ABSTRACT: The study analyze radio stations as instrument for social change with a particular focus on RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM respectively. It serves as an agent of social change in Osogbo and its environs. The study was anchored on Social responsibility media theory and development media. A survey research method was used to select respondents within Osogbo and its environs. The study employed non-probability sampling technique to select two hundred and fifty (250) respondents within RAVE 91.7 Fm and Gold 95.5 FM). The data collection instrument used in collecting data is questionnaire. Out of 250 copies, 238 copies were returned while only 226 copies were correctly filled which is representing 90% response rate. The data is analyzed in frequency and percentage. Findings show that lots of people in Osogbo and Its environs (47%) often listen to RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM in their respective locations. The duo stations are regarded credible in airing programmes on social change, community development issues, health matters, educational matters and entertainment which are some of the issues that has gain popularity on the station. However, it is recommended among others that Journalists should be trained and retrained on the social responsibility role expected from them.
Keywords: Social Change
1.1 Background to the Study
Since the first appearance of radio in the world and Nigeria in particular through BBC rediffusion, to the establishment of federal radio corporation, state radio and to the time of broadcasting media privatization in 1992 through Decree 38 and up till date radio remain a valuable instrument for social mobilisation, platform for education and social change while it also play a major role in political awareness among other role. In fact, radio still has the larger percentage of audience if compared to the television, newspaper, magazine even the internet because of its flexibility since it appeals only to the audience sense of hearing meaning, portable, mobile, simple to operate, it cost less among other features. No wonder radio can be enjoyed in the car, bus, farm, village, sitting room, bed room, office etc.
Radio by definition is an electronic device that uses electromagnetic wave for the transmission of messages, information, communication and it possesses some attributes which place it upon the television broadcasting and other mass media (Oyekanmi, 2008). Radio gives voice to the less previledged and it offers forum for dialogue between communities and government. Radio takes up this responsibility and ensures vulnerable groups in society are included and represented in their programme.
Community radio stations educate, sensitize and inform these local audiences about issues that affect their lives: health, education, water, human rights, etc. This way, radio is a genuine tool for local development (Abiola, 2010). Community radio station is where programmes are transmitted to a large and heterogeneous audience. The programmes being transmitted are always in the interest of the community. Mass media particularly radio have been a major agent of socialization and tools for social changes especially now that people depend on message from mass media. The potential power of the mass media to help solve social problems, propagate cultural values and social norms among others makes it suitable source of information in the society.
On the other hand, social change is the reorganization of society in terms of time and place, adding that, it is when a mode or fashion is either modified or replacing previous one in the life of individuals or in society (Umar, 2012). Horton and Hunt (2001) define it as a change in overall societal structure and relationship of a society. Social change is the alternation or modification that takes place in a social structure or function of a society. It is the change in both material and non-material culture.
Social change equally refers to as an alteration in the social order of a society. Social change may include changes in nature, social institutions, social behaviours, or social relations (Cliffs, 2017). However, there are complete Change, Partial Changes, Revolutionary Change and Evolutionary Change. All these can be influenced by the media through its various programmes and activities. It is against this background that the study examines analysing radio stations as instrument for social change with a focus on RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
People formed different attitude and opinion about broadcast media influence through its messages, programme and activities based on their social, educational, religion, ethnics and political affiliations Broadcast media like other media disseminates information to the public can impact positively or negatively but for the local radio to be able to carry out its duties effectively and successful it has to be socially responsible to the community where it situate and coverage areas in general by way of promoting activities that is of important to them. From the above statement, the following are the problems the researcher looked into; the inability of the most broadcast media to be able to cut through barriers of illiteracy.
Most media outlets particularly radio focus less on rural dwellers (cultural, agriculture and other rural oriented news) simply because they feel that knowing happenings in rural area is of less important to the radio audience in the city where most of the revenue of the station comes from. Also, advancement in modern technology which has resulted to the use of gsm, social media among others have made many including rural dweller to prefer spending their time chatting, gossiping, dating, sharing of ideas online rather than paying attention to radio news while many now have access to online.
To this end, the research analysing radio stations as instrument for social change with a particcular focus on RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM; with the view to know the extent which radio has brought positive change to the live of the people.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
i. To examine the extent at which RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM serves as an agent of social change in Osogbo and its environs.
ii. To ascertain whether RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM educates and create adequate awareness on various community development issues in Osogbo and its environs.
1.4 Research Questions
i. To what extent have RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM serve as an agent of social change in Osogbo and its environs?
ii. Do RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM educate and create adequate awareness on various community development issues in Osogbo and its environs?
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is expected that at the end of this study, it will update knowledge within the framework of the study. Particularly, it will assist people’s views on the usefulness of mass media in general development, mobilization and creating awareness among people. Media practitioners will also gain from the research findings as it will expose them to what responsibilities media are to play in society.
This study, hopefully will help to identify the roles played by the mass media especially radio as an agent of social development in Nigeria. This study also intends to help in determining whether the programmes, news, features and commentaries of radio and television have any effect on their audience.
The solutions and recommendations that were made after this study, it contributes to the growth and development of broadcast media as a powerful instrument for cultural heritage and socio cultural. It will also serve as reference materials for future researchers who may want to expand or explore on study relating to this work.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which analyze radio stations as instrument for social change was narrowed in scope to RAVE 91.7 FM and Gold 95.5 FM particularly on the listeners in Osogbo and its environs due to the proximity to the researcher. The study took place between June 2019 to January 2020.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The terms are conceptual because they are suitable for the research:
Local Radio Station: It refers to radio broadcasting medium that disseminate information (news, entertainment etc) to the residences of Osogbo and its environs.
Instrument: This means the community radio as a tool used for educating and create social change among the people of Osogbo and its environs.
Community Education: This entails all forms of messages capable of enlighten, socialise, create awareness on various issues that make people of Osogbo and its environs get informed.
Social Change: It refers to the kinds of alteration in social orders, behaviour and cultural values of people in Osogbo and its environs.
RAVE 91.7 Fm and Gold 95.5 FM: These are radio stations in Osun state operating on 91.7FM and 95.5 FM.
Social development: It means a social change and changing in activities and ways of life of people in Osogbo and its environs.