Patterns of Utilisation of Development-Oriented Radio Programmes in Selected Nigerian Communities

Author: Njowusi, Veronica

Supervisor: Lekan Oyedeji

The main objective of this study was to investigate the different ways in which adults in Nigeria utilised radio for learning modern ideas. To this end, a random sample of six hundred adults, who owned or had access to radio sets was carried out. The geographical representation from which the selection was made were Ogun, Niger and Anambra states. Three urban and three rural communities, each with 100 respondents were selected. With the use of a questionnaire, they were asked to indicate how often they listened to radio, what types of programmes they listened to (news, sports, entertainment or development-oriented). The mode of presentation they preferred most, the adequacy of the programmes to their development needs, which of the programmes they would want to be increased (in duration or frequency), whether they had any suggestions for programmes' improvement, and an assessment of the type of relationship that presently exist between radio stations and their audiences. In addition, producers of programmes were interviewed on the programme planning format, time allocation to programmes, what considerations influence programme making and feedback responses. The data analysis-involved the use of Mann-Whitney U test, factor analysis, chi-square test, Pearson product moment correlation and the correlation matrix. The findings revealed, among other things, that the air time allocated to development-oriented programmes was inadequate; that the radio stations placed more emphasis on entertainment, news and music than on development-oriented programmes; that people in urban areas preferred political and economic programmes while those in rural areas preferred agriculture and health; and that radio listeners in the southern part of the country preferred drama while those in the north preferred talks show and interviews. Other findings show that Director of programmes and government officials often influenced much of the selection of radio development-oriented programmes with only a little consideration for the needs of the communities in which they operated. Also the study showed that most respondents listen to development programmes individually rather than in organised groups. An appraisal of these findings showed that though radio had a potential for teaching modern ideas to both literate and illiterate respondents, this potential had not been maximally tapped largely because a great number of the respondents have not inculcated a sustained radio learning habit. For radio therefore to be effective in disseminating modern ideas, it is the observation of this researcher, based on the findings in this study, that development-oriented programmes should be packaged in less formal formats, audience surveys should be frequently carried out, audience participation encouraged and radio listening groups established.