Abstract: The study investigated the influence of cable television on cultural imperialism focusing Osun State University students. Hence, the theory that gave this study a footing was Cultural Imperialism Theory (CIT). A survey research method with questionnaire was used to elicit data from respondents from among students of Osun State University, Osogbo. Quota sampling technique was used to select the respondents. The data collected were presented using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method) and the date were presented with the aid of tables. Findings show that majority of the respondents exposed to television and they rely on cable television particularly DSTV/GOTV and Startimes Also, viewing habit of the respondents shows that they were moderate television viewers as their watching hours ranged between 30 minutes- 6 hours. Though, many watch television regularly at least 4 times in a week. Respondents have preference for foreign television channels because they believe it meets their gratifications, offers quality of audiovisual, it has rich contents, it entertains and available all time unlike local television stations that close at 10 pm, 11, pm or 1 am. They admitted that they were being exposed to illicit drugs, new sexual behaviour, dressing patterns and they also imitated foreign stars and celebrities. It was recommended that media managers and other stakeholders should improve and enhance the qualities of programmes and equipment used in producing and distributing media contents in this advanced era.
Keywords: CULTURAL IMPERIALISM
1.1 Background to the study
Television being an audio-visual medium has the capacity to influence the attitude, behaviour, thinking and socialization of an individual from childhood to adult stage. The popular assertion Seeing is believing makes television messages more accepted, persuasive and very influential. Television is used for several reasons including information, education, entertainment, and persuasion. Unlike other media structures, television has the advantage of utilizing vision for mass communication. Programming remains a key instrument for attracting audience and determining the viability of a station. (Koblowe and Oluchi, 2010).
Television technology is developing rapidly and impacting diverse strata of the population. It is a socializing agent as information transmitted can easily affect consumers worldview, perception and behaviour. It exposes people to opinions that challenge traditional ethos. Television has thus become a major source of information acquisition, companionship and a relaxation tool as it provides millions with free leisure strategies and opportunities. (Koblowe and Oluchi, 2010).
Also, advancement in technology has provided platform for the emergency of cable television, internet, home video and others which have created influx of foreign programmes on the developing nations, because information takes the downward direction i.e from Western nations to developing and under developed nations which Nigeria is inclusive
However, with the shrinking of the world into a global village through the increasing sophistication of communication technologies, the local media in developing nations are brought under fierce competition for local audience by the global media. The local audiences especially in developing nations are transformed into a global audience who find it difficult to leave the production quality and variety of programme contents presented by cable television channels and watch local channels.
Another bottleneck or challenge is that, African leaders did not help the matter in the sense that, going by the events heralding the burial of the late South Africa leader, Nelson Mandela, preference was accorded all the Western/foreign media such as CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera and the likes, over the local news media coming from other parts of Africa, one of which is TVC News, a PAN African station based in Lagos Nigeria (Adekanye, 2014). Most of these foreign media correspondents were allowed entry into the main venue of the various centre used for the burial of the late icon, while most, if not all other news agencies having African origin were shot out, and allowed to make do with scanty reports they could possibly grab or gather from around the South Africa venues.
It should be noted that cable television particularly DSTV offers multiple stations mostly foreign that are dominated by western values and cultures in terms of contents. These stations influence Nigerians audience in several ways because they come with alien cultural traits.
Also, as a result of this, the viewers are bombarded with programmes that tend to wash away local values thus making violence, illicit sex, drug abuse, indecent dressing, low rich content music, that is locally abhorred to become part of our heritage. Imagine a situation where a father and or a mother will help the son, and, or daughter to cage a kidnap victim; that is to show that Western materialistic ideology has eroded our consciousness as brothers keepers.
Idorenyin and Innocent (2012). Further that with globalization, viewers should have indigenous alternatives. But when the local producers imitate the western counterparts, the programmes become shabby. That makes the audience develop appetite for the palatable Western oriented programmes. At the end of the day anything short of violent portrayals as a result of pursuit, acquisition and protection of material things is not acceptable. While the local cultural values dwindle, the Western aspects thrive cultural imperialism. Thus, it shows how Nigeria television has become advocate of western culture including violent behaviours (Idorenyin and Innocent, 2012).
To this end, the research examines how cable television has brought about cultural imperialism on Nigerians with a study of viewership pattern among Osun State University Osogbo students and ways it influence their socio-cultural, education and other dominant values.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Most of these foreign programmes are irrelevant to the needs of the developing nations, they convert these nations into dumping grounds and erode cultural values of Nigeria in order to make extra revenues from the foreign sales of these programmes, and this will only discourage domestic programme production in all the developing nations.
Some other problems include but not limited to inadequate policy to guard the youths towards foreign/western television programmes, there is an erosion of the cultural values otherwise known as cultural imperialism. The imitation of Western cultures especially the American cultures and the Nigerian youths are being brain washed.
It is against this background that the study examines how cable television has brought about cultural imperialism on Nigerians with a study of viewership pattern among Osun State University Osogbo students and ways it influence their socio-cultural, education and other dominant values.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
i. To examine whether students of Osun State University are exposed to channels on cable television.
ii. To examine the factor(s) influencing the decision of UNIOSUN students in watching cable television stations.
1.4 Research Questions
i. To what extent are students of Osun State University exposed to cable television?
ii. What are the factors influencing the decision of UNIOSUN students in watching cable television channels?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study of this nature will benefit lots individuals, government and other organization. Basically, the study will enable government and policy makers to put adequate measures in place to check the movement of Western television programmes into Nigeria.
It will help remove the idea of imitating Western cultures or ways of life among Nigerians especially students who prefer foreign ideologies to Nigeria or anything black.
The conduct of this research will enable the government to know what role the media can play in the development of a country and therefore, harness the mass media especially Tv in the democratic process and development process in general.
Government through its agencies such as National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) that are saddled with the responsibility to ensure fairness and policing of media should put adequate measures in place to check the movement of foreign television programmes into Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which invesigaed the influence of cable television on cultural imperialism was narrowed in scope to the students of Osun State University, Osogbo since all Nigerian students cannot be studied. Other factors for selecting UNIOSUN include its proximity to the researcher while such cable television influence is noticed among the students of UNIOSUN.
Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will be studied before the administration of research instrument such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c.
1.7 Operational Definitions Of Terms.
Viewership: This refers to the students of UNIOSUN Osogbo who are exposed to cable television stations.
Cable TV: These are television stations that are broadcasting in western nations with western contents such as BBC, CNN, Al-Jazzera, among others usually available on DSTV.
Local television: These are set of television stations that are locally produced in Nigeria. Better called indigenous televisions such as NTA, AIT, Rivers State Television e.t.c
Cultural Imperialism: It is the practice through media contents in promoting and imposing a culture, usually of politically powerful nations like USA over less potent societies like Nigeria.
“INFLUENCE OF CABLE TELEVISION ON CULTURAL IMPERIALISM“
WHAT TO EXPECT: (Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)