It is the totality of means of communication within a society, state, etc ., such as television, Film production, radio, newspaper, magazine and internet including news-letter in which messages, news and information get across the population, government and it’s agencies. Mass media also stands as a means of entertaining, informing and instructing in a pleasurable manner.
ROLES OF MASS MEDIA IN THE DAY TO DAY RUNNING OF GOVERNMENT
- It disseminates information: The Mass media informs the people about the activities of political parties, their programme and preparations towards any political election in the country.
- Education: The mass media educates the populace on government activities. For example, in the areas of education, roads construction, transportation and health.
- It enlightens the people on the activities of some organisations: For example, Oil Companies can use the mass media to enlighten the people on their position on Youth restiveness in the Niger – Delta region. Secondly, the plans to reduce environmental pollution in the area. Thirdly, it also enlightens the people on government’s amnesty plan for repentant militants in the Niger Delta area.
- Social Responsibility: Mass media also reports some organisations corporate social responsibility development programmes and projects to improve the standard of living of its host communities e.g. some oil companies.
- Two – Way Channel: It serves as a two-way channel of communication between the government and the people.
- Accountability: It enables the people to hold their government accountable especially in the areas they have failed in their campaign promises. Governance is all about accountability. Government should be able to give account of their stewardship to the people, even while in office. For example, Lagos State government has been demonstrating this since, 1999 to date.
- Security Challenges: The mass media is playing a crucial role in this area. It informs the public the areas in the country where lives and properties are threatened.
THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA IN NIGERIAN POLITICS/WATCHDOG
- Choice of Political Parties: Through mass media, choice of political parties is always made possible.
- Popularise Political Parties: Through T.V. advertising, political parties are made popular by impacting negatively or positively in the minds of the populace on political issues.
- Learner’s Interest: Mass Media generally stands in the position of sustaining the leaner’s interests on any subject.
- Focusing and Directing: The media focuses and directs the individual’s attention towards a particular objective with a singular goal of enhancing behavioural change.
- Instructional media: It has been found to occupy a prominent position in assisting, individual learners to accomplish desired level of competence.
- Generation of people’s Interest: One of the impacts of mass media was the generation of people’s interest for popular political participation in government.
- People’s mouth – Piece: The mass media developed and is now the people’s mouth – piece on issues affecting them socially, politically and economically.
- Accountability: People can now hold the government accountable for their deplorable state in life and the government unconcerned and uncaring attitude towards their welfare generally.
- Awaken People’s Feelings: Another impact is the awakening of the people’s feeling to fight for their political and civic rights.
- Political Education: Another effect is that the people now have negative and positive feelings about their government and style of leadership.
TYPES OF MEDIA
In education, instructional materials, media and educational media are used interchangeably. The following are the basic classification of instructional materials:
- Visuals – appeal to the sense of sight only – charts, maps, globes, etc.
- Audios – appeal to sense of sound only radio, recorded tapes, telephones, talking drums, audio compact disc.
- Audios – Visuals – appeal to sense of sound and sight, television, video, video CD, DVD, computer, etc.
MASS MEDIA-AS THE WATCH-DOG
The media is the people’s watch-dog. The media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm watches over the activities of government on behalf of the people. It reports to the people all the activities of government at all levels of governance – local, state and federal governments, thereby exacting much political influence. The mass media also informs and reminds the government of neglect to issues deeply affecting the people. For example, deplorable roads, lack of portable water, alarming rate of poverty, violation of people’s right and insecurity of lives and properties across the country.