An Assessment of the Effects of Television Programmes on Youths


        This means to review available literature dealing with the issue /problem under review. The arrival of television in 1920’s following years of scientific advances in he areas of electricity, photography, wire transmission and radio.

Most of the literature on effects of television deals on social effects of broadcast days of the medium, adults have expressed concern about criticism of television over the years has been that its portrayal of violence and aggression plays a considerable  role in the state of violence in the society.

These critics draw justification from the fact that the screen is an obtrusive and pervasive instrument which not only influences the inner working of men exposed to it, but also provides them with models upon which they fashion their lives after.

The primary motives of television in Nigeria are to foster national unity, accelerate development., supplement education programmes, foster interest in the world around us and encourage entertainment. These are to be achieved through the use of study, videotape recordings and films.

However, the changes in the status and contents of the Nigerian television are unavoidably part of the country’s history of rapid growth in broadcast communication. The need to assess this medium is timely, although such assessment is limited to the effect on youths. It is important to focus our attention on the literature which are most pertinent to the subject of the present study. The discussion is in five parts which are the functions of Nigerian television,  the influence  of television, campus circuit as a programme, review of pinion and other studies.


In Nigeria, television was introduced in 1959 by the then West Regional Government headed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo Ownership of the television station was not under a central body until the promulgation of Decree No 24 of 1977 of the Nigerian Television stations in the country under one authority. However, the Nigeria Television Authority sets out some guidelines towards achieving functional objectives as written in the issues and problems in “Mass Communication: (Mbolo, 1986: 94 – 96).

The Nigerian television programmes are primary expected to.

  • Promote social values and norms, civil and social responsibilities.
  • Promote the acquisition of pursuit of knowledge.
  • Disseminate impartially opinions in order to encourage meaningful and articulate dialogue and discussion of public interests.
  • Faster the spirit of self-discipline and self-sacrifice.
  • Promote the physical mental and social well –being of the people.
  • Encourage the presentation and development of human being and respect for the dignity of man.
  • Seek, identify and preserve Nigerian culture and promote the study of Nigerian culture
  • Select critically, relevant foreign culture for the purpose of enriching Nigerian culture.
  • Develop and promote the appreciation of indigenous aesthetic values.
  • Star up the consciousness and conscience of Nigerians to their environment and philosophy for future generation.
  • Promote the development of high level of intellectual and artistic creativity.
  • Foster moral and spiritual values.
  • Monitor trends and development in production process with a view to arousing creativity and inquisitiveness in the information.
  • Promote knowledge of available products through balanced and controlled information.
  • Foster the spirit of hard work and high productivity with a view to elevating the quality of life of the people.
  • Create and promote political awareness among the people in order to achieve a democratic society.
  • Identify and promote civil responsibility among the people.
  • Inculcate in the people the spirit of tolerance various shades of opinion.
  • Mobilize the people towards the achievement of national goals and.
  • Promote social justice based on the responsibilities and rights of the individual in society.

To be able to achieve these functions, the Nigerian Television Authority programme schedule are grouped into the following types; News and current affairs, Children; youths and family,Sports, drama, light entertainment,the arts,  formal education,religious affairs philosophy and others:Government and politics.

Considering the scope of this study, it is  not possible to treat all porgramme types and their effect on youth but we will look into most of these programmes especially youth programmes like campus circuit on MBI and assess their effects on youths in campus.


Whenever television is used, it affects the lives of the people in definite ways: Schramm et al note that “no mass medium has ever exploded over a continent as television explosive nature of television’s use is not restricted to North America of the 1930s, as the same phenomenon is experiences in similar vein in all parts of the world where television is introduced.

Macbride at al (1980) agree that with the speed and impact of the media explosion, certain harmful effects have been observed:

For many people, their conception of reality is observed or distorted by the media .

The rapid increase in the volume of information and entertainment has brought about a certain degree of homogenization of different societies, which paradoxically, people can be more cut off from the society in which they live as a result of media perpetration into their lives.

The authors also indicate that the introduction of new traditional societies has seldon failed to shade countries – old customers, time – honored cultural practices, sample life styles,  social aspirations and economic patterns Television can also be used as an instrument for political education. While all theses efforts are desirable, those who have watched children programmes on television will agree that although some programmes try to inject educational values, others have allowed entertainment to dominate. The effort of television to serve the public in various dissections has often failed due to language difficulties, wrong allocation of time for programmes to be aired, poor presentation, choosing the wrong audiences and their things.

Groombrdige (1972) ? Identifies four areas of failings among which are: Inability to enable men and women to consider critically the dogmas by which they lives their lives . To discover what their values are, to test their inadequacies and measures them against alternatives the NTA network has at one time or another developed programme like – VERDICT 79”, YOU AND THE CONSTITUTION” PERSONALITY PROFILE”, and “NEWSWEEK” as attempts to meet the requisites of liberal education” it is therefore believed that if serious attention is given to research, scripting editing and post evaluation, a lot of improvements can be realized. Many people who have studies the pattern of television programming in Nigeria have of the seriously its impact on the lives of the people and have also know the various conflicts on out culture. Whereas, it is Anticipated in all considerations that mass media, and indeed, television should seek  to enlarge the peoples awareness of the  world and their various cultures.

The Nigerian Television Authority sets a guideline which demand that station only carry 20 percent foreign programmes in the broadcast day. Unfortunately, one realizes that in an attempt to fill programme time ,some local stations have resorted to foreign entertainment programmes as fillers, thus defeating the basic essence of the percentage allowed by NTA.

Nevertheless, to meet the local programme quota, they have also fallen into cheap hostility produced cultural dances and drama filmed at affairs and ceremonial occasions. This attempt in itself is an under estimation of audience needs. Television is a creative medium – hence programing should reflect creativity and taste.

Reading through most of the public opinion in our dailies on television programming, very often the criticisms bother on violence, sex, nudity and crime in general. Nearly all the programmes indicated for these offences are foreign films and video recordings on drama, musical, movie and new sreel. Television extended the normal limits of communication through the use of programmes events mentioned above Burgeon and Ruffer (1969:248) pointed out that:

The demonstrated efficiency of lecturing through symbolic modeling and large spend watching television which is a continuous form of symbolic models, provided ample reason to believe that children construct a significant part of their  world image on the basis of mass mediated information.

Through youth obtain much of that information form their parents and other non media sources, society is rel ying more on the mass media to help socialize them. The television can greatly affect the way in which youths and adult see their fellow human beings.

Haney and ulmer (1980:4} made this know when they say:

People should consider the stereo typed portrayals of b  lack Americans in films and television and the black militants being appearing on the screen.

Thus, the socializing effects of media on youths according to them are largely those of “creasing awareness of the world affairs increasing desire for involvement in change. Gerbner et al (1977:171 –180) in their research in the area of youth and media have focused on children use of television, especially by profiling the amount of violence on network television. This research interest is founded on the fear that heavy viewing, and pressuring of the viewing of a great deal of television violence can engender a distorted and “voilence” view of the world, and more importantly make children more prone to violence.


This is a television program show on Minaji Broadcast International (MBI) 5-5.30pm anchored by Jude, which is basically shown in the interest of the students.

The “good” is that it keeps us abreast of current happening in the campus. It talks on the fun life, the academic success, ,the admissions, graduations and ceremonies etc.

Campus circuit highlights the ills on our campuses. Like sorting attitude of students as requested by some lecturers, sexual harassment of female students, cultism, examination malpractice, gun schooling incessant strike and host of others.

Campus Circuit also focuses in the profile of given school, it also x – ray;s life on our campus and youths in general through capitulating real life stories designed to educate students and lecturers.

Most often, it offers that most valuable tips or how to run successful academic activities. Again it showcases latest gossips and tip cracking test for your delight keeps you informed about what is going on in fashion industry in campus.


There are opinions on research which in all areas of communication suggest that individuals behabvuour in response to mass communication is preceded by cognitive (thinking) comprehensive and attitude charge.

Watter Weiss “ The effects of the mass media on communication “  (1968: 277) suggests that:

Mass communication media have an impact on cognition and comprehension, attitude and value change and finally, begaviour changes. The potential effect of mass media on children viewers has been recognized, research has  extensively investigated this topic.

Steinfied (1975:263) estimates that: By the age  12, the average American child has spent 13, 500 hours in front of the television set, exceeding by a factor of the amount of time spent in school.

His content analysis studies show  that during this period  child will have witnessed over 100,000 violent episodes, including well over 13,500 deaths. Some researchers show a little evidence that adjustment or mental health of a child who enjoys warms and secure relationships at home or  with his pears and who has no background of mental fitness.

In a rather revealing cartoon depicting the shown flooding his friend with heavy blow using the television programme. Under wealth the cartoon was inscribed: Kung –fu “ tactics. “I don’t know where he learned that. We don’t even have a television “

There have been strong indications that electoral development.

Nelson (1986) was shown that: very young children who spend more time watching the television were slower in their language development than children who watch television less frequently .Since the child does not interact with the speakers on the television his language skills.

According  to Nestein (1974) with some  youths, television has a way of stimulating them to copy certain practice and actions they see on the tube. They” seven try to see if it works at home or else wherein in the neighbor hood.

Above all ,the values of television can make an impact if they touch an idea or value for which the child is emotionality ready. On effects of pornographic films on audience a national survey conducted in America in 1970 reveals that: Two thirds of American adults believe  the sexual materials incite people sexually, about one half of the public believe that such materials lead people to commit rape and a little more than one third of the public believe that sexual materials make people “sex – crazy’.

But six of every ten adults believe that sexual materials provide information about sex, about half think that they  improve sex relations of some married couples: about a third think that they provide an outlet for bottled up impulses.

Gradually, almost imperceptibly television entertainment being about changes in children’s outlook and values, even though the programmes that achieve this do not deliberately set out to influence. Tanowritz (1966) indicates the conditions under which maximal effects is likely to occur (i.e from the cumulative impact of a particular programme)

  • If the values are presented in dramatic form so that they evoke primarily emotional reactions;
  • If the values or view recur from programme to porgramme:
  • If they link with the child immediate needs and interest ;
  • If the viewer tends to be uncritical of and attached to the medium.
  • If through his friends, parents or immediate environment the viewer is not already supplied with a set of valves, which would provide a standard against which to assesses the view offered on television.

These principle apply equally whether the view and values are worth while or worthless. Apart from this slow effect because of their impact either because of their dramatic excellence or because they touch on something of specific importance to the child. For most children both types of effects are likely to operate.



        Certain communication theories and concepts are fund to be the determinants of the effects among broadcast audience. For instance, the cultural norms theory states that mass communication has an indirect effect on behavior through its ability to shape norms.

Melvis Defleur (1970), the developer of the theory, states it this way;

Essentially, the cultural norms theory postulates that mass media, through selective presentations and the emphasis of certain themes, create impressions among their audience that common cultural norm concurring the emphasized topics are structured or defined in some specific way. Since individual behaviour is usually guided by cultural norms (or an actor’s impressions of what the norms are) with respect to a given topic serve indirectly to influence conduct.

This theory like the agenda setting , function theory can be traced back to Walter lipman’s notion that mass communication shapes the “picture in our heads”. The catharsis theory of violence purges and drains probability of acting violently and it has positive impact. The aggressive cues theory of violence increase the level of psychological and emotional creosol, hereby increasing the probability of aggressive behaviour it also states that such factors as the individual level of frustration at the time of exposure, the justification of aggression as depicted in the programme, and the televised violence determine the level of aggression exposure.

Observation learning theory of violence models the behaviour of the viewers where they learn of better or for worse, provides opportunity to learn aggression and it presents violent characters are behaciour modes to the tender might.

Reinforcement theory reinforces the behaviour already possessed by the viewers whether their good or bad behaviour.

Also cultivation theory of violence which George Grarbner is noted for states that heavy television viewing cultivate the perception of reality in the live wit the media world, it influences behaviour of viewer on either positive or negative side and the viewer tends to see the real world the way he watched it on television.

A major cause of violence is the frequent portrayed by the mass media especially television of violence and aggression, these in other words influence the youths because as they view television they learn negative and positive behaviour.

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