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  • View abstract and chapter one below



This study examines the crucial role of news commentaries in social change. It accordingly recognizes that its true subject is always the audience, especially, how that audience is constructing social reality in their minds and daily lives. News commentary plays a strategic role in social change because it represents, or rather presents, society as something already under discussion, in the here and now, by media persons (press). In other words, it provides a communications infrastructure for the revolution of everyday life.

However, various obstacles exist in the path of Nigerian journalist that militate against effective performance of his/ her duties. Here lies the role of the press. This study takes a look at what constitutes a social change and the role news commentaries are plating and are also expected to play.

This research work is carried out to help determine and highlight some of the problems militating against the successful production and utilization of broadcast news commentary with special emphasis on broadcast media and the audience within Enugu metropolis. The aim here is to find out if news commentary truly affects social change, its limitations, and recommendations. It also proffers solutions that would help promote media effectiveness, based on the result of the analysis and findings.

This research exercise is divided into five chapters, viz, chapter one deals with the background of the study, statement of problem, objectives, scope, hypotheses and significance of the study. Chapter two deals with review of related literature. Chapter three deals with research methodology and design, while chapter four deals with data presentation and analysis of result. Chapter five deals with findings, conclusions and recommendations and limitations of the study stating some of the problems encountered in the course of this research exercise.

A reference of all library sources, or authors whose previous work were quoted or referred to by the researcher is made available at the end of this chapter. Also in carrying out this research, the major types of data employed include primary and secondary data. The primary data were obtained through questionnaires, surveys and observations, while the secondary data were collected from interviews and appraisal of available literature and documents.

In convulsion this research affirms that news commentary lies are indeed both a potent force and effective tool used to achieve social change. Recommendations were also made.




The introduction of broadcast media in Nigeria was dated back to 1930’s starting with the Radio.

Radio broadcasting in Nigeria started with the colonial policy, which demanded sharing of information between colony and the colonial Lords, in 1932 as British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

The system used them was wired wireless connected to the rediftusion boxes (loud speakers) in subscribers hones. This system was called, Radio Distribution service (RDS)

This era led to the establishment of Nigerian Broadcasting service (NBS) in 1951, that Nigerialization of radio program news reflected the environmental pattern/ culture of the people. It was renamed in 1957 as Nigerian Broadcast Corporation (NBC).

Although the scope of the NBC was designed to cover the regions, radio stations were simulfeneously established by the Eastern and Western regions to   cater for the mass communication needs of their respective region.

The Eastern region established the tasters Nigerian Broadcasting service (ENBS) IN 1963.

The radio was set up not only to supplement NBC’s efforts, but also provided a team of spirit of competition and electivity which are to have tremendous impact on the quality/ quantity of their programmers.

To further ensure effective broadcast performance, the NBC established zonal station to Lagos, to provide impartial broadcast service to the country.

Television transmission in Nigeria also began in Western Nigeria on October 31st 1959. The service which was initiated by the regional government of the west was not only the first in Nigeria, but the oldest in Africa’s continent as a whole, (Egbon, 1985: 34). The birth of television in Nigeria was accidental having been born out of political motivations. Hitherto, Radio broadcasting in Nigeria was solely provided by the NBC and entirely financed by the government sought to establish its mass media, which it could control and through w2hich it could voice out its opinion independence of the federal Authority.

The new WNBC was set up to provide television and sound broadcasting services, which includes education, i8nformation and entertainment programmers.

These tasters Nigeria Television (ENTV) now NTA Enugu was established in 1963 while others came later. The federal government of Nigeria in 1975 took over all the old regional Television stations.

Television broadcasting was introduced in developing countries recently with its coverage limited to urban centers. The main idea that informed this transfer of television Technology was the view of education and social planners who perceived television as a possible panacea for development and that it may advance modernization and also encourage mass production techniques.

Radio, as the commonest mass media in the third world has proven to have some merits over the last thirty years, radios out reach has expanded cultural communication, television continues to expand rapidly, although from a much smaller and more urban base than radio.  The programmers which those television viewers see continue to be largely imported much of it from U.S.  Therefore, for most countries, television will continue to be an international medium with a high degree of foreign cultural influence to social change.

Broadcast news commentary is however, as old as the news itself. News commentary as the name implies, is the news behind the news. It is a critical interpretation, evaluation and presentation of significant, contemporal social events in such a way as to inform, entertain, educate and as well influence the audience (ie the publics), (Okoro & Agbo 2003: 125).

News commentary was created to fill the vacuum which news story failed to fill, due to lack of time in the broadcasting media. It is certain issues that need to be highlighted or further elucidated, especially, on a social burning issue.

News commentary like news highlights, news analysis, special reports, focus, even editorial opinion etc has contribute much in different aspects of national development and influence change in people’s social lives.


Any nations that needs development without having mass media in her first mind as indispensables and integrate part of development is merely making a mistake.

People have realized the need, especially in Nigeria, for keeping the public informed to tell people what they don’t and would want to know.

Journalists in the other hand have continued to serve as watchdogs for the public (Microsoft) (Encarta suit 2004). News commentary exerted some influence, but even more important is its ability to focus public attention on social problems, political corruption or development programmers, (Encarta 2004).

As a result of these a lot of changes has been going on in Nigeria.



  1. Despite the fact that the mass media are all as important as the other in making social change, why is it that some are more effective than the other?
  2. Though television sets cost are higher than when compared to the cost of radio sets, why then do majority of people have more access to television than radio.
  3. Lacks of packaging and good presentation of programmers sometimes deny the media the opportunity of winning the interest of listener/ viewership.
  4. Why television is in its exaggerative nature seems to attract audience more than the radio.



This study is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To find out which of the mass media-television and radio that audience are more exposed to.
  2. To find out the extent each influence the public in terms of social/attitude change
  3. To find out the commonly used media among the two by agents of development/ change.
  4. To know the limitations of television and radio in information dissemination.
  5. To know the extent broadcast news commentary has impact on people’s social behavior.
  6. To draw inference from available primary and secondary data and make recommendations where necessary.



This study Broadcast news commentary as a strategy for social change is to ascertain which of the two main broadcast media television and radio is more effective in persuading and influencing social change it is also to find out which of the two is more demanding by the public and other social agents. People stand a better chance to gain from this study as they would.

Always need the best satisfaction from any one of the media they may be exposed to.

The researcher as a final year student will gain a lot from this study also when she joins the media to demonstrate what she has learnt.

Finally, this research study is for the benefit to the entire public of the society whose task is to pay attention to the broadcast news commentary for a better change. They are not left out.



This study is restricted to Enugu, which is nearer and more familiar to me. And which l believes is sufficiently repre3sntative of Nigeria.

The scope for this study is limited to Enugu metropolis the audience, while media are the available local channels. The use of Enugu metropolis is because of its feature as composing the Nigeria audience structure.


  1. Does broadcast news commentary influence social change?
  2. Government policies effect dissemination of broadcast news commentary?
  3. Are people more exposing to radio than television?
  4. Are the audiences satisfied with the information they get from local media?


  1. H0: Broadcast news commentary influence social change.

H1: Broadcast news commentary does not influence social change.


  1. H0: Government policy does not strictly affect dissemination of broadcast news commentary.

H1:       Government policies strictly affect dissemination of broadcast News commentary.


  1. H0: People are not more exposed to radio than television.

H1: People are more exposed to radio than television.


  1. H0: Audience is not satisfied with the information they get From local Media.

H1: Audience is satisfied with the information they get from local Media.



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