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Radio is one of the most efficient means of dissemination of knowledge, information and technologies to ease the adoption of innovation. Due to its importance and advancement in technology, radio to person ratio in Africa had improved from 1: 124 in 1955 to 1: 5 in 1995 (Sitawa Ogutu, Ngunjiri and Chege, 2012).

Ojebode (2002) noted that the medium whose support is most coveted for development communication is radio due to its enabling characteristics i.e.; it is battery-powered, which means the usual failure or lack of electric power is not an impediment to the listener, radio is cheap and portable and it is found in the remotest part of the world.

Considering the potentials of the radio in agricultural and rural development, efforts targeted at optimising its use are welcomed. Therefore, all variables involved in its use deserve being scrutinised for the purpose of being made more effective.

According to Yahaya (2003), communication only becomes effective when the encoded message is accurately decoded by the receiver. In rural development broadcasting, the presenter does not only want to pass his message across, he also wants to retain the attention of the listener and eventually persuade him to act on the message.

This requires the use of appropriate programme formats which appeal to the listening pleasure of the audience without compromising the integrity of the technical information being relayed. A convergence in the preference for programme format between broadcasters and listeners therefore becomes an important variable worthy of consideration in this light.

According to Information and Communication for Development ICD (2004), the choice of a format used by a broadcaster depends on a number of key factors which include; who the broadcaster intends to target, available financial resources, technical and creative capacity; the cost, complexity and skill required to produce the format and availability of useful and useable information.

They listed popular radio formats used in health development journalism to include spots and slogans, mini-dialogues and dramas, soap operas and serials, stories and testimonies, magazines, talk shows and phone-ins as well as news, documentaries and health journalism.

Moreover, Ojebode (2003) listed 10 programme formats for promoting development in Nigeria radio stations to include news formats, group discussion, lecture or straight talk, interviews and testimonials. Others are entertainment, magazines, jingles, spot announcements and ewi (poetry).

The Indigenous Broadcasting Programme (IBP) was relocated into the Indigenous Affairs Group of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) in September 2013.

The 2013-14 Indigenous Broadcasting Program (IBP) funding round closed on 1 February 2013. Successful applications were announced on 24 June 2013. A total of 53 applicants have been recommended for funding, including eight organisations that have received triennial funding.

The IBP provides funding to support Indigenous community radio broadcasting and to address the broadcasting needs of Indigenous people living in remote, regional and urban areas of Australia. Its objective is to strengthen Indigenous broadcasters and build a more sustainable Indigenous broadcasting sector.

Nigeria is a multilingual nation having over 500 languages and dialects (Emeka-Nwobia 2015) and therefore making it a linguistically heterogeneous entity. However, only a handful of these languages have attained national, regional or state status while a greater percentage of them are local languages and dialects spoken only among a few individuals across the different minority groups.

Even the so-called three national indigenous languages christened WAZOBIA (Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo) are yet to truly assume this status in practical terms. At present, they appear only to have attained regional status with Hausa holding sway in the north, Ibo in the south-east and Yoruba dominating the Southwestern linguistic anthology. English language still dominates the sphere of communication at all levels; and can be said to be Nigeria’s truly national language, though it is not indigenous to her.

Being a multilingual entity, one of the challenges of language policy formulation in Nigeria had bothered greatly on the choice of language or languages to use at the national, regional and state levels as ‘the official language of the people’. Even the speakers of the so-called national or regional languages only belong to a section of people or ethnic group and therefore making such languages to have little or no national or regional significance.

This explains why English Language has taken primacy over the myriad indigenous languages in the country as people find it very comfortable to communicate freely in it than in their native mother tongue. In both formal and informal settings, the use of English language as a medium of communication has become more preferred to the hundreds of indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria.

Even after fifty six (56) years following Nigeria’s independence from the colonial masters, English Language still remains the language of education, governance, commerce, judiciary and the language used in conducting legislative matters. Ogunmodimu (2015, p. 3) puts it this way:

Today, English has grown to become the official national language of Nigeria and continues to play important roles in the nation as the language of education, media, religion (especially the Pentecostal Christian faith), and the language of politics, governance and law. It is the language of the elites and also the first language for some Nigerians.

The idea of a global village, the aspiration of man at this jet age, is aided not only by the Internet, but also more seriously by other types of media. Thus, man, through the media, can get what language form, fashion, music etc are in vogue. In little or no time through our listening to the radio set or watching the television set, we could get to do what others are doing. The media, therefore, become a fast means through which we could get anything promoted.

The radio is considered to be one of the most powerful information dissemination medium available to the mass communicator. It is considered to be one of the most effective for development communication purposes especially in the rural areas (Ojebode & Adegbola, 2007). This is because radio waves are easily accessible and the radio is believed to be the cheapest technology in terms of first and maintenance costs.

Salawu (2015, p. 6) partly attributes the dominance of foreign languages over indigenous languages in most developing countries to the people’s colonial antecedence. He says: “Regrettably, in most developing nations, communication in indigenous languages has been adversely affected due to the fact of their colonization.”

The mass media are not exonerated from this linguistic tussle. The Nigerian mass media are predominated by foreign and colonial languages. Salawu (2015, p. 6) affirms that: “The media of mass communication are also caught in this web as they disseminate information mostly in the foreign languages. By and large, the print media seem more culpable as the electronic media do better in the use of native languages.”

The media are veritable instruments for promoting national development as they highlight the rich cultural heritage of the people; transmit development information as well as promoting the linguistic endowment of the people. Unfortunately, the Nigerian mass media have not performed optimally in the area of promoting indigenous languages in their programming.



Language has been regarded as potent tool for engendering national development. Apart from serving as a medium of communication and means of cultural identity among a group of people, language also serves development purposes. It is a conduit for disseminating development related information and policies to the people. Nonetheless, the language in which a development message is disseminated is a very important aspect of the message treatment (Salawu, 2015, p. 4).

Salawu argues that the indigenous language of any community is the best suited for the purpose of conveying any message, whatsoever, to the said The Nigerian Journal of Communication (TNJC), Vol. 14, No. 1, October 2017.

However, the preference for English Language as the official medium of expression and communication in Nigeria, over hundreds of existing indigenous Nigerian languages, does not speak well of our national identity and pride as Nigerians. English language still dominates the sphere of communication at all levels and can be said to be Nigeria’s truly national language or Lingua Franca.

The National Language Policy on Education (NLPE) and the Nigerian Constitution also recognize the use of English language as the nation’s Lingua Franca. Even the mass media cannot be absolved of this linguistic enslavement.

The Nigerian mass media are predominated by foreign and colonial languages, especially the use of English Language. As veritable instruments for promoting national development, the media transmit development information as well as highlight and promote the rich cultural heritage and linguistic endowment of the people.

Therefore, indigenous language broadcasting is very important for the purpose of information dissemination, social mobilisation and cultural promotion and survival. It is also worrisome to note that a greater percentage of Nigerian languages do not have autography or written forms.

This makes it difficult to learn or use them in formal setting. Such languages hardly have the potential to compete with other well developed languages to become languages of broadcasting in the mass media.

This paper therefore argues that development efforts and/or mass media messages targeted at the people can only best be communicated to them in their mother tongue or indigenous languages.

The mass Media particularly the radio is the most important medium for creating awareness on so many issues such as education (Moemeka, 1981).

Radio therefore is an indispensable medium for rural development. Some of the obvious advantages of radio over other mediums of information exchange are that it is portable, cheap, and accessible and the signals can be transmitted over a long distance.


The main aim of the study is indigenous broadcasting and listeners programme choice on Joy Fm. Other specific objectives include:

1. to determine the relationship between indigenous broadcasting and listeners programme choice.

2. to examine indigenous broadcasting as a preferred listeners programme choice on Joy Fm.

3. to identify factors that influence listeners programme choice on Joy Fm.

4. to identify the challenges of indigenous broadcasting.

5. to proffer solutions to the challenges indigenous broadcasting


1. What is the relationship between indigenous broadcasting and listeners programme choice?

2. Is indigenous broadcasting a preferred listener’s programme choice on Joy Fm?

3. What are the factors that influence listeners programme choice on Joy Fm?

4. What are the challenges of indigenous broadcasting?

5. What are the solutions to the challenges indigenous broadcasting?


1. H0: indigenous broadcasting has no significant relationship on listeners programme choice on Joy Fm.

2. H1: indigenous broadcasting has significant relationship on listeners programme choice on Joy Fm.


The study’s significance lies in the fact that it will provide an understanding on the importance of developing indigenous broadcasting especially to those in the rural areas who have no access to schools and can hardly understand the English language.

Therefore, this study will provide a fish eye view of the problems affecting some programmes in the radio station under study. This will inarguably assist them to plan their programmes better. Therefore, studying it will provide a fish eye view of the lacuna that exists in the study of this nature such as the media and indigenous broadcasting.

Communication scholars like Ebo (1997); Soola (2002) agree that the mass media can make significant contributions to the process of creating public awareness whether the aim of such is to bring about an increase in information or knowledge of the public or target group about a specific issue, bring about a change in their opinions or attitude, or motivate them to action i.e.

to change their behaviour and habits (Buchalew & Wulfemayer, 2005), in agreement with these also listed the role of the mass media among others to include: inform, educate, bring about social change and help establish public policies. Therefore, it is believed that policy makers and government at both State and Federal levels will find this study beneficial in helping them fine tune decisions and programmes targeted at National development.

This study is another contribution to the existing work on the study of indigenous broadcasting and listeners programme choice on Joy Fm.

Lastly, the study will serve as research tool to researchers for further investigation of the study.


The study will cover indigenous broadcasting and listeners programme choice on Joy Fm.


1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


Indigenous: originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native

Broadcasting: Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum, in a one-to-many model

Listeners: a person who listens, especially someone who does so in an attentive manner.



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