Background to the Study
Radio has been defined as a medium of communication which allows for transmission ofspoken words, music and other signals through waves to areas within its broadcastingradius. The waves enable the transmission of communication signals that sendinformation in form of radio messages which create a visual effect in the mind of thelistener. Ottah (2015) notes that radio creates a form of intimacy betweenthe listener and the presenter and this is because of the emergence of technology such asphones, facebook, twitter which has enabled radio to be two-way communication unlikein the past when it was one way .
Odero&Kamweru, (2000)piuts forward that radio communication has continued to gain momentum globally. According to the WorldFact Book (2010), more than 44,000 radio stations exist and operate worldwide. Thisassertion is supported by UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2011) who indicated that radioaccounts for 86% of the total listenership time globally. The institute further found thatthe radio listenership is eight times that of TVs in the global arena (UNESCO Institute forStatistics (UIS, 2011). 25 out of 51 countries (49%) have radio channels available on acombined platform, while 13% are available on cable only and 8% on satellite only (UIS,2011).
In the rural Philippines, radio has been indicated to be the most dependable medium in thedistribution of news or surveillance, informing and entertaining the people. This has been
attributed to the mountainous nature of the country which creates a challenge as
mountains often blocked TV signals. However, radio is listened by 85% compared to less
than 60% households that listen to the TV (Info said, 2012). In 2009 radio was used in
Brazil by 88% of households, 80% cars and 36% of mobile phones (Brazilian Institute of
Geography and Statistics (IBGE, 2010). This is the same case in Russia where the use of
radio has been on an upward trend with the average daily audience rising by 4% (37.7
million to 39.2 million) since 2008 .
In developing countries like those in Africa more than 75% of households have access to
a radio (UNESCO, 2012). According to Costa (2012), the use of local radio in the rural
areas between 2000 and 2006 grew by 360% on average. In rural Zambia, the access to
radio stands at 68% compared to 83% in Tanzania with the radio providing news and any
other information to the rural population (UNESCO, 2012).
Radio listenership has also increased due to the invention of many gadgets that has
features installed in them for receiving radio and this has been made possible with the
new technologies .According to (Bittner 1977) radio listeners are not restricted to
listening to radio through the sets but some use their mobile phones, some cars also have
radio installations,ipads,ipods,mp3 players and radio internet among the others, the
availability of radio in different platform has made it to be more accessible.
Advancement in technology has resulted in the invention of several devices equipped
with radio receiving features.
No longer do people listen to the radio through rediffusionboxes or immobile radio sets. The invention of miniature devices equipped with radiocomponents has given radio vast mobility, making it the predominant news source for onthe-go population (Bittner and Bittner 1977).A survey study on media usage habits in Ghana done by audience scapes in 2009 found
that most Ghanaians were able to access radio and they mostly listened to it for
information and also as their main source of current affairs, the findings indicated that
over 90% of the respondents listenened to radio on a daily basis, most people trusted
radio broadcasts showing that radio was the more preferred channel for disseminating
information by development practitioners. Some of the respondents said they listened
more to FM stations regularly than AM because they mostly use their mobile phones and
this shows the impact of technology which has now replaced analogue.
A similar survey was also conducted in Uganda by audience scapes in the year 2007 and
the findings indicated that radio most dominant channel among the Ugandans. Theresearcher also found out that some listeners used traditional radio sets while othersutilized new technologies such as mobile phones, car stereo, tablet computer, satellitereceiver, internet radio among others. The findings also showed that about 72% of peoplein the rural areas owned radio and listened to it daily while over 90% listened to radio ona weekly basis, those who did not have radio indicated that they listened to radio fromtheir neighbours, friends or in public places such as hotels while relaxing. The study alsoindicated that even with the emergence of television in most households radio was stillthe dominant communication channel among most people.
Nigeria is a developing society with a landmass of 923,768 sq. km (356,700 sq. mile), a country in the southeast of West Africa. It is bordered in the South by approximately 800 kilometers of the Atlantic Ocean, in the West bythe Republic of Benin, in the North by the Republic of the Niger and in the East by the Republic of Cameroon [1; 2].
She has diverse languages of over five hundred including Hausa to Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Fulani, Edo, Kanuri, Efik,Fulfulde and English Language is the official language in terms of spoken and as written expressions, and on whichthe populace understand them (see Maxsiollum, 2012)
The country is made of thirty-six states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and 774 local government areasnationwide, with democratic principles and values, and institutions that reflect the democratic principles and policyframeworks of governance, and responsibilities between the Federal Government, the State Government and theLocal Governments (Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution 1999, Nigeria; Chinwe, 2015; Nairaland, 2016). Thenation’s economic policy direction lies on “free market system” with liberalization, deregulation and competition to
stimulate economic growth and service direction (see Mordi, Englama and Adebusyi, 2017).
There are three types ofbroadcasting systems: public (federal and states) private commercial (individual proprietorship) and community(grassroot or collective ownership). Remarkable to indicate is that both private and community broadcasting systems
were the product of the 1992 deregulation policy, which marks a shift from centralisation of broadcasting(government domination) to decentralization policy (public, private and community broadcasting stations).
Today, multiple broadcasting stations are in operation: television broadcasting stations and FM radiobroadcasting stations with private sector ownership, funding and programmes diversity (3; Nwachukwu, 1995; MediaRights Agenda, 2001:10-11, 2010, Ihechu and Okugo, 2013; Shaibu,2016).Ihechu and Okugo, (2013) explains that the
deregulation of broadcasting in the country has opens up a new pattern of ownership and control as well as injectionof competition in broadcasting and Nwachukwu, (1995) notes that the emergence of private broadcasting provideinspiration for healthier competitions with public service broadcasting citing quality programming as competitivestrategies among broadcasters, to the diversity of programmes flow and programming for audience (see
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The pluralization of theairwaves has further increased the number of the radio stations in the country especiallywith the establishment of vernacular radio stations (Mogambi, 2011). In AkwaIbom State currently there are well over nine radio stations both privately and government owned like the AKBC radio, Atlantic FM, Planet Radio, Comfort FM, Passion FM , and the Excel FM. Others are the Campus radio stations like the Uniuyo FM and the Heritage FM Radio among others. The fact that radio is the most popular channel in rural areas doesnot mean that people always listen to it in the same pattern but audiences listen to radiofor different purposes and in different ways (Nivedha 2014). This means that that peoplewill prefer one station to the other or a certain radio program to others. In addition, thereare various factors that influence how, when, and why individuals listen to radiobroadcasts or attend to mass media generally. Being a popular communication channel,there is therefore the need to establish the listening pattern of radio, its usage and how itbenefits the women with special focus being on its access, frequency of listenership, timeof listenership, preferred Radio stations, programs and its perceived benefits among thesewomen. This is because the effectiveness of radio can only be judged by its users on how,why and when they use it. The lack of adequate studies on this subject matter is the research problem which the researcher sought to address by studying radio listenership among women in Uyo Metropolis.
Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of this study were :
To determine the radio listening behaviour among Women in Uyo Metropolis in AkwaIbom State.To ascertain the women in Uyo Metropolis level of preference of radio to other media of mass communication.To investigate their level of exposure to radio messages.To ascertain the choice of radio stations and programmespreferred by Women in Uyo Metropolis.To examine the impact of radio message on the women in Uyo Metropolis.RADIO LISTENERSHIP PATTERN AMONG WOMEN IN UYO METROPOLIS