THE IMPACT OF TELEVISION PROGRAMS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS' MORALITY
1.1 Background of the Research
The various broadcast media, particularly television has steadily become a part of our everyday lives, and a source of information. Television combines images and sound to communicate messages that would be impossible to convey as effectively via radio or print media. An image of the scene is transmitted via the television communication system, and the viewer has no difficulty recording the information. It is the transmission of data accompanied by sound. Television is widely regarded as a source of information, entertainment, and education on a global scale (Miles, 2000).
Television is widely regarded as “a powerful medium of our age,” with its visual immediacy providing its audience with a sense of participation unlike any other medium (Miles, 2000). According to Wikipedia, 78% of the world's households owned at least one television set in 2009, a 5% increase from 2003.
In Nigeria, television began in Ibadan in 1959 as Western Nigerian Television (WNTV), now Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Ibadan, and Benue Plateau Television, now NTA Benue Plateau. Jos was the first television station in Nigeria to broadcast color images to Nigerian homes in 1974. (NBC, 2006). Licenses for the transmission of cable signals to many Nigerian homes were issued in 1993. (NBC, 2006). Nearly every state capital now has at least one television station.
NTA Minna was the first station in Niger State to begin signal transmission. Other stations, such as Niger State Television (NSTV), and, more recently, cable networks such as Multichoice Nigeria (DSTV), Star Times Digital TV, have emerged over the years. These cable networks operate around the clock. In recent years, the introduction of cable and satellite television has increased TV viewing (Johnsson-Samaragdi, 1994).
Irrespective of the age, sex, social status, culture and background, people have different and specific motives and use for the television. Côté and Allahar (1996) contend that how people use the mass media, particularly television, can influence how they perceive the outside world and actively prevent young people from developing a critical consciousness that allows them to prioritize larger issues of personal and social responsibility.
Television could be used to communicate by broadcasting information to the general public and receiving feedback from viewers. It could also be for educational, sporting, or recreational purposes. Individuals' use of television varies; however, adults rely on television as a source of information and familiarization with various things happening in the society to which they belong and even beyond, whereas adolescents are more interested in the entertainment and other fun aspects of television. It is widely assumed that the media has a greater direct and negative impact on young adolescents than on any other age group (Miles, 2000).
People are drawn to a variety of elements in television entertainment programs. Movies, music videos, and reality television shows of both foreign and domestic origin are examples of such programs. These entertainment shows have become such a regular part of people's lives.
Although it can be educational, entertainment television has a huge influence on adolescents. Many critics believe that by the age of 18, the average adolescent will have spent more time watching television than any other activity besides sleep (Miles & Anderson, 1999), and this is especially true when they have unrestricted access to television. It has been discovered that adolescents who spend a lot of time watching television form an identity based on the content they consume; George-Okoro (2008, p.11) believes that:
The formation of an identity is one of the most important aspects of childhood and adolescence. Children may look to heroes and role models for guidance as they shape their behavior and values. They may identify role models to emulate based on the possession of specific skills or attributes. While the child may not wish to be exactly like the person, he or she may see potential in that person.
As a result, while the audience may watch entertainment programs for a variety of reasons, no one is certain of their impact on the morality of secondary school adolescents. Young school adolescents are full of energy and enthusiasm. Minna's secondary school students are no exception. Their exposure to television entertainment programs has recently been enhanced by the introduction of Star Times Digital TV, which broadcasts both local and foreign channels.
NTA entertainment channels, MTV Base, E!, and many others are among these channels. These television channels produce programs with a wide range of content for the enjoyment of their viewers (to which the adolescents of Minna, Niger state belongs). “Keeping up with the Kardashians” on E!, “Movies” on African Magic, and “Super Story” on NTA are among these shows.
There hasn't been much focus on the actual impact of these and other entertainment programs aired on our television stations on the morality of Nigerian adolescents, particularly those from Minna. The background of this study is the influence of such entertainment programs. As a result, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of television entertainment programs on the morality of secondary school adolescents in Minna.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It cannot be overstated that television has taken center stage in our daily activities, with the emergence and alliance of various television stations and service providers presenting diverse television programs. Television appears to have become an extremely important part of society. The majority of the television shows that adolescents watch are related to entertainment. Music videos, movies, reality shows, and so on are examples.
The consumption of television entertainment programs may have a positive or negative impact depending on how they are used. The more secondary school adolescents in Minna are exposed to television entertainment programs, the more likely they are to develop a world view and perception of reality that is similar to what they see on television.
Morality is a major concern in most African modern societies, including Minna, Niger state. With most adolescent students watching more television entertainment programs, and various studies, including George-Okoro (2008), indicating its influence on the development of an identity, behavior, and values in adolescents, are Minna adolescent students morally influenced (in terms of lifestyle, attitudes, behavior, and so on) by these television programs?
In other words, this study looks into the extent to which television entertainment programs influence the morality of secondary school adolescents in Minna.
1.3 The Study's Aims and Objectives
The study's overall goal is to determine the extent to which television programs influence the morality of Minna's secondary school adolescents. The specific goals are as follows:
Find out if secondary school adolescents in Minna watch entertainment programs on television.
Determine how frequently secondary school adolescents watch entertainment programs on television.
Determine the types of television entertainment programs that adolescents in secondary school watch on television stations.
Determine the moral influence of television entertainment programs on secondary school adolescents.
1.4 Research Suggestions
1. Do Minna's secondary school students watch television entertainment programs?
2. How frequently do Minna secondary school adolescents watch television entertainment programs?
3. What kinds of entertainment programs do Minna's secondary school adolescents watch on television?
4. What is the direction of television entertainment programs' influence on the morality of secondary school adolescents?
1.5 Justification for the Research
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of television entertainment programs on the morality of secondary school students in Minna, Niger State. The significance of this study for future researchers is that its findings will provide a step forward in obtaining information about their inquiries, as well as an additional resource to the available literature.
The study's findings will also help educate parents on the importance of monitoring the types of entertainment programs their young adolescents watch. It is also hoped that the findings will help secondary school adolescents understand more about how they can use television's entertainment function to their advantage.
1.6 Limitations of the Research
Although the focus of this study is on the influence of television entertainment programs on the morality of secondary school adolescents, the sample population for the study was drawn from selected secondary schools in Minna.
The representativeness of this sample may have an impact on external validity, and the study's findings cannot be easily generalized beyond the population of study (Minna). Prospective respondents were also hesitant and uncooperative in accepting the researcher's questionnaire copies and appropriately answering the questions in the questionnaire for undisclosed reasons.
1.7 Operational Terminology Definition
Adolescents: Learners/people enrolled in Minna secondary schools.
Influence: This is the change in character or behavior that secondary school students experience as a result of what they see on television entertainment programs.
Morality: Among students, the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior, communication, values, dressing, social interaction, and so on.
Television Entertainment Programmes: A television program that includes a variety of entertainment elements that are appealing to secondary school students.
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THE IMPACT OF TELEVISION PROGRAMS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS' MORALITY