EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF RADIO ADVERTISEMENTS OF FAMILY PLANNINNG PROGRAMMES

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Advertising can be traced down to the origin of man. Therefore, it is a phenomenon that has been with the society for a very long time.

Although advertising is so popular, it is difficult to come up with a single and an all embracing definition. However some scholars have proffered some definitions, which will be highlighted in this study.

According to academic’s dictionary of mass communication, compiled by Michael Hoffmann (2007, p.9) “Advertising is a paid, medicated, form of communication from an identifiable source, designed to persuade the receiver to take some action, now or in the future”.

Throwing more light on this, the dictionary of business and finance captures it as any form of paid public announcement or presentation, which is aimed at the promotion of the sake of 12

goods and services, or at gaining acceptance for any idea or point of view.

No wonder Okunna (2002, P.99) Jonathan E. Aliede, says in their more recent and widely accepted definition states thus that, advertising is the non – personal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products (goods and services) or ideas by identified sponsors through various media. From the above running background, it is obvious that advertising from all indication is usually the easiest means to reach the target consumer directly. Therefore, advertising enables sponsor to reach a substantial segment of their target audience through various media especially print and electronic.

But before casting our research searchlight on the effectiveness of radio advertisement as one of the media on family planning programme advertisement, it is pertinent that we focus this research search light on the history of family 13

planning programme because a people without a history is like a people without a past.

On the other hand, the historical development of man’s desire to control his reproduction is as old as humanity. The WHO (World Health Organization) definition of family planning states that it is a way of thinking and living that is adopted voluntarily based on the knowledge, attitudes and responsible decisions by individuals and couples in order to promotes health and welfare of the family group and thus; contribute effectively to the social development of the country. Egyptians as early as 1850 BC described various methods of birth control in scrolls. Aristotle, A Greek Philosopher in the 4th century B.C stated that the state’s best interest would be served by keeping the population stable.

In the early history of African culture, the mother and the infant were separated from the father for prolonged periods of time following childbirths; consequently, this practice ensured a 14

good nutritional period for the infant and abstinence for the mother. The above underscores the fact that family planning is as old as history itself.

In 1797, Jeremy Bentham advocated birth control in England. Giving credence to what Bentham advocated for, Francis place whose dissertation, “Illustrations and proofs of the Principles of Population” published in 1882 made a remarkable impact which proposed contraception to reproduction. Subsequent theories by Thomas Malthins, an Englishman who wrote “An Essay of the Principle of population” in 1798 which stated that poverty was unavoidable because the means of production could not increase as quickly as the population also made an impact.

It is under the above influence that Dr. Aletta Jacobs, in 1881 began the first systematic work in contraception in Holland. She and her medical colleagues gave professional assistance to birth control advocates in other countries. Consequently, their 15

effort saw the light of the day when the first birth control clinic was opened in England by Marie Stopes and society for constructive Birth Control in 1921. Margaret Sanger in her little way in 1916 opened the first family planning clinic, which was closed down 9 days later by the authorities, who were against the consequently was imprisoned. As a result of that, she went on hunger strike for 103 hours. This led the U.S women to demonstrate and make an appeal to the government. These actions led to her release and allowed to carry on with her pioneering work in family planning.

It is from the above background that family planning is defined as; “the control of reckless breeding of children” by Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN). The questions that are still begging for answer is, has the adequate awareness of family planning been made? If yes, to what extent and how has this awareness affected the life of the public in view? Consequently, the above question cannot be adequately 16

addressed without looking into how this awareness is done. This invites us to stand out and cast a look on how Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Enugu as our study carries out this awareness task and how effective has been this task? Since the past is always very important in addressing any problem for a better promising future, it is important to trace how the above named institution came into existence. For this would give us a better stand to address the issue at hand.

The FRCN was originally founded in 1933 by the British colonial government, named the Radio Diffusion Service (RDS), it allowed the public to hear the British Broadcasting Corporation’s foreign radio service broadcasts in certain public locations over loudspeakers.

In April 1950, the RDS became the Nigerian Broadcasting Service and introduced ration stations in Lagos, Kaduna, Enugu, Ibadan and Kano. This service was reorganized into the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on April 1, 1957 by 17

act of parliament. Its mission was to provide as a public service, independent and important broadcasting services. By 1962 the NBC had expanded its broadcast stations into Sokoto, Maiduguri, Ilorin, Zaria, Jos and Katsina in the North; Port Harcourt, Calabar and Onitsha in the East; and Abeokuta, Warri and Ijebu-Ode in the West. Each of these stations was considered a subsidiary station of a regional station.

The subsidiary stations broadcast local interest programs during part of the days and then relayed programming from their regional stations during the rest of the broadcast day. National programs were broadcast from two short wave transmitters and one medium wave transmitter located in Sogun le, near Lagos.

In late 1960, the Federal parliament amended the NBC Ordinance to allow the sale of commercial advertisements. The first ads ran on October 31, 1961, and were broadcast from Lagos. By 1962 regional and provincial broadcasters began 18

selling ads to local businesses. The goal of allowing radio advertisements was to help provide additional funding to NBC stations beyond that received from the government. The Federal parliament approved the creation of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) external shortwave service in 1961. Broadcasting began on January 1, 1961 from Lagos. Its initial operations were limited to two hours a day to West Africa, but by 1963 VON had expanded both its coverage and transmission times with the addition of five additional transmitters.

In April 1961, with financial assistance from the Ford Foundation and technical assistance from the British Broadcasting Corporation, NBC began the National School Broadcasting Service in April 1961. The NBC schools unit broadcast lessons in various school subjects for primary and secondary schools, as well as special programs for teacher training colleges. The schools unit was based in Ibadan. The NBC and the Broadcasting Corporation of Northern Nigeria 19

(BCNN) were merged together in 1978 to become the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). Medium wave transmitters previously owned by the NBC were transferred to the individual state governments where the transmitters were located. At the same time, the states transferred short wave transmitters to the FRCN. In 1996, VON installed three power transmitters at its Ikorodu transmitter site, allowing worldwide transmissions for the first time.

FRCN’s medium wave service, Radio Nigeria, has 25 stations located throughout the country and together with voice of Nigeria, considers itself to have the largest radio network in Africa. In 2007, FRCN began introducing FM transmitters in some locations, and plans to begin upgrading and modernizing its shortwave and medium wave transmitters in the coming years. The FRCN is Nigeria’s publicly funded radio broadcasting organization. Among its subsidiaries are the 20

domestic radio network known as Radio Nigeria and the Voice of Nigeria International Radio Service.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

For a very long time, Nigerians have been indifferent to family planning. In some cultures, people’s dignity, prestige and power were reflected on the number of wives and children they had. Nigerian government in the past was also unconcerned about family planning as their basic amenities for their citizenry.

According to Nwankwo (1999, P.15). The major factor resulting in rapid population growth is the fact that many couples who would have wanted to limit the size of their family were discouraged by religious or cultural constraints. There are some religious beliefs that discourage any physical or material interference with the laws of nature or God, as children are believed to be gift from God. 21

Furthermore, culturally Nigerians often say that “it is only God that knows the child that will succeed one”. This saying was as a result of the precarious nature of the health facilities in the past. Then infant mortality rate was high so, in order not to lose the few children one has to measles, cholera, kwashiorkor and other health hazards prevalent then they resulted to having many children thereby throwing the social and economic implication over board. This belief is still in existence till now.

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research study is prompted by many factors. Some of these are the continuing interest in and awareness of family planning by Nigerians and also the establishment of more family planning units by the government.

The study will also help to determine the extent of knowledge of family planning among radio audience and likewise their attitude towards this programme. 22

Also the research should help to ascertain the importance of electronic media especially the radio as a media of bringing about people’s awareness of innovations. It will give indications of which medium is most effective in carrying out the advertisement messages. The research will also determine the various social, economic and cultural factors which may influence people’s attitudes towards family planning.

As a result of this study, the researcher hopes to enlighten the Nigerian public more on the benefits one stands to gain from a well planned family. Such benefits includes: increase in standard of living of the whole family; safeguarding of the good health of mother and child and limiting the size of the family to the one they can conveniently cater for. It will assist the government to find possible ways of improving on the family planning policy. 23

1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study is to:

  1. Identify the implications of escalating population on the entire nation, both socially and economically.
  2. Formulate population policy to check the situation by the government.
  3. Find out the perception of the various family planning advertisements on the radio by its audience.

The decision to use the radio is as result of the fact that it is a strong and effective medium employed to make people be aware of innovations and the programmes aired and it does not attract any unit cost to the consumer. Once you posses a portable radio, you can tune into any programme at anytime at extra charge.

What’s more, little effort is needed in getting access to the radio, as consumers do not need to walk or drive about looking for radio programmes. In addition, radio is omnipresent or ubiquitous that is, it can be found everywhere meaning it has a 24

wider coverage than the other media as radio can easily be afforded by an average citizen.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This research study is set to find answers to the following research questions.

  1. Does the Christian religious doctrines on procreation a factor on the residents of Enugu Metropolis no to see reason or understand what family planning is?
  2. Does the culture and belief of the Ibos on marriage and child bearing the cause of their difference on family planning advertisement?
  3. Is inadequate message content on family planning advertisement the reason from the apathy of family planning by the residents of Enugu Metropolis?
  4. To what extent do advertisements on radio influence the public in adopting family planning. 25

1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H1: The Christian religious doctrine on procreation is a factor on the residents of Enugu Metropolis not to see reason or understand what family planning is.

H0: The Christian religious doctrine on procreation is not a factor on the residents of Enugu Metropolis not to see reason or understand what family planning is.

H1: The culture and belief of the Ibos on marriage and child bearing is the cause of their indifference on family planning advertisement.

H0: The culture and belief of the Ibos on marriage and child bearing is not the cause of their indifference on family planning advertisement.

H1: Inadequate message content on family planning advertisement is the reason for the apathy on family planning by the residents of Enugu Metropolis. 26

H0: Inadequate message content on family planning advertisement is not the reason for the apathy on family planning by the residents of Enugu Metropolis.

H1: Advertisements on radios influence the public in adopting family planning.

H0: Advertisements on radios do not influence the public in adopting family planning.

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