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AN ASSESSMENT OF MASS MEDIAS ROLE IN THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST DRUG ABUSE IN NIGERIA

AN ASSESSMENT OF MASS MEDIAS ROLE IN THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST DRUG ABUSE IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER  ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1.BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

There  is no limit to the study of media and society. Media and society as  a  subject covers a wide  range  of issues. Communication has  a lot to do with the  individual.  It effects and defects are so notable that they  cannot be swept  under the carpet. Media  and  society are interwoven and nether  of them can  exist without the other. But first of all, what  is communication?

        Fiske (1990) defines communication as “social  interaction through message” Jaya- weera (1991) sees it as an interaction process through which persons or groups relate  to  each  other and share information, experience  and culture.  Looking at the above  definitions communication can be said to be the transferring  or transmitting of ideas, attitudes  and information from one person  to anther. Okunna (1999) throws  more light on the above  assertion  when she says “to communicate basically means  to share ideas  information, opinions , feelings or experiences  between people?

        According  to Okunna (1999) the mass media perform a number of functions, which benefit the individual  as a member  of a society. She   goes  on to say that these  functions  range from serious informational and educational functions   to lighter functions like entertainment.

        The  functions of the  mass media in the  society includes  .

1.     Information:-This is the  constant stream of  information about event in the society. Among the  positive consequence of this  function is the guidance it gives to the individuals in his or her daily life.

2.   Interpretation :-This is the function of  appropriately interpreting news  and information in such as way as to avoid over sensitization and induce appropriate or necessary action. It includes prescribing  what  to do, how to do it and why it is necessary.

3.     Education:- The mass media   help unify  society and increases  social cohesion by upholding  teaching a broad base of  common  social norms  values  and collective experiences. The mass media  do this transmission mainly through  informal education (unconscious learning) and non- formal education (conscious attempt to impart knowledge outside  the formal  school system).

4.     Entertainment:-This is  the mass media function that  is geared towards  providing  some diversion and  amusement, relaxation and respite.

        The mass media is known as the watch dog of the society and with the information and education function, it  will be known if the  mass media  has played roles in the campaign against   drug abuse  in Nigeria. This is because like the dry  rot that  eats away  the wooden beams of  a  house, drugs can corrode  the whole  structure  of society. For human society to function properly, it must  have stable families, healthy  workers, trustworthy governments, honest polices and law abiding  citizens . Drugs  corrupt every one of these fundamental elements.

        The home however  is probably where drugs  do the  most damage. Parents who  are distracted  by their craving for drugs rarely provide their  children with a  stable home life. Many children who grow up in this environment  take to the  streets or even get involved in  drugs themselves.

1.2   STATEMENT  OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

Drug abuse has become rampant in our  society and this has  posed a problem because a society filled  with   filled with drug  addicts and drug dependents cannot move forward. A nation filled with people who misuse, abuse or are addicted to drugs will have  a high rate of increase in crime, prostitution etc. it also  makes way for  drug traffic kicking in the society. It constitutes  a major public health hazard and is a part of general  and  social disorganization we see around us that is, breeds comatose  patients, and various melody cases  that constitute  the urban  eyeore that dent the image of a nation. It contributes significantly to breakdown of law and  order and  establishment of various circles of abuses, deficiency, criminality and further abuse. Drug abuse  has also  led to the diversion of scarce resources to cure addicts, and to rehabilitate them, building  of psychiatric  hospitals, breakdown  of societal norms and values, leading to up heavily, anarchy and other  vices in the society, posing  more problem than to be solved.

        Such problems call for in-depth  research to help  salvage the situation   to avoid  the set back it created for our society and this has to be done with the help of the mass media in order to inform and educate  the people on what that  effects of drug  abuse can cause to the society, and to the people  involved .

1.3   OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

In the research statement, I  highlighted  some of the  problems which called for the research. The objectives of this study thus includes:

a.     To find out if drug  abuse has increased crime rate in Nigeria.

b.     To investigate how far the mass media has gone in informing and  educating  the society about serious issues in Nigeria.

c.      To  evaluate its assessment in the role it has played in the campaign  against drug abuse in Nigeria.

d.     To find out the  impressions people have about drug  abuse in Nigeria.

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The significance of this study cannot be over-emphasized. Drug  abuse has been in the media   for a very long time and much has been written and government is worried  about it. Large amount of money are expended  to rehabilitate victims of  drug abuse. This research  is done in order to alert the society about drug abuse and the impact  it has to the society. And also to engage  the media  to be faithful allies to reap  the society off this problem. This is because a country with healthy  citizens will have  a good work force which in turn boosts  the economy of that country. This study will also show the people the work and part the mass media is playing to combat this problem.

1.5   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

My research questions focuses on the assessment of the mass medias  role in the campaign against drug abuse in Nigeria and also on the  impressions  people have  about drug abuses in Nigeria. The questions are:

1.     How far have the mass media gone in the campaign against drug abuse in Nigeria?

2.     To what extent  have the mass media gone in informing, and educating  the people against  drug  abuse?

3.     What rate is  drug abuse getting to in Nigeria?

4.     Has drug  abuse increased crime rate in  Nigeria

5.     Has drug abuse increased crime rate in  Nigeria ?

1.6. RESEARCH  HYPOTHESES

H1    The mass media have  gone far in informing  and educating  the people against drug abuse.

H0       The mass media have not gone far in informing and educating the people against  drug abuse.

H2     The mass media have gone far in the campaign against drug abuse in Nigeria.

H0       The mass media have not gone far in the campaign against drug abuse in Nigeria.

H3     Drug abuse has increased crime rate in  Nigeria

Ho     Drug abuse has not increased crime rate in Nigeria.

H4     Drug abuse can be stopped in Nigeria.

H0       Drug abuse cannot be stopped in Nigeria.

1.7   DEFINITION OF TERMS

CONCEPTUAL DEFINITIONS

CAMPAIGN : This means series  of planned activities with a particular social, commercial or political aim.

MASS MEDIA :This means the  means of communicating with large numbers of people.

DRUG : A substance  used as a medicine  or in a medicine.

ABUSE: This means a wrong or excessive use of something.

ASSESSMENT :- This means a carefully considered  opinion or judgment.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS

CAMPAIGN : This  means avenues by which the mass media is carrying out its role in the fight against  drug abuse e.g. through seminars, workshops or programmes.

MASS MEDIA:- This  means the television, radio, newspapers and magazines.

DRUG:- This means those substance like alcohol, cocaine, heroin that    stimulates the nervous system and is addictive .

ABUSE: This means using those drugs like cocaine, alcohol  or heroin excessively.

ASSESSMENT: This means the  opinion or judgment on the mass media role.

1.8   ASSUMPTIONS

This study will be a contribution to knowledge  and for further  research into certain societal  anomalies which may be negative to health, economic and behavioural understanding that  will lead to cohesiveness and   even development of any nation and Nigeria in particular.

That the  mass media has played an important role in the campaign  against drug  abuse in Nigerian.

That drug abuse has affected adversely the increase of crime in Nigeria.

1.9   LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

This study has some limitations. There is the  problem of data scarcity because   it was not easy for the researcher to get as much information needed.

        This research required a lot of money, if it had to be extensive and elaborate, such amount  of money was not at the disposal of the researcher.

        Finally, because the study was carried out a time school was in session, it placed some constraints  on the researcher. Other academic works also placed much demand on the researchers time. Consequently, the limited time  at the   disposal of the researcher was shared between these tasks. There was not too much time for the researcher as it has to be carried  out within  a time schedule.


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