feeling etc. Don’t wait until another election.
ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NEWSPAPER AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR POLITICAL EDUCATION
The essence of this study is to appraise the relevance of the print media as a tool for political education in governorship election in Lagos state. The survey method was adopted to generate the needed data while 120 copies of questionnaires were printed and administered to 120 respondents who were selected using purposive sampling method within the three senatorial districts in Lagos state. The data analysis and interpretations of findings was based on simple statistics of frequency and percentage method coupled with table. The study revealed that print media played a unique role in governorship election in Lagos State on various political matters ranging from how to participate in politics, how to register during voters; how to cast their votes on election day and what to do and say after election e. t. c. the research recommends that newspapers should be free from few influential politicians to avoid turning the paper into tools of propaganda.
INFLUENCE OF DRTV ON THE VOTING PATTERN OF ASABA RESIDENTS IN THE 2015 ELECTION
The core objective of this research is to examine the influence of DRTV on the voting pattern of Asaba residents particularly in the 2015 Election. It is observed that television plays a very crucial role in Nigeria political process and development. Through television programmes and other activities, electorate and other stakeholders were enlightened, mobilized and participated. It was through the television political information such as voting method, how to dress at the polling unit, how to use PVC readers among other things. Quantitative research design was used in which cross-sectional survey method was adopted while the data collection instrument was questionnaire. 150 copies of questionnaire were printed and distributed to the respondents within DRTV areas. The data were analyzed using table, frequency and percentage method. Findings have shown that the role of (TV) mass media in political activities particularly in mobilizing and educating electorate cannot be over emphasized. Mass media especially radio provides avenue for the illiterate citizen to get information about political activities. It was recommended that television stations should as a matter of necessity ensure objectivity in their report and create platform for political discussion.
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