An Examination of the Effect of Education on Women in Journalism
1.1 Background Of The Study
According to Kefas (2009), journalism education is a system of education that facilitates the training of contributors to newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, as well as editors of literature for mass audiences. Journalism education, unlike much university activity, is non-experimental, with its curriculum influenced heavily by a limited set of such immediate, externally derived conditions (Stephens,2000).
However, in previous decades, men were known to predominate in Nigerian journalism. Men occupied the majority of decision-making positions in the journalism field, and they had complete control of the media house (Kefas 2009). This was due to the long-held belief that a woman’s education ends in the kitchen. Women’s enrolment in journalism education is an important aspect of broader academic studies on women’s work in journalism and media representation. For example, Golombisky (2002), cited in Cottle (2009), and others have investigated women’s roles and enrolment in journalism education from the perspectives of gender equity, gender disparity, gender imbalances, sexual discrimination, and sexism embedded in academia. Global surveys by Gallagher (1995), Peters (1999), Golombisky (2002), Densem (2006), Becker, Vlad, and Olin (2009), all of which cited Reese (2013), provide statistical evidence of a growing influx of women enrolling in journalism courses (North, 2010). According to Gallagher’s 1995 survey of 83 countries, for example, Africa has shown a significant comparative improvement in female journalism student enrolment. In West African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast, the male to female journalism student populations are nearly equal in West African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. Women account for more than 80% of students studying journalism or mass communication at the university level in Egypt and Tunisia, both in North Africa.
As a result of the evidence presented above, it is clear that in today’s society, women are increasingly becoming involved in the field of journalism through education, as women are being trained to occupy top positions in media houses in order to create a sense of balance in the field. According to (Mohsenian-Rad, and Entezari 1994), women have demonstrated a high level of professionalism in the journalism field, demonstrating greater intellect and expertise than their male counterparts. Famous journalists such as Kiki Mori, Kadaria, Funke Egbemode, Maupe Ogun, Chika Oduah, and others have shone a light on the brilliance of women in the field of journalism. As a result, education in this sense has empowered a large number of female journalists and sensitized women to the importance of gender equality in the field of journalism.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Education is seen as a fundamental requirement and right for all citizens of any nation. It helps to decrease inequities and improves one’s position within the family. Women’s empowerment and capacity building give them a place to get practical information and learn new skills that will help them improve their lives (Sedorkin, 2000). It is a significant instrument for eliminating inequality since it allows people to become self-sufficient. Women, who face discrimination in a variety of settings, have a special need for this. Education is recognized as a crucial milestone for women’s empowerment, particularly in the field of journalism, because it helps them to tackle problems, confront their established roles, and transform their life (Bromley, 1997). Women’s education is the most powerful instrument for changing their social status; information, as they say, is power. Education enables female journalists to flourish in their chosen profession. Nonetheless, a huge proportion of Nigerian women are illiterate, backward, weak, and exploited (Cottle. 2009). Women would be more likely to work in journalism, medicine, law, and other noble professions if they were better empowered via education. These are the foundations of gender disparities in a variety of aspects of life. All of this lends credence to the findings of this study on the effects of education on women in journalism.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The main target of this study is to examine the effects of education on women in journalism. The specific objectives are outlined below.
- Investigate whether education equips women for the field of journalism.
- Examine whether education has a significant effect on female journalists.
- Examine the challenges women encounter in the field of journalism.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
A hypothesis refers to an experimental statement, tentative in nature, showing the relationship between two or more variables. It is open to test and can be accepted or rejected depending on whether it agrees or disagrees with the statistical test.
The two hypotheses that were tested in this study are the null and alternative hypotheses.
The null hypothesis reflects that there will be no observed effect in our experiment. In a mathematical formulation of the null hypothesis, there will typically be an equal sign. This hypothesis is denoted by H0. The null hypothesis is what we attempt to find evidence against in our hypothesis test.
The alternative or experimental hypothesis reflects that there will be an observed effect on our experiment. In a mathematical formulation of the alternative hypothesis, there will typically be an inequality, or not equal to the symbol. This hypothesis is denoted by either Ha or by H1. The alternative hypothesis is what we are attempting to demonstrate in an indirect way through the use of our hypothesis test. If the null hypothesis is rejected, then we accept the alternative hypothesis. If the null hypothesis is not rejected, then we do not accept the alternative hypothesis.
The study will test the validity of the following null hypothesis:
H01: Education does not equip women for the field of journalism.
H02: Education has no significant effect on female journalists.
1.5 Significance Of The Study
This study will be of great relevance to students, researchers, and mass communications lecturers across Nigeria as the study will serve as a source of information for them for research and study purposes. This study will also encourage women in Nigeria to embrace education so as to attain a status of relevance in society. This study will also reveal the challenges encountered by women in the field of journalism and proffer possible solutions.
1.6 Scope Of The study
This study is focused on examining whether education equips women for the field of journalism, whether education has a significant effect on female journalists, and the challenges women encounter in the field of journalism. Therefore, this study will be delimited to the Nigerian Press Council.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
This study was limited by some notable such as time constrain, financial constrain, attitude of the respondents and unavailability of relevant materials.
1.8 Definition Of The Study
Education: This is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.
Journalism: This is the activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast.
Journalist: This is a person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast.