THE INFLUENCE OF TELEVISION ON FAMILY INSTITUTION IN NIGERIA

Posted by LAGOS on 8/31/2011 8:26:14 AM |

Written by: LAGOS




 



 



1.0. INTRODUCTION



Mass
Media refers to any means of information addressed to society members. Various
forms of the media which have the stronger capacity to impart on the society
are radio and television, termed electronic media. Others include the internet,
newspapers and billboards.  These
afore-mentioned media can affect the society negatively and positively.  They have become powerful tools which are
capable of shaping a family's cultural values, which if not used positively,
may lead to many undesirable results such as domestic violence, psychological
disturbances, juvenile delinquencies and many more.



 It is widely known that the media can teach
norms and values by way of symbolic reward and punishment for different kinds
of behaviours. We live in a society that depends on information and
communication to keep moving in the right direction. Hence the society relies
on the media to get the current news (within and outside), facts about
everything that concerns our lives and also keep us entertained.



Television
popularly called 'TeeVee' is the most influential among media distribution
channels. Television broadcasting is the transmission of visual images of
moving and stationary objects, generally with accompanying sound, as
electromagnetic waves and the reconversion of received waves into visual
images. Naturally, picture sound and colour are such powerful ingredients. For
this simple reason it has become very easy for people to get attracted to
televised programs and by so doing become addicted.



According
to survey, television is a past time for most families in Nigeria. Every home
irrespective of financial and social status has a television set, and has become
a mainstay in many homes. It is mostly used to keep body and soul alive and
also to keep abreast of what is happening locally, nationally and globally.



Today
there are over two hundred active television stations in Nigeria, and their
programs and contents cater to every genre and interest group available within
the wide range of programs that can be seen. These stations provide such shows
as comedy, sports, cartoons, home videos, old movies, new movies, soap operas,
international shows and local movies.



 Added to these television stations in Nigeria
is MultiChoice popularly called DStv, which will be the researcher's focal
point. MultiChoice is a premium pay television that is connected to many homes
in Nigeria through the DStv platform. It has over two hundred channels and a
variety of interesting programs that hold viewers spellbound. Consequently,
viewers who subscribed to MultiChoice channels can stay glued to their
television sets without considering the damge it will cost them.



The
influence of DStv has always been an interesting area debated all over the
country, the reason being that its contents can affect some people positively
and could also be the ‘demon’ in some homes.



From
a general angle, researchers and experts have focused on the power of
television and how it shapes viewers' perception of culture, religion and
communication among family members. The dress sense of teenagers these days is
alarming; this has been another trend which has been a source of worry to the
society. This raises the question about musical videos and entertainment-based
programs, which have been found to be the key source of influence among youths.



 



THEORETICAL FRAME WORK TO
TELEVISION AND FAMILY VALUES.



Television
has the power to impact on society members in so many ways and at the same time
it paves the way for people to socialize within a given society. Social
learning theory (Bandura 1977) argues for imitative behavior and learning from
television of behaviors seen as rewarding and realistic. It uses both imitation
and identification to explain how people learn through observation of others in
their environment. What this means is we learn through television how people
from other parts of the world live their lives, and even how some individuals
attain greatness in their chosen career. Television often gives such people or
individuals prominence and put them in the spotlight. The tendency to act like
these individual is very high, because naturally people crave to associate with
successful individuals.



This
study is highlighting the influence of specific television programs on family
values. Wole Soyinka (2006) in a forum, 'The voice of Ethics in international
affairs affirmed that the media is a powerful force for shaping a people's way
of life. Television viewing is a kind of interaction between a person and the
program content. The content could contain elements that can be persuasive in a
negative manner. For instance, cigarette adverts are capable of making a minor
want to have a taste of it. Liquor and fast food junks adverts can also be
misleading because most fast food restaurants target their advertising at
children and students - an important market for them.



 



 



      LITERATURE REVIEW



This
chapter reviews some research works on family and television as it has been
acclaimed by some scholars in the field of family, television broadcasting and
the media.



Families
are often influenced by what the media portray, program that portray women as
the head of the house could definitely affect the perception a family holds
about family institution in the society. 
Toyin Falola (2000) says that 'Nigeria is one of the largest and most
important countries in Africa; it is rich in traditions and customs, both
indigenous and modern'.



 With television playing a major role in our
lives today, our society is undoubtedly faced with cultural conquest. Graeme
Burton (2005; 109) says that the concern about what media do has pushed people
to adopt particular lifestyles or pattern of behaviour. These portrayals
reflect and reinforce views about the nature of the family in society. Changing
social norms and television portrayals mean that assessing the impact of
portrayals must be an ongoing effort.



 



 TELEVISION AND CULTURE.



Culture
has been defined by many scholars as the distinct way of life by a group of
people. Thomas Ford Hoult (1969) defines culture as ‘The total, generally
organized way of life, including values, norms, institutions, and artifacts,
that is passed on from generation to generation by learning alone'. Hess et al
(1993:50) refers to culture as 'The map for living of a group whose members
share a territory and language, feel responsible for one another and recognized
their shared identity' Looking at culture from this angle, it simply implies
that it is a unifying factor and it can be internalized through the numerous agents
of socialization.



 The power of television has brought a lot of
changes, the world has become a global village, and people can travel around
the world without stepping out of their houses. This had been made possible by
the power of television. People who are addicted to DStv contents will attest
to the fact that, information about events around the world has been brought to
their door steps. There is no doubt that foreign culture has pervaded our
society and there is the rise of what is called ‘crossculturalism’  Meaning, through televised programs one can
begin to learn about other people's ways of doing things and by so doing get
acculturated.



 



 HISTORY OF TELEVISION BROADCASTING IN NIGERIA



In
1959, the Regional Government of Western Nigeria established the first
television station in Nigeria and in Africa. Even though it promoted the
station as a means to educate the people about development and the world, it
initially served as a means for an opposition leader to address the people of
Western Nigeria. The regional governments of Eastern and Northern Nigeria and
the Federal Government in Lagos followed and started their own TV stations in
the early 1960s. (Soji Alabi: 2010). All four of these stations basically
existed to serve partisan political objectives for the various governments.
Stations established after these four continued this same political and
regionalist heritage. In 1973, a new surge of regional consciousness occurred
after the Gowon military Government allowed the division of the country into 19
states. This change, the concurrent oil boom, and the effectiveness and
importance of existing ‘TV’ broadcasting led to a new surge of state owned ‘TV’
stations. Three years later, the military Government established the National
Television Authority (NTA) to coordinate nationwide coverage. The NTA then
acquired existing ‘TV’ stations. This event slowed the growth of ‘TV’
broadcasting until 1979 when General Olusegun Obasanjo handed over power to the
Government of Shehu Shagari. The five political parties vying for election in
the states revoked the NTA charter and a proliferation of ‘TV’ stations
occurred. This also happened because the civilian administration was
disorganized. As regionalization played a role in the broadcasting of political
propaganda, so did it play a role in educational programming.



 In 1992, a new chapter opened in the history
of Nigeria broadcasting, the Federal Government under General Babangida
deregulated the broadcast industry by granting licenses to private individuals
and organizations to set up television and radio broadcasting stations.



Suffice
to say, that the licenses granted to private individuals and organizations to
own radio and television stations opened a new chapter in the program
structuring in broadcasting in Nigeria, their program designs were not
influenced by the government. Today, there are over a thousand television and
radio stations in Nigeria.



 



  
FAMILY STRUCTURE IN NIGERIA.



‘Family’
in the traditional Nigerian term is usually made up of people who are related
by blood, marriage, or adoption. There are two major family types; the nuclear
family, which is made up of a man, his wife, and their unmarried children. The
extended family is an extension of the nuclear family, relatives, and grandparents
are also a part of the extended family.. Culturally, Nigerians have a great
respect for family ties, most Nigerian cultural groups practice patrilineal
descent, have patriarchal authority, have patrilocal rule of residence, and are
generally patricentric in outlook. Children socialize with this arrangement in
mind, and female children are consciously socialized to serve and be
subordinate to males. This hierarchical structure has sometimes led to
dissolution of marriages on the grounds of the birth of only or mostly female
children.



 Today, there is a change in the way people
define family, persons who are not bound biologically can claim to be family
with people with no biological ties. The issue of legally adopting a child is
quite new to the Nigerian family system. Extended family is the system that the
Nigerian family is known for but today the structure is embracing the nuclear
type of family structure.



Charity
they say begins at home, a child learns how to speak and internalize the norms
and practices of his environment through his family.



The
family institution is responsible for shaping the personality of an individual.
No wonder therefore a breakdown in any family leads to a very disastrous future
for most children. Sulaiman Aledeh, a senior news caster with Channels
television, Lagos stressed that the family institutions should be held
responsible for the existence of 'area boyism' in Lagos metropolis. A lot of
reasons could cause the skirmish in a family set up, the fact still remains
that the environment a child grows up still affects the way the child relates
with people.



 



 



 



 



  
FAMILY VALUES AND TELEVISION CONTENTS.



The
Oxford English Dictionary defines family as a "group of persons consisting
of the parents and their children, whether actually living together or
not." Martin Luther King jnr once asserted that ''family is the bedrock of
the society''. A generation ago, it was often considered shameful to have a
child outside of wedlock, now it appears to have become the norm. In Nigeria today,
a lot of children are born to unmarried mothers.  A child growing up in a one-parent family is
more likely to fail at school, more likely to become a drug addict and have an
alcohol problem. This is a proof that the lack of a father or mother in a family
has serious consequences.



 Family reproduces the society. Family
breakdown is often the cause of truancy, violent crimes, area boyism, 419 and
many more. The family system is very unique that a strain can portend a
negative sign for the society. Wikipedia defines family as 'a group of people
affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is
the principal institution for the socialization of children'.



Television
is one of the most prevalent media influences on family, studies have shown
that television actually expose people to things they would not have imagined.
We learn from ‘TV’ whether we even realize it or not. George Rodman (2006:27)
feels that the controversy the media creates in today's society exists in a
particular medium. From this angle we can state that addiction to a particular
television program can create cultural significance overtime.  At any time of day you can turn on the
television and see something that you have never seen before. If you are not
even paying attention you might even catch something subliminally. These days,
there are still those who want to do those things because they see them on ‘TV’,
but there are also those who want to be movie stars and newscasters. This alone
proves that television has affected society just by the fact that it has created
a a lot of jobs. Some people shape their lives around being on and around the
television business, while others shape their lives around watching television.
Now however television and other mass media allow millions of people to share a
variety of identical experiences, through television we can observe how
successful people behave and we assume that this is the proper way to behave in
the real world.



Many
young people these days do not follow the traditional way of greeting their
elders because they assume that the traditional style of giving greeting is out
of place. Their dress sense is even nothing to write home about. Soji Alabi (2010)
reiterated that 'most of the foreign soap operas promote values that are alien
to Nigerian culture.



Television
influence on family is not only on children alone. Most parents get addicted to
particular programs and by so doing neglect their duties.  A football fanatic will definitely have
problems with his partner in terms of attention and all the rest.  Women who love watching 'African Magic' a
channel on DStv that broadcast Nigerian made films, will easily be influenced
by what they watch. These addictions could be corrected when it involves
parents but the basic issue is when kids get addicted to programs that
influence their sense of reasoning and the way they relate with people. What
this means is, children also learn by imitation, when they see that their
parents are addicted to some programs, they will start nursing the idea that
being addicted to some basic programs is accepted and morally justifiable. The
negative side of this addiction when what they are addicted to have some
negative impacts.  This has raised a lot
of concerns because the society is being faced with violent crimes, cultism,
truancy and early pregnancy among secondary school girls. Values parents teach
these days are being contradicted by what children see on television programs.
Children learn by observation and tend to put aside the conventions they grew
up with. This has basically become a big ‘wahala’ to parents, guardians, school
authorities and the Government.



 



 REGULATORY AGENCIES.



In
Nigeria, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Broadcasting
Organization of Nigeria (BON) have been empowered by the government to carry
out a number of duties, some of which include, licensing, monitoring,
regulating and conducting research in broadcasting in Nigeria. Apart from
regulating and controlling the broadcast industry in the country, they also
function as promoters of Nigerian indigenous cultures, moral and community life
through broadcasting. These agencies were put in place by the government to
control broadcasting contents in Nigeria. NBC in particular sanction radio and
television stations that go against its rules and regulations, this measure
became important because broadcasting houses telecast programs that are
financially beneficial to them but quite damaging to our national interests.



 



 EMERGENCE OF MULTICHOICE NIGERIA LIMITED.



MultiChoice
existence in Nigeria started after the broadcast industry was deregulated by
the Ibrahim Babangida Administration in 1992. It started in Lagos in 1994 and
has expanded its operations overtime in other major geo-political zones in the
country, with offices in Abuja, Enugu, Ibadam, Jos, Kano, Port Harcourt, and
its head office is Lagos. MultiChoice Nigeria offers premium services in DStv,
consisting of general entertainment, news and information, sport and education
channels, and exposes subscribers to the exciting world of multi-channel
television, with a collection in excess of fifty of the international and local
television and audio channels along with innovations such as enhanced
television services.



The
DStv pay television across Africa is transmitted over four different
satellites; Intelsat 7, Intelsat 10, Eutelsat W4 and SESAT W2.



 



 DStv BOUQUETS.



MultiChoice
television has over five bouquets; these bouquets vary according to the
financial and social status of subscribers. The five major ones are as follows:



DStv
PREMIUM- combines the best entertainment programming available from across the
globe with superior technological innovation to provide an unforgettable
television viewing experience. With a glittering menu of world-class television
channels and quality audio channels, DStv Premium offers the richest core of
on-screen entertainment available in Africa.From thrilling live sport coverage,
the latest news from around the globe, award-winning documentaries, non-stop
movies, gripping series, and kids edutainment to vibrant music programming -
DStv Premium prides itself on the quality and range of choice they offer
subscribers. The monthly subscription for this bouquet costs N9.500 monthly. It
has over eighty channels.



DStv
COMPACT PLUS.



With
DStv Compact you will have access to hundreds of programs and thousands of
stars. Included in this fantastic bouquet are premium entertainment channels,
animal and nature channels as well as a sampling of sport. There are also
lifestyle, news, music, religion and interactive channels available.
Subscription for this bouquet cost N6.800 monthly and it has over sixty
channels.



DStv
COMPACT.



DStv
Compact PLUS is made up of over 47 news, lifestyle and entertainment channels
and now with the DStv Compact PLUS option there will be a total of six sports
channels namely SuperSport 7, SuperSport 9, SuperSport Blitz, SuperSport 10,
ESPN and ESPN Classic. This line up increases the range of sport available and
now includes football coverage of up to 90% of the English Premier League, the
French League, Bundesliga, PSL, Spanish La Liga as well as rugby, golf, tennis,
athletics, boxing and motorsport. Making sure there is something available for
all sports lovers on the DStv Compact PLUS bouquet. subcription for a month is
N4.500, it has over sixty channels.



DStv
FAMILY.



DStv
Family offers subscribers an affordable sample of the DStv services for them to
enjoy sport, movies, religion, children, documentaries, news and commerce. It
has over 40 channels and the monthly subscription is N2.500.



DStv
ACCESS.



DStv
Access offers 25 quality channels of family entertainment at the lowest cost in
the market. Subscribers have an extensive choice of family entertainment,
combining general entertainment, movies, documentaries, news, children’s
programming, music, religion and sport. Among other channels, DStv Access
features BBC World, Aljazeera, National Geographic Wild, Fashion TV, Magic
World and CNBC Africa, monthly access is N1.500 and has about thirty seven
channels.



DStv
also has audio services, they include; BBC, VOA, Channel Islam international,
Ray Power FM, Rhythm FM, Star FM amongst others.



 MULTICHOICE CONTENTS: A PLATFORM FOR CULTURE
CONTACTS.



DStv
channels are so numerous that one cannot help watching them. In other words,
there are specific channels that people are drawn to which have turned out to
influence their entire lives. Hence they have been tagged 'star channels' these
channels air programs that engage people, serve as past time and also as a means
to run from all life worries. These channels help society members to learn
about other peoples’ cultural life styles. Examples of such channels are;



 



       I.           
CHANNEL124. It is called the E channel.
It is a foreign entertainment channel that delves into celebrity lifestyles;
wealth, divorce, crime, dress sense and so on. This channel has in no small
ways color the pictures of many young lives in Nigeria. The percentage of young
children who watch E channel is alarming. Apart from delving into celebrity
lifestyles, the E channel also has a program called Dr.90210, on this program
viewers are shown men and women who alter their private parts. Another notable
program on this channel is a reality program titled 'Keeping up with the
Kardashians'. This program directs people on how they should live a carefree
life, a situation where a certain family decides to live their lives
irrespective of how people see them or regard them. The truth is their
lifestyles are quite offensive to our norms and ethics. But younger people are copy
these traits.



 



    II.           
AFRICAN MAGIC is on channel 114. This is
a truly Nigerian channel, Nigerian and African movies called 'Home videos are
aired everyday of the week including weekends. Though they depict African
tradition but sometimes mislead viewers.



 III.           
SUPERSPORTS are on channel 203, 204,
205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 213. All kinds of sports are telecast on these
channels but emphasis is on football. These channels distract family
communications a great deal. Parents who love football or lawn tennis do not
attend to anything else when these programs are aired.



IV.           
MNET SERIES: channels 103 to 110. These
are movies that talked about family love, reunion and in some cases family
separation.



   V.           
NEWS CHANNELS: CNN is on 401, BBC World
News is on 400. Channels television is on 132. Sky News is on 402, ALJAZEERA,
EURO NEWS. These news channels give us stories from around the world. Most of
these news items are telecast hourly.



VI.           
MUSICAL CHANNELS are Channel.0, MTV
Base, Trace, SoundCity, MTV and many more. These musical channels broadcast
music contents that are offensive and typically foreign. These musical channels
have greatly influenced people's dress sense. The Nigerian music industry scene
is the worst hit because of obscene musical videos which have taken another turn.
Any musical video you watch today has semi-naked people and nude features.



 



 



There
are other channels like 'Discovery', National Geographic Channel, Zone Reality
channel, History channel, Crime Investigation channel. From the religious
level, the two major religions in Nigeria were given their places. For the
Christians, there are channels like TBN, DAYSTAR, ONEG. Islamic channels
include IQRAA, CHANNEL ISLAM.



Kids
are not left out in this entertainment circle, there are channels like Cartoon
Network, Disney world and KIDSCO. The most capturing is BBC Ceebees.CBeebies, a
fun and learning through games for children under seven years.



Having
highlighted these star channels on DStv, it proper to bring to mind what the
word CULTURE means, this will give a clearer picture of what the researcher
tries to explain about man and his environment. 
The term “culture” refers to the complex collection of knowledge,
folklore, language, rules, rituals, habits, lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, and
customs that link and give a common identity to a particular group of people at
a specific point in time. The most rich and complex cultures are those that are
associated with a society or a nation, and the term “culture” is most commonly
used to refer to these characteristics, including language and language-usage
patterns, rituals, rules, and customs. A societal or national culture also
includes such elements as significant historical events and characters,
philosophies of government, social customs, family practices, religion,
economic philosophies and practices, belief and value systems, and concepts and
systems of law.



 



Age
is greatly respected in Nigeria. In an area where the average life expectancy
is not very high, those who live into their senior years are seen as having earned
special rights of respect and admiration. This is true of both men and women.



Socially,
greetings are of the utmost importance. A handshake and a long list of well
wishes for a counterpart's family and good health are expected when meeting
someone. This is often true even if you have seen that person a short time
earlier. Whether you are talking to a bank teller or visiting a friend, it is
considered rude not to engage in a proper greeting before getting down to
business.



Shaking
hands, eating, or passing things with the left hand are unacceptable. The left
hand is reserved for personal toiletries and is considered dirty.



Language
plays an important role in communication. In the Nigerian context, how you look
at a person and your choice of words are very vital. It would be offensive if
you pass a compliment and look away or you greet an elderly like you do your
peers. The societies do not joke with these values whether at home or abroad.



Pattern
of dressing in Nigeria is taken from a different angle. Here, people regard
people from what they wear. A young lady who wears a spaghetti strap would be
seen as a woman who has no regard for anybody but in the real sense, it does
not tell the mind construction of the dresser.



 



There
are also other things that are not acceptable; a woman who drinks and smokes is
been regarded as an outlaw but on the real sense, it does not tell anything.



One
gospel truth is that these Nigerian cultural values have prevented people from
indulging in vices that could disrupt their lives. Even if they decide to
indulge in these vices they conceal them because they knew that the society
frowns at such illicit deeds.



Mrs.
Francesca Yetunde Emmanuel, Macmillan’s Director in an event organized by
Macmillan at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, where selected
schools in Lagos presented nursery rhymes and dance drama reflecting the
nation’s cultural system, stressed that the program was intended not only to
sensitize the Nigerian youth with its rich cultural values, but to also orientate
them on how to cherish the culture and tradition of their heritage and regain
the lost values, which, according to her, would be done through traditional and
modern nursery rhymes in both English and local Nigerian languages.



“Our
cultural values are hidden in rhymes. When our children are given the
opportunity to present rhymes in their indigenous languages or in English with
the Nigerian cultural content, they will get to understand more and cherish the
nation’s culture and tradition. This will go a long way in regaining the lost
glory of our value system. We must live to nurture and cherish our cultural
values,” Mrs. Emmanuel stressed. “It will also promote writing, reading and
value system for desirable and sustainable development of youths in particular
and the nation in general,” she added.



From
this angle one would understand that music plays an important role in shaping
and bringing people together.



It
has been asserted that all organizations and institutions within society
facilitate communication, and in that way, they all contribute to the creation,
spread, and evolution of culture. However, communication media such as
television, film, radio, newspapers, and the internet play a particularly
important role.  Media extend human
capacities for creating, duplicating, transmitting, and storing messages, and also
extend and amplify culture-building activities.



 By means of such communication technology,
messages are transmitted across time and space, stored, and later retrieved and
used. Television programs, films, websites, video games, are created through
human activity—and therefore reflect and further extend the cultural
perspectives of their creators. They come to take on a life of their own, quite
distinct and separate from their creators, as they are transmitted and shared
around the increasingly global community.



Families
who enjoy MultiChoice contents get carried away with what they are exposed to,
for instance, if you watch a foreign movie or soap, the first shock you get is
the way the society is portrayed. Societies where people are free to do
whatever please them and the environment has all the beautiful things in life.
Here, we cannot deny that foreign movies we watch influence our mental images
and our anticipations.



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



         



 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.



Two
major kinds of methods have been applied. The first one is the breakdown of
some MultiChoice program contents. And the second part is the assessment of
informants' responses which include personal interviews and phone surveys.



 



POPULATION.



Lagos
commands the largest market share of radio and television audience in the
country. Its media audiences are the most influential in policy and decision
making apparatus in the country.



 



SUB POPULATION.



Ikeja
local government area has ten administrative wards, they are; Oregun, Akiode,
Opebi,Alausa, Ojodu, Agidingbi,Ikeja, Ogba and Maryland. These are the target
population for this study.



 



SURVEY INSTRUMENT.



The
respondents were given a self administered questionnaire which was designed to
evaluate the influence of television viewing and MultiChoice channels in their
everyday life. The questionnaire asked the respondents about their age, sex,
marital status, social status, employment status, and most watched programs,
cultural environment, and birth order amongst others. The questionnaire was
tested with 220 people from around the Ikeja axis, which is the target area of
this study.



 



PERSONAL INTERVIEWS.



The
researcher conducted a personal interview with notable people in the media
industry. Mr. Sulai Aledeh, a senior newscaster with Channels Television Lagos
opined that Multichoice contents have positively influenced him and his family.
His favorite channels are BBC World news and the CNN Network. He claimed that
they have helped him in his news casting and his children can pronounce English
words correctly.



Another
interviewee was Kamal Salau, manager programs, CITY105.1 Lagos. Kamal stated
that MultiChoice contents have influenced his taste of doing things generally.



Mrs.
Khadijat Aledeh, a mother of two and a teacher of Mass Communication at the
University of Lagos threw more lights on the effects MultiChoice contents have
on family, she pointed out that these programs shape the lives of people in terms
of how to handle domestic issues. She went further to state that people who
have been influenced by these contents negatively are to be blamed.



Aunty
Vicky as she is being called by her pupils told the researcher she noticed that
children whose parents have DStv show signs of improvement and pay attention
more than others. When asked how she knew those who have DStv. She simply
smiled and said 'I do home teaching'



Gbenga,
an ever smiling young man who operates a viewing centre where people watch
football matches like the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Serie A, and
Champions League matches, responded by saying MultiChoice has made it possible
for him to feed his family because people pay as much as a hundred naira (N100)
to watch a match, and as many as 50 people come there every weekend. He also
stated that, the viewing centre serves as a relaxation spot for many young
men. 



 



 In order to identify specific television
programs that have significant influence on family other than individuals alone,
the researcher asked questions like 'which program do you watch with your
family or friends' and 'which program do you discuss with friends'. A lot of
responses were received. The next chapter explains the types of MultiChoice
programs people watch daily. Suffice to say that, programs that are captivating
can easily affect an individual, a family.



 



              



 



This
chapter attempts to portray that the Nigerian television program contents is
tied to the apron strings of the western media. Programs are now developed to
fit into the western style of television broadcasting. The reason being that
the Nigerian society had been brainwashed by MultiChoice contents which are too
western in nature. For this reason, numbers of parents have argued that the
positive side of television viewing is not enough to erode the negative
influence. There are those who argue that it is solely the responsibility of
families to raise their children in the right manner and not the program
contents on television. Television has become an important tool of
entertainment and education for children and parents. Television cultivates
beliefs in people such as "women are happiest at home raising
children" and "men are born with more ambition than women"
(Signorielli 1990). This goes to show that depictions do have consequences. For
example, those who watch more television than average, particularly children,
tend to hold more traditional notions of the way children should relate with
their parents, their style of dressing and how their homes should look like. To
ascertain the influence DStv  has on
family institution in Nigeria, a total of two hundred and twenty questionnaires
were given out.



 



 MULTICHOICE DStv SUBSCRIBERS



MultiChoice has over a million
active subscribers in Nigeria and Lagos has the highest number of subscribers
with over twenty thousand active subscribers.



In order to increase its
subscribers’ base and to stay on top, in April 2008, Nigeria became one of the
first African countries to benefit from revolutionary mobile television
technology with the launch of DStv Mobile, a partnership between cellular
operator MTN and Details Nigeria. DStv Mobile allows for the digital
terrestrial broadcast of a specially compiled package of live television
channels to a mobile phone.



 



 AN ANALYSIS OF HOW DStv INFLUENCE FAMILY
INSTITUTION IN NIGERIA.



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE STUDY
POPULATION.



Out
of the 220 respondents, students ( 50 ), married women ( 75 ), married men ( 25
), single ladies ( 40 ), single men ( 30 ).



Three
types of MultiChoice programs were highlighted by the researcher; they are;



Entertainment
(movies, sitcoms, home videos, reality shows, musicals),



 Sports (football, tennis, boxing, wrestling,
cricket, car racing) and



 News (news, documentary, current affairs, talk
shows, business, debates).



 



 



 



 



 



 

























DStv


SUBSCRIBERS



RESPONDENTS



PERCENTAGE



YES



220



100


 



NO



 


 



 



TOTAL


 



220



100




 



 



DStv
SUBSCRIBERS



Table
4.2.3 this table indicates that all respondents are active DStv subscribers.



 



 Program contents preference

























FOREIGN PROGRAMS



RESPONDENTS



PERCENTAGE



YES



120



55



NO



100



45



TOTAL



220



100




This
table shows that people watch foreign entertainment programs more.



Watching
with family members.

























 



RESPONDENTS



PERCENTAGE



YES



50



23



NO



170



77



TOTAL



220



100




 



 shows that younger people watch DStv channels
without their parents’ supervision.



 The negative influence of watching DStv
programs

























NEGATIVE IMPACT



RESPONDENTS



PERCENTAGE



YES



20



9



NO



200



91



TOTAL



220



100




 



shows
that respondents think DStv contents do not have negative implications.



 



Positive
impact of DStv on family values.



 

























POSITIVE



RESPONDENTS



PERCENTAGE



YES



220



100



NO



 



 



TOTAL



220



100




 



shows
that the respondents totally agree that DStv contents do not have negative
effects on family institution.



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



FINDINGS ON THE INFLUENCES OF
MULTICHOICE PROGRAMS ON FAMILY VALUES.



When
we talk about family values, it is simply the ideologies, moral and social
values traditionally maintained and affirmed within a family. There are
actually many different ethnic groups to be found in Nigeria, and each group
has its own unique cultural style. In this regard, more than 250 separate
languages are reported to exist within the borders of Nigeria. The Yoruba, the
Hausa and the Ibo are just some of the larger social groups to be found in the
nation. In addition to having a unique language, each of these groups has its
own unique approach to matters of tradition. Despite this fact, however, a great
deal of similarity also exists between these different groups. This is
especially true regarding the traditional functions of the family. Today people
live in a world where values such as compassion and honesty are less important
than the materialistic needs and money. Times are changing, things are taking
different turns.



 Families use values as a guide to their
children's lives. Due to economic demands parents no longer spend quality time
with their children. This has also been the reason children turn to the
television for parental support and guidance.



 Generally people use television as their past
time, that is to say people love watching television but people do not just
watch any telecast program instead they watch programs that capture their interests.
It is from this angle that we look at MultiChoice contents, apart from the fact
that you have variety of programs to watch at your disposal, the contents
matter the most. From the survey carried out and based on the researcher's
observations, it is open to reason that MultiChoice contents direct the day to
day activities of the Nigerian society. The survey has shown that more than
half of the sampled populations watch entertainment programs. Programs like
'Keeping up with the Kardashians', 'African Magic' 'Fashion TV’, ‘MTV Base’,
‘Trace Channel’ ‘Clean House’, ‘Cartoon Network’,  ‘Super Sports’ amongst others  impart on the way people perceive reality.
People stay glued to their television sets because of these notable programs.



 Television, when appropriately managed and
supervised, can be a positive influence in people's lives, especially children.



 



  
POSITIVE INFLUENCES:



The
Media Awareness Network explains in its article, 'The Good Things about
Television', that television can be a very powerful and effective learning tool
for children if used wisely. The article states that television can help young
people discover where they fit into in the society, develop closer
relationships with peers and family, and teach them to understand complex social
aspects of communication. Television is an inescapable part of modern culture.
It provides the entire world with messages from the four corners of the globe,
linking people with one another. MultiChoice has some priceless educational
programs which provide wide range of knowledge to people. Such channels
include; BBC popularly called CEEBEEBEEs, (this is on channel 306), CRIME
(channel 255), NaGeo (260), BET (channel 116). The researcher would like to
state that from the survey carried out, all the respondents agree that
MultiChoice contents have positive influence in their lives. Every channel has
the ability to impart positive on the viewers which are society members but at
the same time could change the convention families have grown up with.



Some
channels like the CNN, air documentaries and news that can teach about how one
needs to manage health matters, and how to create awareness for any new
discovery.



Watching
foreign movies and music videos enable viewers to share cultural experiences
with others. People who watch MNET SERIES and UNIVERSAL CHANNELS learn values
and life lessons. These channels telecast contents that touch on issues of
life, especially family reunion, societal love and unity. No doubt, this could
give family members the opportunity to spend time together and talk about
family related issues as often as always.



Academically,
some MultiChoice contents provide a medium through which various school
subjects can be taught and communicated. News channels like SKY, CNN and BBC
play this role. Most of the interviewees claim that they use channels like BBC
CEEBIES, DISNEY WORLD as home work for their children.



For
knowledge sake and brain building, MultiChoice has variety of programs that can
help broaden one's horizon. From the aforementioned programs one can learn a
lot in any field. For instance NAFDAC, INEC use the DStv platform to teach
Nigerians relevant issues that affect them. Despite the negativity often
associated with children watching ‘TV’, all the respondents believed it has a
positive effect on their child's development, including helping them to expand
their imagination and broaden thier vocabulary. From the religious angle,
channels like INSPIRATION, TBN, 700C CLUB and CHANNEL ISLAM preach peace and
religious tolerance.



 



 



 



NEGATIVE INFLUENCES.



Television
is one of the most prevalent media influences in people's lives. It has become
a member of almost every single family in our society. And not just an ordinary
member, but a very important one, because the time spent next to it exceeds the
amount of time spent together with any other family member. You do not have to
apply any efforts to talk or listen to complaints while “communicating” with
it. You do not have to play with your little son after a hard working day. You are
so tired. You can simply turn the ‘TV’ on and everything is done: kids are
quiet, your wife is not complaining and you feel absolutely happy. It is so
simple that it has become an integral part of the culture of every family. It
is the only time, when a person can forget about all the family troubles and
the failures of the day. The sofa opposite the ‘TV’ set has become the place of
“reconciliation and spiritual unity” of the family.



And
instead of playing together and having emotional discussions, people prefer to
watch an episode from a thriller. It is senseless to deny the all-embracing
negative effect the existence of television has brought to our lives. But to
make our point of view ultimately convincing we will introduce to your
attention certain facts that people do not want to accept and often try to
justify. The base of the tomorrow’s society – are children today. And on the
way they develop depends on how the world is going to look like tomorrow. The
television negative effect facts are well known to every single parent, but are
ignored by them in order to put the responsibility for bringing up kids and
showing them examples through interaction on the shoulders of somebody else.
Contemporary parents work a lot, but when they come back home they are not
eager to spend time with their children, the consequences of this fact are the
following: kids are given to themselves and watch everything they want or TV
plays a role of a babysitter. Therefore children learn moral principles from
the television, where by the age of ten they observe many violent acts and
cases of murder.



The
models of life interactions given in the television are very exaggerated and
garbled. Children learn that they can gain what they want through being
stronger and subordinating other people that they can become popular through
killing and that even if you are a “good” guy killing is accepted. Statistics
have proved that the growth of time spent next to the TV-set scales up the
development of aggression. Many years before the examples of imitation for
children were their own parents; now these examples come from hit-thrillers and
violent films where the personages imitated are cruel, impartial and often
purely negative personages.



 Nowadays, resulting this phenomenon, children
instead of playing leap-and–frog on the open air pretend to be “terminators”
and run around “killing” each other. The fact of child’s identification with a
“negative” destructive image has a vital impact on the development of his or
her personality. Violence becomes an ordinary way of interaction, alongside
with anger.



Kids
today are bombarded with sexual messages and images from MultiChoice programs
like BIG BROTHER AFRICA, E-CHANNEL, BET. Parents are often concerned about
whether these messages are healthy. While these programs can be a powerful tool
for educating young people about the responsibilities and risks of sexual
behaviour, such issues are seldom mentioned or dealt with in a meaningful way
in programs containing sexual content. Early exposure to sexual scenes may lead
to early sexual contacts, which destroy the healthy development of a child.
Young people are pressured by such an amount of sexual scenes and these scenes
normalize casual sexual encounters. They do not have the moral standing to
properly evaluate what they see – they take it as the reality.



All
the listed above may cause a trauma to a young person’s consciousness and in
combination with the violence may produce an unbalanced and unhealthy conduct.
We do not have to go far away for examples when cultists in our universities
get guns and go to their schools shooting their schoolmates. This becomes a
call to get somebody’s attention on them, the result of the ‘TV’ violence and
examples influences that overfills their minds. Television has also a great
influence on the self-image of people watching it. We see perfectly shaped
bodies hundreds of times per day. All the men shown on the ‘TV’ screen have big
muscles and are handsome, and all the women shown are very skinny and their
faces and bodies look like a complete perfection. In an attempt for people,
most especially children to emulate what they see, has caused numerous eating
disorders, especially in the teenage group. Such things as ulcer, anorexia and
self-mutilation became a well-spread phenomenon.



Another
issue that calls for concern is, when an individual, especially a child spends
a lot of time watching favorite programs can result to a very high possibility
of damaging the eye mechanics, and the ability to focus and pay attention could
be diverted. Furthermore, another negative influence that is connected with the
sight is the spoiling of the hearing due to the shortage of auditory
stimulation. Even if the programs watched are not violent, if they are watched
per hours may have a deep impact on the personality, causing psychological and
physiological problems. All the hidden effects in the films and commercials can
subconsciously depress children and even parents. Individuals may become scared
of what they had observed on television that it might cause depression and
emotional misbalance. Television prevents children from doing their homework
and adults from completing their work, influencing in a very bad manner the
school grades and work productivity. It can lower the overage level of physical
fitness of a person, breaking the coordination. Children being attached to the
TV-set loose the possibility to learn the world through real nature, games,
sports and so on. In cases like this, men who love watching SUPERSPORTS or
women who love watching AFRICAN MAGIC channels are mostly affected.



Addiction
to MultiChoice contents can converted peoples’ lives into a nightmare. A
nightmare, where children kill not only on the ‘TV’ screen, and adults lose
their will sitting next to the TV-set eating “junk food”. A nightmare where the
time some families spend next to the TV-set watching a soup-opera is considered
to be “family time”. It is a nightmare where violent television performs the
role of the parents. What else can be said to show that television destroys the
healthy development of a child’s personality. The negative effects listed above
concern grown-ups as well, but through the special sensitivity of children
towards the influences we wanted to show to the full the destructive power of
television. It has turned our lives into an addiction that suppresses the
beauty of our real life by the violent substitution. And can without any doubts
be called one of the worst inventions of modern times. Some of the most violent
‘TV’ shows are children's cartoons, in which violence is portrayed as
humorous—and realistic consequences of violence are seldom shown.



This
can be especially true of young children, who are more likely to exhibit
aggressive behaviours after viewing these programs.



The
beginning of this year has seen teenagers committing suicide, this is new to
the Nigerian society. It is clear that teenagers now indulge in unimaginable
things; this is because of what they watch on television. A major case is a
17-year-old Peace Asukwo, who hails from Akwa Ibom state and resides in
Akowonjo, a suburb in Lagos metropolis, she committed suicide over a
disagreement with her boyfriend.



Most
family values have been altered by what children, even parents see on
television. Most of these television contents could be positive at sometime but
could later turn out to be negative.



Like
we mentioned that some programs could help a child develop his vocabulary, such
programs could also distract the child from concentrating on other things of
life. There is no denying the fact much of MultiChoice contents expose people
to such things as crime, sex, violence, divorce, love, feminism and many more.
Family values have been debased. Parents no longer live in the fear of God.
Children no longer respect their parents. Trust has been discarded for
suspicion and truth relegated for falsehood. All are in shambles. Shamelessness
has taken over the front row and disarray is the order of the day. Corruption
is the password as marital beds are daily defiled. Pre-marital sex is celebrated,
x-rated and modeled as the norm. Lust is mixed with love. The center can no
longer hold. Those who hold on to the truth are castigated and regarded as
outcasts.



The
exposure to foreign films, sitcoms has become a revolution. Most values like
honesty, respect, purity, caring, and commitment have all been thrown into the
garbage. The reality show titled 'Big Brother Africa'(BBA) raised a lot of
questions, it got to the extent that a lot of critics called for the ban of the
program. The big question then was, was the show supposed to carry any moral
lesson for our continent? More importantly, a lot of people still think that
BBA is a big mockery of African culture and tradition. Since the inmates are Africans,
they should be projecting the African cultural heritage. The "shower
hour" shots of contestants soaping and bathing up were particularly
popular. Viewers got an unexpected eyeful when two participants apparently had
sex; it was an unprecedented shocker for a continent where conservative moral
values hold sway. But the producers have higher hopes for this particular
reality show, calling it a ground-breaking chance for Africans to get a look at
each other as people, independent of the doom-filled stories from their region
which dominate the world media. Big Brother Africa executive producer, Marie
Roshold said the positive response to the show demonstrated that Africans were
hungry for new images of their continent and its people.



And
added that 'BBA has proved to be a huge success in that the people we have
chosen are breaking down stereotypes. They are creating dialogue across
Africa," Roshold said.



After
the second season Controversy came up after second runner-up Ofunneka was
sexually assaulted by Richard when all the housemates were drunk. The producers
of the show deny this, stating it was with Ofunneka's consent, but fellow
housemate Maureen screamed for Big Brother's help after she tried to get
Richard off Ofunneka. Richard was taken into the diary room while paramedics
came in to help the girls. No further comment has been made about the issue,
especially as Ofunneka had passed out and remembered nothing of what happened.



Newly-wed
Richard carried out an affair with Angolan model Tatiana during their stay in
the house. This angered Richard's Canadian wife, who threatened him with
divorce. Another housemate, Malawian radio DJ Code, managed to seduce all his
female housemates. Unknown to him, his Dutch girlfriend was pregnant with his
child, and surprised him by showing up at his eviction. Richard and Code were
eventually forgiven by their respective partners.



Producers
were unable to deal with other issues which included bullying by South African
Lerato Sengadi. Indecent sexual acts by Namibian housemate Meryl and Ghanaian
Kweku were another talking point, although Meryl denies the couple had sex. The
show has been the subject of much criticism, especially from the fact that most
of the items in the house are not "African" and therefore it is not
really "Big Brother Africa", but essentially just a Big Brother-style
show with African contestants.



At
the end of its run, Big Brother Africa 2 was criticized for not showing any
positive values to young people all over the continent.



The
researcher is using BBA to show how captivating programs like that could affect
a large of number of people. To this day, BBA is still aired on MultiChoice
DStv yearly and the amount of viewers it has drawn is shocking, This is a
pointer that society members prefer programs that involve sex, crime and
violence.



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



                



 



SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND
CONCLUSION



Nigerians
are naturally explorers; they always want to try new things. The researcher has
pointed out how MultiChoice programs have influenced people in different ways.
MultiChoice contents for most people have become a primary source of
entertainment. These contents have influenced our culture by making an impact
on the way people dress, speak, work and co-relate. Movies, sports from around
the world, news, and live war coverage have all made an impact on our culture.
People gather together to watch the football from England, Italy, Spain in bars
and at parties. Every weekend families gather around to watch home videos in
Yoruba, Hausa at their houses. The list is endless for the amount of
information transported into our homes every day, changing the way people live
and react to life situations.



Responses
received from people on the influence of MultiChoice contents showed that these
contents have both negative and positive effects on our cultural heritage.



Although
there are potential benefits from viewing some of these contents, such as the
promotion of positive aspects of social behavior (sharing, manners, and
cooperation), many negative health effects also can result. Children and
adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the messages conveyed through
television, which influence their perceptions and behaviours. The real issue is
that many younger children cannot discriminate between what they see and what
is real.



 



RECOMMENDATIONS



Research
has shown that MultiChoice contents can have a stronger effect on how people
view and interpret the world around them. Most especially young girls, they are
always looking to find their place in society and they use the media as a means
to help define and explain their roles. Although not all messages are positive,
appropriate, or advantageous for adolescent girls yet some movies give
adolescent females the impression that they naturally are expected to take a
subservient and submissive role to men. The message is often given that women
are not meant to be taken seriously. And their outer image and stature is more
important than their character and inner strength.



The
researcher recommends that these few steps be taken by parents and other agents
of socialization to reinforce appropriate values and inculcate in people
appropriate behaviors that are true indication of rich Nigerian cultural
heritage.



 



PARENTAL CONTROL



It
is a well-known fact that family values have been debased. Parents no longer
play their traditional roles and children are disobedient and act flagrantly
against social norms and duties. The attributes of old family values which
include honesty, respect, purity, caring, and commitment have all been thrown
into the garbage. Economic demands have greatly contributed to this trend. No
matter the money one makes, it cannot take the place of the 'Family'. While
children are at home to watch any program they are attracted to, parents should
make themselves available in order to reinforce good values on their children.
Stopping children from watching their favorite MultiChoice programs is not
advisable; this might lead to disunity or disobedience from the children. So
parents are advised to check what their children watch, and should encourage
them to watch variety of programs; sports, nature and science shows, the arts,
music and historical movies. Families should explore DStv contents together and
discuss their values as they relate to the society.  



For
parents to have a greater hold on their children, they too must exhibit good
examples for their children to follow. A house where parents fight or quarrel
often will not go down well with the children.



 



GOVERNMENT AGENCIES



When
we talk about government agencies, we mean schools, regulatory bodies, and
other forms of the media. These agencies are all agents in socializing the
society, they should ensure they help pattern the society in the proper order.
Programs people watch on television in no small way affect their perfection of
life. Most young people have problems distinguishing make-believe from reality,
the government need to safeguard them from violent or scary contents. The best
way to do this is to make sure that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
should constantly monitor contents that are obscene. Dr.90210, a program on E
channel should be shown at night when children are asleep. And serious
sanctions should follow when rules are broken.



The
school has an important role to play. Schools are places where children relearn
various things. Teachers should take it upon themselves to teach children the
dangers of watching certain programs that are not between their ages
classifications. Their curriculum should contain ethical teachings on what they
watch and see.



Religion
provides answers to questions of our existence and how to conduct our lives in
relationship to oneself as well as others. Religious books have been a vital
reference for the construction of our contemporary moral code and laws of the
land. Religious centers should stipulate laws that can help fight against
illicit behaviours. Emphasis should be placed on 'Family values' so that both
parents and children can learn appropriate behaviors. Now, most religious
centers place emphasis on irrelevant material things.



 



MULTICHOICE CONTENTS



Television
is no doubt an element and acts as a cultivator of culture. MultiChoice
contents should be based on true 'Nigerian styles' There are various programs
that depicts Nigerian culture but they are not enough to compete with those
foreign program that teach our children ill manners.



The
introduced parent control, which is, parents depriving their children from
watching some program is not strong enough and cannot help matters.



MultiChoice
should also pick times to air some programs that contain obscene scenes. Music
videos, sitcoms that are not meant for children should be shown at night.



And
other forms of the media like radio, daily newspapers and magazines should
regularly air or publish articles that will counter the illicit contents family
members watch on television.



 



 



 CONCLUSION



Before
MultiChoice came into Nigeria, a lot of people were not fully aware of
happenings outside Nigeria,  most people
had no idea what most foreign countries or their peoples looked like, or how
they lived. Football was not a big business, but today, people make money from
television rights and even through viewing centers.



Most
exotic animals, costumes, characters were only names in books. However, because
of television and MultiChoice contents, society member are now really familiar
with what they watch and see; children are even used to educational tools even
before they start going to school, parents even have mental pictures of goods
before they purchase them. While these contents give ideas of what one desires
it has  also turned out to be negative
influences on people's lives.



 In Nigeria by and large, families who consume
these DStv contents face a greater challenge; a greater measure must be put in
place because children must be directed in the proper manner and parents must
live up to expectations. What people see on television sometime interfere with
their sense of taste. This is a call for families to go extra miles to keep in
touch with their homes, so that they can observe negative changes, and by so
doing put measures in place to either correct or convert those negative imparts
into positive tendencies.



 



 



 



 



 



 



 





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