The role of mass media in curbing the spread of corona virus pandemic in Nigeria
This study was on the role of mass media in cubing the spread of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected mass media in Oyo state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made broadcasters, production managers, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
- Background of the study
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created a global health crisis that has had a deep impact on the way we perceive our world and our everyday lives. Not only the rate of contagion and patterns of transmission threatens our sense of agency, but the safety measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus also require social distancing by refraining from doing what is inherently human, which is to find solace in the company of others. Within this context of physical threat, social and physical distancing, as well as public alarm, what has been (and can be) the role of the different mass media channels in our lives on individual, social and societal levels?
Mass media have long been recognized as powerful forces shaping how we experience the world and ourselves. This recognition is accompanied by a growing volume of research, that closely follows the footsteps of technological transformations (e.g. radio, movies, television, the internet, mobiles) and the zeitgeist (e.g. cold war, 9/11, climate change) in an attempt to map mass media major impacts on how we perceive ourselves, both as individuals and citizens. The sensitization and awareness campaign were to sensitize the populace on the cause of COVID-19, its symptoms, consequences and prevention methods. The media particularly social media, radio and television is used as a veritable instrument for creating the needed awareness and COVID-19 health education. Although some scholars argued that the use of social media is exclusively reserved for the educated. Government of Nigeria adopted media institutions with other traditional means of mass mobilization to create proper awareness of COVID-19 among rural communities. These institutions particularly the television and radio station adopted native vernacular or language as their means of communication
Statement of the problem
Are media (broadcast and digital) still able to convey a sense of unity reaching large audiences, or are messages lost in the noisy crowd of mass self-communication? Do social media provide solace or grounds for misinformation, (de)humanization, and discrimination? Can we harness the flexibility and ubiquity of media technologies to increase the public’s adherence to the safety measures suggested by global health organizations to combat the spread of COVID-19? How can different media industries and channels for mass communication promote adaptive responses to foster positive health attitudes and adherence to preventive measures? How media impact the dynamics in the private domain (e.g. strengthen family bonds versus domestic conflict and violence)?
Objective of the study
The objectives of the study are;
- To ascertain the role mass media play in curbing the spread of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria
- To ascertain if the media campaign created a reasonable level of mass media awareness of COVID-19 epidemic, causes, effects and prevention in Nigeria
- To ascertain the relationship between mass media and COVID19 sensitizing awareness
The following have been put forward for testing
H0: there is no role mass media play in curbing the spread of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria
H1 : there is role mass media play in curbing the spread of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
H0: there is no relationship between mass media and COVID19 sensitizing awareness
H1: there is relationship between mass media and COVID19 sensitizing awareness
Significance of the study
This study will be of utmost importance to investors, government and the researchers because it will provide policy recommendations to the various Nigeria stakeholders taking adequate measures in the broadcasting industry for rapid capacity investment. The changing character of the broadcasting industry especially, the television station reforms including the licensing of online radio and television stations has affected the industry in recent times and will push studies on the perception of mass media as tools for sensitizing rural dwellers about infectious epidemic to new evidence(s). It will contribute to existing literature on the subject matter. This study will be of benefit to; The Academia: members of the academia will find the study relevant as it will also form basis for further research and a reference tool for academic works.
Government: this study will reveal to the government happenings in the broadcasting industry. Formulation and implementation of policies based on this findings would ensure development in the industry.
Scope and limitation of the study
The scope of the study covers the role of mass media in curbing the spread of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Epidemic: a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.
- Disease: a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal or plant especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.
- Infectious: (of a disease or disease-causing organism) liable to be transmitted to people, organisms, etc. through the environment.
- Mass media: refers to a diverse array of mass technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication.