EFFECTS OF MASS MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY ON CHILDREN UPBRINGING
A RESEARCH PROJECT
DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION
MAURID POLYTECHNIC, MBIASO, NSIT IBOM L. G. A
AKWA IBOM STATE
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIRMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF NATIONAL DIPLOMA (ND) IN MASS COMMUNICATION
This research work was carried out to study “Effects of Mass Media on Children Upbringing in Oshogbo”. The research work was carried out in St. Francis Primary School, Isale-Aro, Osogbo and Ministry of Education, Osogbo Secretariat, Abere, Osogb all in Osun State. A total number of 75 staff members of the afore-mentioned organizations were used as sample size from the studied population. The data collection was done through survey method while analysis was done using a tabulated table. Findings revealed that the effects of mass media on children include learning of good and bad attitudes and that it also improves and causes decline in academic performance.
It also revealed that to prevent children from learning bad things from media contents, effective regulation and censuring of media contents by the regulatory authorities should be ensured, there should also be sanctions on media stations/houses that transmits adult programmes without appropriate censor, parents and guardians should properly monitoring and control their children’s access to media contents. It also revealed that children should not be allowed to spend a long time watching television programmes to prevent obsession. It also revealed that apart from television, other media of communication through which children can learn bad habits are video sharing on mobile devices, books or magazines containing information that are meant for adults, spontaneous access to pornographic web pages (Internet).
This research work is recommended to media houses to enlighten them on why they need to discourage the transmission of programmes that may have negative effects on the reasoning and attitudes of children at homes. This study is recommended to nursery, primary and secondary schools to sensitize their managements to the need to ensure that television and other media of communication in their various schools are being used with proper monitoring, to prevent their pupils or students from being exposed to media contents that are not meant for kids. This research work is recommended to the media regulatory authorities to improve on effectiveness of their official duty of regulations and censuring of radio and television programmes and those of other media of communication. This study is recommended to parents and guardians to enlighten them on why they should properly monitor and control how their children are exposed to media contents.
Effects of Mass Media and Technology on Children Upbringing
1.1 Background to the Study
Mass media is generally regarded as the means through which a large heterogeneous people can be reached at specific time for the purpose of information dissemination. There are various media of communication ranging from household electronics such as television and radio to print media like newspapers, magazines, journals, etc. Office and mobile equipments such as telephones, Internet and E-mail, Fax machine, etc. are also categorized as media of communication. Since this study focuses on the effect of mass media on children upbringing, it would focus more on the television programmes that children devote their time to watch since it is much easier for them to have access to this medium of communication than others already mentioned.
Mass media (such as newspapers, magazines, comic books, radio, video games, movies, and especially television) present a very different form of socialization than any other, because they offer no opportunity for interaction. Television has an influence on children from a very young age and affects their cognitive and social development (Elkind, 2007; Wright et al., 2001). Television is the medium with the greatest socialization effect, surpassing all the other media by far in its influence on the young child.
The very fact that television is not an interactive agent is greatly significant to the development of young children. While watching, children have the feeling that they‟re interacting, but they‟re not. Since the average child watches 3 to 4 hours of television a day, the time left for playing with others and learning social skills is drastically reduced.
Of course, parents can control the time their children spend watching television, but many don‟t. They can monitor the selection of programs, but some allow their children to watch whatever happens to be on. Some parents don‟t consider how they can use television to teach decision making. They don‟t make children aware that when one program ends they can either weigh the various merits of the next offerings or turn the set off.
Some children, especially those with a remote control in hand, flick through the channels periodically, randomly stopping at whatever catches their interest at the moment. That‟s very different from critically examining options and consciously deciding on one. This is where parent education could be effective. Some parents who grew up with television themselves haven‟t given much thought to the effects of that medium, and how to decrease these effects.
Children learn through watching television. Some of the things they learn are beneficial; others are not. They learn about the world and the ways of the society. They learn something about occupations, for example, getting an idea about what a nurse does, what a doctor does, and how the two relate to each other. They learn about the institutions of the society; what goes on in court, for example. They learn the language to go with these roles and settings and they also learn some things you would rather they didn’t know! Children also learn about current themes and issues, both from newscasts and drama; issues such as kidnapping, the homeless, and the spread of AIDS. Most of these issues and themes are not happy ones, and many are very frightening, especially when children watch programs that are intended for adults.
What then is a television? A television is a piece of electrical equipment with a screen on which programmes with moving pictures and sounds can be watched (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 2001). Prior to 1965, film and television research tended to be simple media comparison studies which usually found no significant difference between the effectiveness of a conventionally-delivered lecture and the same instruction delivered via moving image (Wetzel et al., 1994).
Since 1965, most television research, particularly that which examines the influence of television on attitudes and behaviors, has focused on incidental learning from mass media rather than on intentional effects from classroom presentation of instruction via visual media, and has particularly focused on children’s television viewing. Much important work has been done on television’s socializing effects on children, particularly the relationship between viewing violence and behaving violently. Other recent research has focused on the area of media literacy.
In 40 years of television research, “the emphasis on negative effects has been more salient than efforts to ensure positive effects through interventions” (Seels et al., 1996, p. 361) and “media research has generally not been theory based” (Wetzel et al., 1994, p. 189). Nevertheless, some positive findings have been made. While some theories suggest that viewers are merely passive absorbers of information, the active theory of cognitive processing supports the idea that viewers engage with the material presented to them.
Several studies have indicated that viewers attend more carefully to television when guided by an instructor and/or told to view it for instructional reasons than when viewing it for fun (Wetzel et al., 1994). Television research related to portrayals of women, minorities, the elderly, etc. has tended to focus on the negative effect of stereotypes, but other studies have found that “programs that are designed specifically to produce positive images of subgroups appear to be successful” (Seels et al., 1996, p. 335).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Mass media, as generally known, is a means through which a large heterogeneous people can be reached for the purpose of information dissemination at a specific time. There are two sides to this; this means that as mass media has so many advantages, even so it does have its disadvantages too.
People truly have access to important information through mass media even at the comfort of their homes, not only that, children also learn so many things from the educative programmes that are being transmitted on the television or radio or those that are published on the papers like magazines, newspapers, journals, etc. However, if children‟s exposure to media contents are not properly monitored and controlled by parents and guardians, they can also learn so many bad things from media contents as well.
The focus of this study is the effect of mass media on children upbringing; whether the media contents, more especially television programmes as the main focal point, have effect on children upbringing.
Effects of Mass Media and Technology on Children Upbringing
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This research work is chosen
- Critically examine the effects of mass media on children upbringing.
- Determine the measures that should be put in place to prevent children from learning bad things from media contents.
- Determine the roles of parents and guardians towards how children are exposed to media contents.
- Carry out an assessment of the performance of the National Broadcasting Corporations and other regulatory agencies in performing their duties of television programmes censuring.
1.4 Research Questions
- What effect can mass media have on children upbringing?
- What measures should be put in place to prevent children from learning bad things from media contents?
- What are the roles of parents and guardians in how children are exposed to media contents?
- To what extent are the National Broadcasting Corporations and other regulatory agencies performing their duty of television programmes censuring?
1.5 Scope of the Study
This project looks into the positive effects of mass communication and technology on the upbringing of children in Iree community. It critically examines the influence of media technology on children development in the society. The concepts of this project covered Iree community and can well be applicable in any community in Osun State and all other States in the country. This project should be considered from perspective only been purely academic and finding based on the response of the respondents
Effects of Mass Media and Technology on Children Upbringing
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance or importance of this study is that it disclose in theoretical format the influence; both positive and negative, which Mass communication and technology has on the upbringing of children in Iree Township.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The limitation involved in this work includes the wide nature and time constraint of the study.
Financial Constraint: There are not enough funds to fuel the study of this research work. The researcher has access to a very little source of fund.
Time Constraints: Due to the limited time available to carry out this research work, it is not possible to carry out the research extensively as anticipated by the researcher.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Journalist: A journalist collects and disseminates information about current events, people, trends, and issues. His or her work is acknowledged as journalism.
Reporters: Reporters are one type of journalist; they create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet. Reporters find sources for their work, their reports can be either spoken or written, and they are often expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good. A columnist is a journalist who writes pieces that appear regularly in newspapers or magazines.
Mass Media: Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies, including the Internet, television, newspapers, and radio, which are used for mass communications, and to the organizations which control these technologies.
A Printing Press: A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. Typically used for texts, the invention and spread of the printing press are widely regarded as the most influential events in the second millennium AD, revolutionizing the way people conceive and describe the world they live in, and ushering in the period of modernity.
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