Digitization is an on-going process of ensuring the amnion transition from analogue to digital broadcasting
Digital Broadcast is the invent of technology that is set to make Broadcasting easy without stress and this is a process that has styles of transmission clear and sound
Broadcasting is the simple continuous ten of the action word (verb) ‘’broadcast’’ means to spread things to a large enter genus Audience in a different geographical location the central function of which is the dissemination of messages in the form of different programmers this research is aimed at stating what digital Broadcast is and the prospect and challenges in digital Broadcasting in Nigeria.
The digital transition refers to the shift from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting. Many countries of the world have recognized the huge benefit which digital broadcasting offers, contributing their- quota to ensure they moved from analogue to digital broadcasting. The transition from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting involves many changing the transmission signals as well as making sure that members of the public buy high definition television sets and get rid of standard definition television sets. In the United States of America, February 17, 2009 was set as a date when broadcasting in analogue will be-stopped and the whole country will commence digital broadcasting.
To this effect, the US congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Under this Act, all local stations in the US are required to move from their analogue channels and start broadcasting in digital format. The transition to digital broadcasting will mark the end of free television programmes.
However, this is not the case, while some television set may be” affected by the change; others will not for example, television sets that receive cable and satellite signals will still receive signals from digital transmission. However, television sets that receive analogue signals via antenna (these antenna have analogue funers) will be out of place in the digital era. In this state of affairs, old antennas will need to be upgraded to meet up with the technology. In countries like the United States of America where digital is planned to take off, all analogue television sets will no longer useful and will have to be dispose of perhaps shipped to other countries of the world where analogue broadcasting is still used.
People who wish to continue using analogue television set in the U.S will need to have a converter installed. This converter changes digital signals which are broadcast to analogue signals so that the television set will be able to pick.
Traditionally, developing countries in Africa, Latin America and South each Africa and Asia are often the dumping ground -for out modelled technology. The digital transition is just one example of the factors that make developing countries ‘\;cipients of technology that advanced countries no longer need.
Digitization programme in Nigeria commenced in Abuja on June 3, 2008, following a meeting of stakeholders in the broadcast industry where forum underscored the need for Nigeria to embrace the new technology, so that the countiy would not be turned into a dumping ground for obsolete analogue
-equipment. Report shows that Nigeria has set June, 17, 2010 as the switch – over date from the current mode of broadcasting to the modern digital terrestrial broadcasting. The date is three years before the June 17, 2015 deadline for the entire world set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) after its congress in Geneva, Switzerland in 2006.
1.1 HISTORY OF BROADCASTING IN NIGERIA
Radio broadcasting was introduced to Nigeria on December 19, 1932. This was also the day when the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) commenced its world’s regular overseas services. The grand plan was to link Nigeria and other chosen centres in the British colonial territories to Britain (the mother country) through re – transmitted radio signals from Daventry, England.
This was a strategy for regular in-flow of propaganda materials into the acquired colonial territories through carefully selected BBC programmes to.be consumed by subscribers. This method of re-transmission process known as Radio Distribution Service (RDS) had been in operation in Great Britain since the 1920s.
The National Broadcasting Service (NBS) was commissioned on 16 June, 1952 by the Governor, Sir John Stuart Macpherson. It was placed under the control of the department of broadcasting, established in April, 1951. Its maiden Director of Broadcasting was Mr. Tom Chalmers, while Mr. J.W. Murray was made Chief Engineer.
The motion which received sympathetic hearing in the extent that the house was divided into Northern and Southern blocs. The Northerners, who were not prepared for self- government by the anticipated years (1956), vehemently opposed the motion to the annoyance of Enahoro’s party members, who gave the motion a massive support.
The belief that there was a need for a central broadcasting corporation that would be useful to the nation politically, economically and socially, irrespective of tribal and political affiliation, led to the birth of the National Broadcasting Corporation in April, 1957. Before its establishment, an A.G member, the late Honourable D.S Adegbenro had moved a motion on March 23, 1954 in the House of Representatives.
The motion led to the promulgation of The Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation Act of 1956. The act empowers NBC to assume the commanding role being played by NBS in broadcasting services.
The first television station in Nigeria (and in Africa) was commissioned in Ibadan, Nigeria on October 31, 1959. It had the slogan: FIRST IN AFRICA. The station owned by the Western Nigeria government headed by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was set up as part of social service to the people.
The first woman to appear on Nigeria TV, Anike Agbaje – Williams, uttered these words in her capacity as an announcer: “This is WNTV, Africa’s first television station transmitting from Ibadan on Channels 3 and 4. On behalf of the Government and people of the Western Region of Nigeria and Overseas Redifussion, WNTV welcomes you to the first official night of its transmission”.
The Western Region Government added a regional radio station to the broadcasting service in 1960. It was known as the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service (WNBS). The station was jointly referred to as WNTV-WNBS. The Eastern Region later established its own TV station called Eastern Nigeria Television (ENTV) on October 1, 1960. The Northern Region followed with the establishment of a radio and television services in 1962 in partnership with a British Company. It was called the Radio Kaduna Television (RKTV).
Degree No 24 of 1977 centralized the ownership and management of all television stations in Nigeria as mentioned above. It also erased the 1954 constitutional right granted the three Regions to establish and run broadcasting stations. This situation was reversed by the 1979 constitution which restored this right to state governments by removing the ownership of broadcasting stations from the Federal exclusive list to the concurrent list. This eventually led to a big rush by state government to establish television stations.
The Lagos State government took the historic decision to establish the first state government – owned TV station (LTV, Ikeja). The station came on air on November 9, 1980.
Broadcasting services were deregulated in Nigeria on August 24, 1992 through Decree 38 promulgated by the Federal Military Government of General Ibrahim Babangida. The decree was amended by Decree 55 of 1999 to allow for the creation of the National Broadcasting Commission. Both decrees have been adapted to Acts of the National Assembly number 38 and 55, in line with our present democratic status. The commission has been empowered to manage the broadcasting industry. The commission as at year 2004 had average staff strength of 400.
1.2 DEFINITIONS OF BROADCASTING
Broadcasting has been generally defined as the dissemination of messages to a heterogeneous audience through an electronic media such as radio and television.
FUNCTIONAL – BASED DEFINITION OF BROADCASTING
Broadcasting is the simple continuous tense of the action word (verb) “broadcast” which means, “to spread something to a large number of people, places or things”. Broadcasting performs a specific function or set of functions in the society. The central function of which is the dissemination of messages in the form of different programmes.
Broadcast can therefore be said to mean a strategic, multi – functional practice that commands a place of pride in the scheme of affairs in most societies. The “tripod -like” function of broadcasting includes: information, education and entertainment of society.
STRUCTURAL – BASED DEFINITION OF BROADCASTING
Broadcasting is an organized, electronic – based, systematic, co-ordinated and multi – disciplinary activity which involves a network of professionals working together for the purpose of disseminating information to defined audiences. This explains why there are various departments in a typical broadcast media house.
BROADCASTING AS AN ART
Broadcasting as an art explains that broadcasting involves the creation of aesthetic. Broadcast programmes on radio and television, especially the television, involves some artistic skills and displays.
Although, radio is an exclusively audio medium, the beauty of radio broadcasting is the use of what Odetoyinbo (2003) call the four colours of radio..
Radio broadcasting depends on the beauty of voice delivery, beautiful music and a reasonable level of entertainment to attract the attention of its audience and also sustain their interests in its programmes.
In television broadcasting, set designing, staging, make – up, lighting, “compu-graphics” and a whole lot of other components of TV broadcasting are out rightly artistic in nature.
As an art, it involves the creative conceptualization of programmes and the professional appreciation of the aesthetic quality of such programmes.
BROADCASTING AS AN ACT
Broadcasting involves a wide range of systematic and coordinated activities. Broadcasting is an act because; it involves training and acquisition of skills. Good presenter, reporters, newscasters and other key players in the broadcasting organization carryout their arts with constant practice (acts).
Like Smith Wigglesworth, the faith healer once said: “The Acts of Apostles was written because the apostle acted”. In the same vein, broadcasting is pivoted on acts not just talks. In broadcasting parlance, even talking, technically referred to as presentation, is an act because it has to be learnt and mastered.
1.3 CARRER PROSPECTS IN BROADCASTING
Radio and Television thrives on team work. The following network of manpower constitutes the brain behind a successful production. The key players can pick from these carriers to perform their professional responsibilities and duties.
- Producer: According to the International Dictionary of Broadcasting and Film,
a producer is “a person, who organises, often creates and supervises a production, a
show, programme or series, right from inception to distribution and even beyond.
He /she is in charge of budgeting, the selection and hiring of production personnel
and other players (in conjunction with the director), the overall production,
distribution arrangement and often the production’s financial outcome”.
- The Director: A Director is like a mid- wife or gynaecologist who is trained in
the act of helping pregnant women to deliver her baby safely. The pregnant woman
in this context would then be the producer who conceives programme ideas while
the director sort of doctors the actual birth of programme. A director is the person
in full charge of all technical requirement for a production.
- The Studio Manager/ Technologist: A studio manager “acts as a bridge
between the producer’s programme intentions and the technicalities of radio
His duties include correcting and balancing microphones and to
adjust the volume of recorded sound to appropriate sound – checked levels, to
switch on and operate all control room equipment, such as the mixing panels,
equalizers, turntables, tape recorders, compact disc players, etc. He also set the
monitor programme intensity level from time to time.
- Duty Continuity Announcer (DCAs): Since broadcasting is a continuum and
no room is professionally made for a vacuum in the broadcast of programmes, the
role of duty continuity announcer cannot be over-emphasized in broadcasting. A
duty continuity announcer is a trained on – air personality whose job is to carry the
Audience of a broadcast station along and intimate them with the line of programmes to be aired on the stations from time to time. From the opening of a station in the early hours of the morning to the closing of the station later in the day, duty continuity announcers are placed on a kind of duty roaster of shift.
- The Studio Engineer: Primarily, the studio engineers are saddled with the
responsibility of servicing and maintaining broadcast equipment in a radio or
television station. They also ensure that good audio-visual qualities are attained in
the broadcast of programmes. Studio engineers work hand in hand with the studio
operatives to ensure good technical output of all equipment from the studio to the
- Studio Auxiliary Staff: In most modern broadcast studios, provision is made
for studio auxiliary staffs that generally assist with running essential errands within
and outside the studio area.
- The Floor Manager/Graphic Artist: The floor manager is .the person who
takes responsibilities for the preparation of a television studio floor for recording
and also ensures that a conducive atmosphere is created during recordings. All
necessary materials required for a recording in the studio namely: sets, lighting,
props and furniture are usually monitored by the floor manager ahead of the
programme under the supervision of the director. He is also responsible for the
proper positioning of crew and audiences or guests where applicable.
- The Set Designer: The job of a set designer in television broadcasting has
changed from the traditional era of combined efforts of craftsmen like carpenters,
fine artiste and graphic designers but with the advent and development of virtual
studio technology, the creation of sets and stages can be done with more computer
designs and realized via the channel use of three – dimensional (3D) arts, computer
designs and animations. Different dimensions of scene depth can be realized with
the use of virtual studio technology as against traditional set designing.
1.4 MODERN WAYS OF BROADCAST MEDIA OPERATIONS
The world in which we live today is one world that has succeeded at subjecting itself to a paradigm redefinition. In fact, change itself is the only thing that is constant in our modern world. Little wonder therefore that the world which used to mean a wide geographical expanse of land, water and other structures with people and animals spread out over it is now undoubtedly one global room where technology links one part successfully to the other parts. That trend of constant redefinition of concepts has actually taken its tolls on the broadcasting industry.
There are six major developments that have come to change the face of broadcasting today. They are:
(1) Narrow – Casting
Narrow – casting refers to a form of broadcasting which involves the transmission of relatively specialized programmes to a relatively specialized small audience through an electronic medium.
Basically, the major thrust of narrowcasting include its emphasis on transmission of programmes to a specific target audience who share a common area of interest such as sports, cartoons, films, etc. Unlike the broad – based broadcasting which appeals to what Sina Aina (2003:70) calls “mass audience”.
Another distinguishing feature of narrow-casting is that it encourages the mass medium of broadcasting to package its programmes especially for its target audience such that one can narrow – down the scope of coverage of the broadcast media.
(2) Web – Casting
Web – casting is another form of broadcasting which involves the use of internet to facilitate the transmission of a specialized version or collection of programmes, especially news from a radio or television, to a heterogeneous audience scattered around the whole world via the internet.
Web – casting therefore primarily depends on the use of the internet which Sulaiman Osho (2008: 245) has rightly described as “a delivery mechanism through which digitalized information travels.
(3) Community Broadcasting
Although, community broadcasting is not an entirely new form of broadcasting, it is one form of broadcasting that is at the front burner of broadcasting development in world today. It is an integrated part of what Prof Lai Oso calls “Community Media”.
Community broadcasting is the broadcasting system initiated by a given community, run by that community and for that community to facilitate the development of that community.
According to Prof Lai Oso, community broadcasting is a unique form of broadcasting that is targeted at giving a voice to the voiceless section of society, the rural communities, which are not given significant attention in the scheme of things in the heavily industrialized, urbanized and commercialized mainstream broadcasting system.
(4) Simul – Casting
Simul – casting refers to a broadcast system in which the same broadcast programmes are aired simultaneously on both radio and television or on AM and FM radio stations. It is a modern broadcast practice being employed by broadcast media houses which are owned by the same authority, say a state government owned AM and FM radio station for example.
In a privately owned broadcast media chain like Daar Communications, it is very possible for a smart and experienced producer to camera a radio programme being transmitted on Ray Power 100.5 FM and forward the same to the television sister station, AIT for onward transmission. Such a practice saves time, energy and optimizes use of resources but it has to be used with a high sense of professionalism to ensure broadcast continuity, ingenuity and utmost attention to its content delivery without offending the sensibility of broadcast audiences who will easily detect any gross inconsistency and feel fooled.
(5) Broadcast to Mobile System
The whole idea of broadcast to mobile transmission is about the possibility of transmitting terrestrial broadcast signals of established television channels onto mobile phones user can receive such television signals right on the mobile phone.
There are two major modes of broadcast to mobile phones namely Third Generation “3G” Broadcast to mobile transmission and Digital Video Broadcast -Handed (DVB-H).
(6) Micro – Casting
This is a form of information dissemination in the broadcasting parlance that deals with relaying message to a small, homogenous and unscattered audience. Audience in this system usually covers a relatively small geographical space.
Most communities who are not able to reach the main media adopt the alternative to serve as their mouthpiece. This kind of media disseminate message to a small audience. That is the geographical coverage is restrictive and limited.
1.5 FORM OF BROADCAST MEDIA
The forms of broadcast media available in broadcasting industry are as follows:
Television is an audio-visual medium of information dissemination that adopt electro – magnetic channel to relay message to a scattered, highly dispersed and heterogeneous audience.
Nwanze (2003:6) observes that television is a powerful mass mobilization medium. He observes: “As a result of its ability to transmit sound, vision and motion simultaneously, television is a powerful mass mobilization medium”.
He states the following as other functions of television:
- Instant and simultaneous access to an immense and diversified audience.
- High credibility and nationwide scope
- Agents of socialization of people culturally, politically and economically.
- Has glamour appeal.
Radio is an electro – magnetic medium that transmits audio signals via the transmitter to a large audience.
Adeosun (2005:58) explains the significance of radio: “Television is purchased by the “elites” and “haves” in the society. The newspapers and magazines are patronized by the literate audience but radio serves all class in the society, the rich, the poor, the average, the young and the old. The educated and rural dwellers are not exempted from programmes presented in local languages on radio”.
Radio is the most popular mass medium, even in the rural areas. This is because it is considerably cheap to buy and maintain. (Ebo 1999:153).
Radio has certain peculiar characteristics which distinguish it from other mass media. According to Adeosun (2005:60) radio is a medium of immediacy. At times, radio serves all segments of the society. The elites and the haves in the society purchase the television. Radio serves all classes in the society- the rich, the poor, the average, the young and the old, the literate and illiterate audience.
Adeosun. S et al (2011): “Basics of Radio and Television Broadcasting”. Primus Prints, Abeokuta.
Aina, Sina (2007): “Voyage into the History of Nigerian Mass Media”, Frontgate Publishers, Lagos.
Orunsola, O. (2009): “Current Trends in Broadcasting”. Green Pastures Publication, Abeokuta.
Oso, Lai, ed (2003): “Community Media: Voices of the Oppressed”. Jedidah Publishers, Abeokuta, Ogun State.