ABSTRACT: The core objective of this study was to investigate the influence of TV on the voting pattern of voters in 2023 General Elections on 25 February 2023 in Nigeria. The research was anchored on Democratic Participant Media Theory and Agenda Setting Theory. A cross-sectional survey research method was used. Questionnaire was used to elicit responses from the respondents who were drawn from Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State. The study population covers Iragbiji, Ada, and Iree communities. The data collected were analyzed in descriptive statistics ( frequency and percentage method) while data were presented with the aid of tables. The study finds out that broadcast media (TV) influenced the voting patterns of the electorates, during the 2023 general elections on 25 February 2023 by educating voters on new BVAS machine and other electoral activities. Also, the broadcast media awareness campaigns and their collaboration with various NGOS reduced apathy in the presidential poll. The study recommended that mass media especially radio and television station to do more in the sensitization of voters while they should intensify efforts by collaborating with more NGOs on the effect of political apathy as experienced on 18 March 2023 in the gubernatorial elections and State Assembly poll, while they should continue preach vote not to fight and to reduce electoral violence.
Keywords: Voting Pattern
1.1 Background to the Study
The Nigerian press has always been useful as a medium for structuring the political landscape of the country, an avenue for agitation and proper political leadership. One of the tenets of the social responsibility theory is enlightening the public and making them capable of self-governance. Democracy cannot exist in the absence of the press. This is because democracy is based on popular will and popular opinion depends on the public’s awareness and knowledge. It is the mass media that brings up, promotes and propagates public awareness.
The important role media play in fostering an environment of good governance and political awareness needs hardly be emphasized. As the watchdog and interpreter of public issues and events, the media has a special role in every society. In information-based society the media have a disproportionately visible and influential role (International Foundation for Election Systems, 2011).
Fischer,(2002) says the main responsibility of the press is to provide comprehensive, analytical and factual news and opinion to the people on everyday issues and events of popular concern. To fulfill its duty and responsibility, the press must work according to the fundamental principles of professional ethics, as well as norms and values of journalism. Goodman (2010) opines that democracy can neither be sustainable nor strong without a free press. On the other hand, press freedom will not be possible without democracy. Therefore, the mass media and journalists must be committed to democracy. For this, the press must be perpetually involved in the establishment and promotion of a democratic culture.
The press must remain ever vigilant to protect and enforce people’s freedom of thought and expression and citizens’ right to all information relating to the various aspects of their life and future. Held (2006) also observes the fact that access to information is a citizen’s right and must be taken to heart, and information must be presented in a simple and palatable manner. Right to information is inherent in democratic functioning and a pre-condition for good governance and the realization of all other human rights, including education and health care. The main objectives should be the promotion of transparency and accountability in governance so as to minimize corruption and inefficiency in public office and to ensure the public’s participation in governance and decision making.
Media must be credible and trustworthy. Trust is the most valuable asset for any media. Once lost, it cannot be earned back. It is for this reason that all media must uphold their principles to provide accurate and factual news and other programmes. Jones (2001). Press must understand the difference between politics in general and party politics. Media should not be a vehicle, or used as an advocate for any political party or ideology.
Public and political issues should be clearly understood, analyzed and presented in an impartial manner. During elections/political campaigns, equal time slots or opportunity must be allocated to each of the legitimate political parties and candidates. In the course of elections, messages that encourage goodwill and harmony among all the ethnic groups, religions, genders, cultures, languages, regions and communities should be broadcast.
Media plays the role of watch-dog in reporting corruption, complacency and negligence. In a changing, competitive landscape, compliance to good governance has never been taken so seriously, as people demand more transparency from both the government and private sectors. Responsible practices from government, universal principles on human rights and the fight against corruption have assumed great importance.
A flourishing media sector enables people to make informed decisions, becoming more effective participants in society’s development. In a developing country like Nepal, the relatively low level of literacy, the variations in topography and limited access to electricity all make radio the most suitable medium to satisfy the information needs of the masses.
A robust, independent and pluralistic media environment is crucial for good governance and the overall development of the country. Freedom of expression, free flow of information and fair reporting without government and commercial influences are accelerators of development. These are some of the role of DRTV in ensuring peaceful conduct in the 2023 general elections.
It conveys information to the people with a view to let them know various parties and candidates aspiring for certain political office, It works with security agencies in order to prevent election rigging and violence, It provides the medium for transmitting political education to residence of Delta state especially on how to reasons for introduction of card reader because it was rejected by some school of thought, It informs the electorate on how to conduct themselves before, during and after election, It alerts the security agencies in case of crisis, It organizes forum where political issues are debated such as “Nigeria Decides”, It monitoring the collation and final announcement of the result and It monitoring the distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the appropriate.
Therefore, the research examines the influence of TV on the voting pattern of voterS in 2023 general election with a view to know the extent at which the DRTV able to educate and sensitize electorate on the significance of PVC Reader otherwise known as “BVAS” and why they must collect their PVC, how to conduct themselves during poll and after poll among others.
1.2 Statement of the Study
The incessant problem of electoral malpractices associated with godfatherism, snatching of ballot boxes, political thuggery, rigging and so on was often caused by little or no enlightenment on the choices we make as electorates while it has also created political apathy among the electorates in the country. Poor political education of the procedures involved in the election such as the process of registering, obtaining a voters card, accreditation, the right pattern of voting have constituted serious problems in our voting activities. The Mass Media as the voice of the people play important roles in the entire political activities. Hence, the research is geared towards the influence of Television on the voting pattern of voters in 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
i. To examine whether DRTV influence the voting patterns of electorate in the general election in Delta state.
ii. To know whether electorate participation in the 2023 general election is influence by their exposure to DRTV.
iii. To ascertain whether DRTV gives equal coverage to political parties in Delta state and Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
In this study, an attempt was sufficiently made to answer the following questions.
i. To what extent does DRTV influence the voting patterns of electorate in the general election?
ii. Does electorate participation in the 2023 general election influence by their exposure to DRTV?
iii. Does DRTV gives equal coverage to political parties in Delta state and Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
- It is expected that, at the end of this study, it updated knowledge within the framework of the study. Particularly, it assists people on the usefulness of print media as electioneering tool in Nigeria.
- Media practitioners also gain from the research findings as it was expose them to what responsibilities media are to play in society.
- It also serves as reference materials for future researchers who may want to expand or explore on study relating to this work.
- This study was draw the attention of government and media to enlighten electorates especially women to participate in politics
- Through the use of radio, television, films and motion pictures and print media, journalists was in their packaging of news reports and events development a sound political knowledge for the electorate.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Although, the primary objective of the project is to examine the influence of television on the voting pattern of voters was narrowed to Asaba residents in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, This cannot be effectively talked without considering the demographic factor of Asaba residents. The work has been narrowed in scope to the people living in Asaba due of the time, geographical locations, fund and other logistics because it will be very difficult to study all the states in the country.
1.7 Operation Definition of Terms
Politics: The activities involved in getting and using power in public life and being able to influence decision that affect a country or a society.
Election: Is the process through which Asaba residents choose their representatives at different levels.
DRTV: Delta State Radio Television
Mass Media: They are the agents of mass communication which help in reaching or disseminating information and influencing heterogeneous numbers of people in rural and urban areas eg. Asaba residents such as DRTV.
Radio: The process of receiving and broadcasting messages through the air to listening audience in Asaba Metropolis using electromagnetic waves.
INFLUENCE OF TV ON THE VOTING PATTERN OF VOTERS IN ELECTION
Format = MS Word, Price = ₦4000, Chapter = 1-5, Pages = 52, References = Yes, Questionnaire =Yes, Table of Contents = Yes and Abstract = Yes