ABSTRACT: The study investigated the influence of indigenous language on broadcast media with a specific focus on Orisun 89.5 F.M, Ile-Ife. The research called for the development of indigenous languages in the electronic media. It should be noted that indigenous language is of immense benefit to broadcast media. The study was anchored on Agenda Setting Theory and Developmental Media Theory. A quantitative research design was used in which a survey research method was adopted while a questionnaire was used to elicit responses from respondents. One hundred (100) questionnaires were distributed among the staff of Orisun Radio in Ile-Ife which aided in a high rate of return. The study finds out that indigenous language is of high significant in broadcast media. It is obvious from this study that the use of indigenous languages in broadcast media has helped the audience to know the different languages in the society and the importance of programmes in indigenous languages to the audience. It is therefore recommended that in order to improve the level of the quality programme in the electronic media, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and (OSBC) management should allow all the present decent programmes that deal with the culture and norms of the people, however, this would gain orison and other stations gain more listenership power.
Keywords: Indigenous Language
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the primary factors to consider while setting up a radio or television station in Nigeria and everywhere in the world is to determine its purpose, coverage, audience, and language. The target audience matters because radio or television cannot exist in a vacuum but exist and serve certain categories of audiences. However, the need to preserve the Yoruba language, culture, values, norms, and traditions gave birth to Orisun 89.5 FM.
The radio was named Orisun because it is located in Ile-Ife which is considered the cradle of the Yoruba race because there is an understanding of the urgency for a nation like Yoruba to guarantee the sustenance, preservation, and promotion of her culture, particularly as a legacy for the coming generations is the core objective. The radio disseminates news in the local language and produces various genres of programmes (drama, discussion, instructional, documentary, and current affairs with specific cultural sensitivity to the Yoruba nation). The station is also saddled with the role to neutralize the western domination of the Yoruba values and arts while promoting the cultural heritage of the Yoruba race by serving as an agent of socialization and social change.
Ojedele (2013) writes that language is a means of communication via which myriad of message are transmitted day by day. The medium through which language is communicated varies from the spoken word to body language, to the written form, etc. while the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (2010) defines indigenous as any object, behaviour, activities, and other ways of life peculiar to a particular area. Thus, an indigenous language is a local language that people of a specific area speak and have a strong belief about, they prefer to speak the indigenous language that has deep meaning to them than to accept or speak any borrowed language. In Southwest Nigeria, Yoruba people speak Yoruba language, in South East, Igbo language dominated, in Northern Nigeria; the Hausa language prevailed. Also, Akwa Ibom and Cross River speak Efik, Ibibio and Annag e.t.c
The targeted audience will definitively feel very proud that the media values them by packaging her programmes in the local language this in turn shows the native people that the message is directed at them and therefore make them embrace it. Another importance of using Yoruba language in a radio station like Orisun 89.5 FM is that since almost all the people in Osun state can understand the indigenous language so if the language is used in any programme it will enhance message comprehension, especially among the illiterates who do not know beyond their native language.
1.1.2 OSUN STATE BROADCASTING CORPORATION (OSBC): Historical Overview
The journey of Orisun 89.5 FM began on Monday, August 27 1991 when the then Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (Retired) announced the creation of Osun State. To indigenes of the new State who were serving at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), 27th of August 1991 was the outcome of what everyone had expected (OSBC, 2015). However, it became inexcusable that they had to move to Osun State to establish the State-owned media outfits. The officers who came to Osun were made of experienced journalists, professional broadcasters, seasoned administrators, and tested engineers who could make much out of nothing.
The movement was not too comfortable. Some of the workers attributed the nerve-racking evacuation to the sour relationship which suddenly developed between the governments of Osun and Oyo States at that time. Some blamed the upsetting mass departure on the variance which developed between the departing workers and the new management of BCOS.
The movement of OSBC officers from Oyo State to Osun State was done in batches. The Management team took the first leap. The aim was to find a conducive working atmosphere for the rest to settle and display their inventiveness. That decision was not realistic. Hence, key officers were subjected to traveling from Ibadan (about eighty- two kilometers) to Osogbo on daily basis. (OSBC, 2015).
While feasibility work was taken the desired shape at the Oke Baale area of the capital city of Osun State, the OSBC directorate mandated its administration department to resettle engineers and line workers in TRANS HOTEL, Ile-Ife. At Oke Itase, Ile-Ife, OSBC engineers assembled some domestic equipment of the inherited 5-kilowatt transmitters of the F.M. Booster Station of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS). The skills of engineers who received professional training in pure and applied sciences were combined with that of craftspeople and sub-professionals to apply scientific and engineering skills to technical problems met on the ground.
The engineering staff designed circuits to perform specific tasks such as amplifying electronic signals as well as demodulating radio signals to recover the information needed for an impressive broadcasting station. Through their ingenuity and hard work, Radio Osun commenced transmission at Ile-Ife on the 25th of November 1991 following the directive of the then Military Administrator of Osun State, Col. Leo Segun Ajiborisha while Administrative Headquarters remained at Osogbo. The station’s signal of 89.5 Megahertz covered Osun and neighboring States. From the shades of almond trees in the premises of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, Ile Akede, Orita Basorun, Ibadan to the various lodges in Osun State, the only hankering of OSBC Management and staff was to carve out a niche for Radio Osun in the Broadcasting industry in Nigeria (OSBC, 2015)
In 2005, OSBC station at Ile-Ife, which was re-christened ORISUN 89.5FM in 2003, came on the air. Orisun FM is so named because of its location, Ile-Ife, which is the cradle (the source) of the Yoruba race. It is a specialized 100% Yoruba transmitting station. The entire programme line-up is set out to promote the isms, norms and cultural antecedents of the Yoruba people. Staff transit camp/Television studios.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the cultural, social, and historical significance of indigenous languages, there is a lack of adequate representation and utilization of these languages in broadcasting media. This neglect hampers the preservation of indigenous cultures, hinders language revitalization efforts, limits inclusive representation, restricts access to information, and undermines community empowerment and intercultural dialogue in so many radio and television, particularly in the privately-owned broadcast media.
However, indigenous languages are at risk of decline or extinction due to the lack of platforms for their preservation and transmission. Broadcasting media, which has the potential to reach wide audiences, often overlooks the importance of incorporating and promoting indigenous languages, thereby contributing to the erosion of linguistic diversity.
Indigenous communities striving to revitalize their languages face significant challenges, including the absence of sufficient media resources and platforms dedicated to language learning and immersion. The lack of support from broadcasting media inhibits the successful revitalization of indigenous languages and hampers intergenerational language transmission.
Indigenous communities often encounter limited representation in mainstream media, and the exclusion of indigenous languages exacerbates this issue. The underrepresentation of indigenous languages in broadcasting media perpetuates stereotypes, misrepresentation, and cultural erasure, hindering the portrayal of indigenous cultures and identities. It is against this background that the study investigated the importance of indigenous languages in broadcasting media with a particular focus on Orisun 89.5 F.M, Ile-Ife.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the extent to which the Yoruba language is used on Orisun 89.5 FM Ile-Ife.
- To examine whether people prefer Orisun 89.5 FM to other local radio stations in Osun state
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the extent of Yoruba language usage in Orisun 89.5 FM Ile-Ife?
- Do people prefer Orisun 89.5 FM to other local radio stations?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study on the importance of indigenous languages in broadcasting media is of significant value for several reasons. Here are some key points highlighting its significance:
- Cultural Preservation: Indigenous languages are an integral part of a community’s cultural heritage. They carry unique perspectives, worldviews, and traditions that are often closely tied to the land and history of the indigenous peoples. Broadcasting media serves as a powerful platform for preserving and revitalizing these languages, ensuring that cultural knowledge, stories, and values are passed down to future generations.
- Language Revitalization: Many indigenous languages are endangered or face the risk of extinction. Broadcasting media can play a crucial role in language revitalization efforts by promoting the use of indigenous languages through television, radio, podcasts, and other digital platforms. It provides opportunities for language learning, storytelling, and fostering intergenerational connections.
- Inclusive Representation: Indigenous languages are an essential part of inclusive representation in the media landscape. By incorporating indigenous languages into broadcasting, media outlets can ensure that indigenous communities are accurately portrayed and their voices are heard. It helps counteract historical marginalization, stereotypes, and linguistic discrimination, promoting diversity and fostering a sense of belonging.
- Access to Information: Indigenous communities often face barriers to accessing information due to language barriers. Broadcasting media in indigenous languages bridges this gap, enabling community members to access news, educational content, health information, and other important resources in their native language. It empowers individuals to make informed decisions and participate fully in society.
- Community Empowerment: The presence of indigenous languages in broadcasting media empowers indigenous communities by strengthening their cultural identity and self-esteem. When individuals see their languages being celebrated and used in mainstream media, it instills a sense of pride, confidence, and unity. It also encourages language speakers to actively participate in media production and storytelling, fostering community ownership and agency.
- Intercultural Dialogue: Broadcasting media provides a platform for intercultural dialogue and understanding. By including indigenous languages, it facilitates communication and knowledge exchange between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. This exchange promotes mutual respect, appreciation for diversity, and the sharing of perspectives, contributing to social cohesion and cultural enrichment.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study which focuses on the “importance of Indigenous Language in broadcasting media has been narrowed in scope to Orisun 89.5 FM, Ile-Ife because the station is the only radio station in Osun State Perhaps in all of the southwest that uses only the Yoruba language. Hence, the geographical location of this study is within Ile-Ife, Osun State. Other reasons for the choice of Orisun 89.5 FM is due to its proximity to the researcher, inadequate funds, inadequate time, and other logistics.
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Importance: It refers to the contribution or benefits of indigenous language in Orisun FM.
Indigenous: Indigenous is a natural existence of a natural thing that is the decedent of natural or something that is native.
Indigenous Language: It refers to a language of particular native or people that is accepted as a language of communication especially within their cycle.
Broadcasting Media: These are means of disseminating information to large and wide heterogeneous audiences such as Orisun 89.5 FM.
INFLUENCE OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE IN BROADCAST MEDIA
Price-₦4000, Format-MS Word, Chapter-1-5, Pages-52, References-Yes, Questionnaire-Yes, Table of Contents– Yes, Abstract -Yes