ABSTRACT: There is a common saying with regards to mass media control in Nigeria and elsewhere, which has become a cliché, that “He who pays the piper dictates the tune”. This means that the owners of a mass media channel control what the media broadcasts and how it broadcasts it. This research aims at examining the extent to which broadcast media are used as propaganda machinery by the state government using Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) as a case. A cross-sectional survey research method was adopted in this research coupled with a questionnaire as a research instrument. Frequency and percentage of data analysis were used in analyzing the collected data. Opposition groups do not have access to state broadcasting media in terms of covering their activities and programmes, especially during the electioneering period. Also, it was established that state government involvement in censoring the contents and outputs of the state broadcast media is high. Similarly, many of the respondents preferred private broadcast media to state broadcasting programmes because Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) is not friendly to the state government’s opposition groups. It is recommended that journalists working in state government-owned media stations should realize that they are serving the public and not the state chief executive alone, and so must pay adequate attention to the social responsibility principle of the press while state government should always press professionals to do their job without fair or sanction.
Keywords: Propaganda Machinery
Table of Contents
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 3
1.3 Objectives of Study 4
1.4 Research Questions 5
1.5 Significance of the Study 5
1.6 Scope of Study 5
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms 6
CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review
2.1 Conceptual Review
2.2 Empirical Framework 7
2.3 Theoretical Framework 24
CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology
3.1 Research Design 26
3.2 Research Method 26
3.3 Study Population 27
3.4 Sample Size 27
3.5 Sampling Technique 27
3.6 Administration of Data Collection Instrument 27
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument 27
3.8 Data Collection Instrument 28
3.9 Data Analysis Method 28
4.0 Data Analysis and Presentation 29
4.1 Data Analysis 29
4.2 Demography of the Participants 29
4.3 Discussion of Findings 39
5.0 Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations 40
5.1 Summary 41
5.2 Conclusion 41
5.3 Recommendations 41
1.1 Background to the Study
There is a common saying with regard to mass media control in Nigeria and elsewhere, which has become a cliché, that “He who pays the piper dictates the tune”. This means that the owners of a mass media channel control what the medium broadcasts and how it broadcasts it. Independent press cannot exist and the news organs are agents of the people who exercise political and economic control. No matter the benevolence of the government, no matter the democratic principles of the society and no matter the advancement of any society, the mass media are usually subjected to some form of control from those who hold and operate the apparatus of power (Andrew (2009).
Ownership is a critical factor for the content of any medium, this implies that there is a connection between ownership, the content, and the nature of a medium. The nature of ownership itself is determined by the character of the owner, his interests, and the vision he has for the medium. Ebeze, (2003) writes that propaganda is not composed of lies and tale stories. It operates with many different kinds of truth, half-truths, limited truths, and truths out of context.
Propaganda operates mainly through the process of public communication, but its principal vehicle in news. State governors or their agents often manipulate their broadcast media audiences through propaganda news. In realization of the fact that “the media shape how the public thinks” state governments in Nigeria use propaganda machinery to its fullest negative level.
However, broadcast media which include radio and television, are powerful tools used by governments to disseminate information, shape public opinion, and influence political outcomes. In Nigeria, the broadcast media has historically been used as propaganda machinery by state governments to control the narrative and manipulate public perception. This study explores the ways in which state governments in Nigeria use the broadcast media as propaganda machinery and the impact of this on democracy and governance in the country.
The Nigerian constitution guarantees press freedom and freedom of expression, but state governments have found ways to control the broadcast media within their jurisdiction. One of the most common ways they do this is by establishing state-owned radio and television stations that are directly controlled by the government. These stations are used to broadcast government propaganda and promote the ruling party’s agenda (Umaru, 2017).
For example, in 2018, the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) sanctioned Ekiti State Broadcasting Service for airing a live broadcast by the governor of the state, which NBC considered to be promoting the opposition party’s agenda. The sanction was seen as an attempt to silence opposition voices and control the narrative (Adesina, 2018).
The use of the broadcast media as propaganda machinery by state governments in Nigeria is aimed at manipulating public perception and controlling the narrative. State-owned radio and television stations are used to promote government policies and programmes, while opposition voices are silenced or marginalized.
The impact of this on democracy and governance in the country cannot be overstated. When the broadcast media is used as a tool for propaganda, it undermines the democratic process and erodes the trust of the people in the government. Moreover, it limits the ability of the media to hold the government accountable and to serve as a watchdog for the people.
The use of the broadcast media as propaganda machinery by state governments in Nigeria has a significant impact on civil society. It limits the ability of civil society organizations to operate independently and hold the government accountable. Moreover, it creates an environment of fear and intimidation, which discourages citizens from speaking out against the government (Adejumo, 2019).
By and large, the use of the broadcast media as propaganda machinery by state governments in Nigeria undermines the democratic process and erodes public trust in government institutions. It limits the ability of the media to hold the government accountable and stifles the voices of the opposition. It is essential for the Nigerian government to respect press freedom and freedom of expression and to create an environment that encourages independent journalism and promotes democratic values. It is against this background that the study assesses broadcast media as propaganda machinery with a particular focus on Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This study is out to examine broadcast media as propaganda machinery by the state government. It is a common phenomenon in Nigeria to see the state governments controlling the affairs of broadcast media, especially for political campaigns, elections, news, and programmes. In fact, hardly would the opposition parties can be heard, because of this absolute media control, the attitude of opposition parties and other enlightened citizen is that the state government has turned its broadcast media into an extension of the Ministry of Information meaning that almost every news, programmes, and other current affairs are tailored to praise the state government.
It has great potential in information dissemination, education enlightenment, political socialization, and socio-cultural orientation. Most people form their opinions based on what they learned from the mass media. i.e. media set the agenda for the public. Ebeze (2000:221). Therefore, the problem of this study is that state government control of broadcast media can cause opinion formation, information need, education, and political socialization of those who expose themselves to state broadcast media.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the level of state government involvement in censoring the contents and outputs of OSBC.
- To examine the extent to which journalists working in state government-owned media are given free hands to operate professionally.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the level of the state government involvement in censoring the contents and outputs of OSBC?
- To what extent journalists working in OSBC are given free hands to operate professionally?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study on broadcast media as propaganda machinery holds significant importance due to several reasons:
Understanding Media Influence: It provides insights into the power and influence of broadcast media in shaping public opinion, manipulating information, and controlling narratives. By examining the techniques and strategies employed by propaganda machinery, the study helps uncover the mechanisms through which media can sway public perceptions and beliefs.
Safeguarding Democracy: Investigating the role of broadcast media as propaganda machinery is crucial for safeguarding democratic processes. By understanding how media can be used to manipulate public discourse, decision-making, and political participation, policymakers and society can develop countermeasures to protect democratic values, promote transparency, and ensure an informed citizenry.
Media Literacy Enhancement: The study highlights the importance of media literacy in critically evaluating and interpreting information disseminated by broadcast media. It emphasizes the need for individuals to develop skills to discern biased or misleading content, fostering a more informed and discerning media audience.
Awareness of Manipulation Techniques: By identifying the techniques and strategies employed by a propaganda machinery, the study increases awareness among the general public about the potential manipulation they may encounter in media messages. This knowledge empowers individuals to approach media content critically and reduces susceptibility to manipulation.
Policy Development and Regulation: Findings from the study can inform the development of policies and regulations aimed at promoting ethical journalism, protecting media independence, and countering the negative effects of propaganda machinery. It provides a foundation for creating guidelines and frameworks that balance freedom of expression with responsible media practices. The result of the study will serve as reference material for further studies on the subject matter and it’s related.
Overall, the study on broadcast media as propaganda machinery contributes to a deeper understanding of media’s impact on society and informs efforts to mitigate the negative consequences while preserving the positive aspects of media communication.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research investigates broadcast media as propaganda machinery by the state government. The research has been narrowed down to Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC). Hence, the geographical location is Osun State. The choice of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) is because it is difficult to study all broadcast media in Osun State and Nigeria by extension due to a large number of the state broadcast media, inadequate time for this study, limited resources, and other reasonable logistics.
1.7 Operational Definitions of the Terms
In order to avoid the readers’ misinterpretation of certain words or terms contained in the title of this work, the researcher defined the terms operationally.
Broadcast Media: This refers to Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) located in Osogbo and it is a media owned, financed, and controlled by the Osun state government.
Propaganda: It is any process that the government of Osun state uses to manipulate information and news via its broadcast media to the audiences.
State Government: This is the government of Osun state of Nigeria, with its capital in Osogbo