Abstract: This study objective was to investigate the proliferation of F.M stations and its implication for media performance using Ray Power FM 100.5, Alagbado (private radio), Eko FM, 89.7 Ikeja (state radio) and FRCN 6090 Lagos (Federal radio) as case study. The study was anchored on Libertarian Media Theory. A survey research method was employed while questionnaires were administered to respondents in order to elicit responses from them. The data collected were analyzed using frequency and percentage media while the data were equally presented using tables. The study finds out that the growth has brought lots of improvement to the media performance in terms of effective competition therefore enable people to have access to good programme and access to multiple sources of information leaving them with opportunity to make choice of the available media. It also serves the empowerment role as many graduates of media studies, journalism, mass communication and related were employed. The study recommended that government to through its regulatory agency the NBC; watch closely the industry so as to ensure that operators do not deviate from the avowed national objectives of broadcasting.
Keywords: Proliferation of F.M Stations
1.1 Background to the Study
Since 1930s when the British Empire Broadcasting Service of the colonialist floated the relay re-diffusion system in which subscribers had access only to “channels” “on” “off’ on their “radio sets”, it has metamorphosed from colonial government monopoly in Nigeria into regional governments’ domination of the late 1950s and early 1960s and has passed through the era of Federal Government annexation and monopolization of 1976 to 1992 when the seed of liberalization that accommodation of private participation in media. radio stations have continued to witness high proliferation (Alao and Olayinka, 2018).
Radio is one of the cheapest and effective means of reaching wide and heterogeneous audience because of it ability to be received almost everywhere. This placed it over other mass media. Radio can be enjoyed by almost everywhere ranging from office, market, home, inside motor, even on the farm because of it portability. These days, many have access to radio as almost all mobile phone comes with radio features to enable users listen to radio programme, this increase the access to radio stations among the people (Alao and Olayinka, 2018).
Radio 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 (Oyekanmi, 2006). Radio can give people a voice and offer a forum for dialogue between communities and government. Radio takes up this responsibility and ensures vulnerable groups in society are included and represented in their programming.
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 can be defined as a place where programmes are being transmitted to a large and heterogeneous audience. The programmes being transmitted are always in the interest of the community. It is of note that deregulation of broadcast media is said to be the main factor responsible for the growth of radio station in Nigeria.
However, the seed for the liberalization of the broadcast industry in Nigeria was sown in the 1979 constitution. Section 39 of the Document inter alia, stated that “…every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions provided that no person, other than the Government of the Federation or of a state or any other person or body authorized by the president, shall own, establish or operate a television or wireless broadcasting station for any purpose whatsoever” (Momoh, 2002).
The important point in this context is the provision of the constitution that “… any other person or body authorized by the president…” could “.. own, establish or operate…” a broadcast station. Furthermore, it is worth noting that twenty and three years later, that seed manifested in the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC Decree 38 of 1992. Before that year, all legal and constitutional instruments in force in the country effectively made broadcasting an exclusive preserve of the Federal and State Governments.
However, when it was promulgated on 24th August 1992, the Decree established the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, and empowered it to accept and screen applications for the issuance of licenses for private participation in broadcasting in the country. The commission was also mandated to renew and revoke licenses where and when it deems fit, and also to generally monitor and regulate broadcasting in Nigeria.
In 1994, the commission granted the first set of licenses to some firms and individuals. But private broadcasting operations per se started two years later in 1996 with the emergence of Clapper Board Television on Channel 45 UHF. Later that same year, Ray Power, the first private radio, began broadcasting on 100.5 mega hertz on the frequency modulation band.
Since the debut of the first private television and radio stations, the number of broadcast stations in the country has raised to over 100, according to Dr. Silas Yisa, the Director-General of the NBC while that of government has continue to multiply as each state of the federation is boost of at least a radio station.
It is against this backdrop that the research examines the proliferation of radio station and its implication on media performance with a focus on Ray Power FM 100.5, Alagbado (private radio), Eko FM, 89.7 Ikeja (state radio) and FRCN 6090 Lagos (Federal radio) are selected to represent other radio stations because it is very difficult if not impossible to study all radio stations in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The proliferation of radio stations in Nigeria has both negative and positive implication on the media performance as it offers people access to multiple of channels, it empowers many media graduates, it breaks government media mono-poly among other while it also create channel jam, unhealthy rivalry among radio station, using radio for personal ideology rather than national development, it affect the advert generation of each radio station among others.
To this end, the research examine the proliferation of f.m station and its implication on media performance with a focus on Ray Power FM 100.5, Alagbado (private radio), Eko FM, 89.7 Ikeja (state radio) and FRCN 6090 Lagos (Federal radio) are selected to represent other radio stations because it is very difficult if not impossible to study all radio stations in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
- Has the growth of f.m stations improved radio performance in Nigeria?
- To what extent has proliferation of f.m stations brought an end to government monopoly of broadcasting media?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether the growth of f,m stations improved radio performance in Nigeria.
- To what extent has proliferation of f,m stations brought an end to government monopoly of broadcasting media.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is expected at the end of this study that, it will update knowledge within the framework of the study. Particularly, it will assist people’s views on the usefulness of radio in general development, mobilization and awareness.
Media practitioners will also gain from the research findings as it will expose them to what responsibilities media are to play in society.
It will also serve as reference materials for future researchers who may want to expand or explore on study relating to this work.
This study will draw the attention of government to empower media practitioners through suitable press freedom to enable media serve as watchdog.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research which investigates the proliferation of f. m station and its implication on media performance has been narrowed in scope to Ray Power FM 100.5, Alagbado (private radio), Eko FM, 89.7 Ikeja (state radio) and FRCN 6090 Lagos (Federal radio). Thus, the geographical location of this study is Lagos state.
The choice of Ray Power FM 100.5, Eko FM, 89.7 Ikeja and FRCN 6090 Lagos in Lagos state is due to the proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all f.m radio in Lagos among other logistics. Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will carefully study before the administration of research instruments such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Proliferation: The growth of radio stations in Nigeria especially after deregulation of the sector since 1992.
Privatization/deregulation: Is the act of allowing private investors into broadcasting industry to set up either radio or television station.
Broadcast media: These are electronic media of communication to larger and wider audience receiving the signal simultaneously.
NBC: National Broadcasting Commission