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Dr Stella Amara Aririguzoh
Department of Mass Communication
College of Development Studies
Covenant University, Ota.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
0803 467 3466
0809 454 2111
Television is a popular medium of public communication which can be used to reach millions
of viewers with the same message at the same time. Television‟s perceived influence is wide.
Its messages can have subtle effects on the viewers and can thus influence their behaviour.
This paper sought to establish if television broadcasts influenced the political participation of
voters in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State during the 2007 Nigerian
presidential election. Copies of the questionnaire were administered to some of the residents
in this council. Statistically positive relationships were established between voters‟ exposure
to television broadcasts and their increased political participation during this presidential
election. This study established that television broadcasts helped to increase the political
participation of the voters in this community by making them take some specific steps like
going out to register as voters; seeking out more information about the candidates and their
political parties running for elections; voluntarily joining campaign teams and political
parties and even getting others to join too. Television broadcasts also increased the number of
topics raised for discussion between these residents and the people who they regarded as
significant in their lives on this particular election.
KEY TERMS: Presidential election, significant others, voting, participation, television
broadcasts, residents.
Television is the most prevalent form of communicating in our present society. As a matter
of routine, television is a source of information and entertainment for viewers in their homes
or wherever they gather to watch its flickering images. The information that it purveys can
stimulate voters into more active political participation or apathy during elections. Television
is a key actor in the electoral process because it links those seeking votes to the voters. It is
therefore not unexpected that politicians, their political parties and their media strategists
have vigourously employed it to pass across various pieces of information to the public in the
hope of swaying them to favour their own purposes. Television broadcasting houses also
package other political information on elections such as commentaries, editorials, news
stories and media events.
There has been a growing apathy of voters towards participation in elections. Some of them
feel that their votes do not count as they believe that sharp practices are used to instal
undesired candidates into public offices. Most Nigerians refer to the 1992 Abiola-Tofar
presidential contest that was widely acclaimed as the freest election in the country.
Unfortunately, the result of this election was annulled by the then government of Babaginda.
Of course this sparked off violent riots and protests in many parts of the country, particularly
in the South Western states.
It is against this background that this study seeks to find out if the various pieces of
information that television provided encouraged voters participation in the 2007 Nigerian
presidential election.
Citizen participation in elections can be influenced by the quality of information available to
them. Political socialization and communication are avenues of sharing some political
information. We are living in a media world: a world saturated by the mass media. During
election periods, television and other media outlets literally immerse viewers with
information about the various contestants, the voting procedures, the actual dates for voting
and similar issues information.
Television can direct public attention to particular issues because of the pictures it paints.
Media reports lead to public talks and actions. Television broadcasts literally influence the
pictures in the minds of the voting public. Voters‟ participation or apathy has resulted from
information shared during electioneering times on television programmes. Thus, information
can affect behaviour either positively or negatively. The problem for investigation is to find
out if the information carried on television led to increased voters participation in the 2007
Nigerian presidential election among the voters in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of
Ogun State.
This study seeks to investigate if these pieces of information given by television influenced
the voters‟ behaviour by increasing their participation in the electoral processes that led to the
emergence of the man that emerged as the Nigerian president elected in 2007. Thus it seeks to
determine whether television broadcasts increased voters‟ participation in the presidential
election by:
Stimulating the voters‟ interest to seek more information about the election, the
candidates and their parties;
Influencing the involvement of the voters in the election by making them
voluntarily join campaign teams;
Encouraging the voters‟ decision to participate more in the elections by joining
political parties or getting others to join the parties;
Increasing the number of topics for discussion on the presidential election
between the voters and the people who are significant in their lives.
Did television broadcasts stimulate voters‟ interest to increase their
participation in the presidential elections?
Drawing from the objective of the study, the hypothesis below would be tested in this study:
Exposure to television broadcasts made the voters to increase their
level of political participation in the presidential election by spurring
them to take definite actions such as registering to vote and actually
going to the polling centres to vote.
Ho: Exposure to television broadcasts did not make the voters to increase
their level of political participation in the presidential election by not
spurring them to take definite actions such as registering to vote and
actually going to the polling centres to vote.
PARTICIPATION IN DEMOCRACY: In a functional democracy, the citizens take part in
deciding who leads the government by electing some candidates into offices. Democracy is a
government system that allows for mass participation and competitive elections. It also
recognizes both human and civil rights. Arblaster (2002, p. 9) defines democracy as “the idea
of popular power, of a situation in which power, and perhaps authority is usually thought of
as being political, and it often therefore takes the form of an idea of popular sovereignty – the
people as the ultimate political authority”. In representative democracy, the citizens do not
rule directly but through their elected and accountable representatives that they have voted
from among other contenders because it is not possible for every citizen to participate in
governance. Appadorai (1975, p. 13) states that democracy is a system of government that
allows the people to exercise governing power either directly or through representatives that
they elect periodically.
Christiano (2002, p. 31) writes that democracy implies commitment to equality in voting
power and opportunities to participate in discussions. He adds that it gives individuals equal
abilities to press forward their own concerns when decisions concerning the terms of
association are made because every person has the same equally weighted vote that decides
the outcome of elections.
The vote is the foundation of political equality and participation. In participating, ordinary
members in a political system attempt to influence others. Berman and Murphy (1996, p.
369) add that voting in an election is the most important political decision that decides who
rules. Voting is a crucial political behaviour. Ethrigde and Handelamn (2008, p. 88) draw our
attention to the core value in voting. According to them, “the act of voting occupies a central
place in political behaviour. Elections are a direct and generally accepted approach to popular
consultation and are a basic component of democratic government. By selecting one
candidate or party over another, citizens express preferences regarding who should govern
and which government policies should be adopted or changed”.
Dowse and Hughes (1983, p. 322) define the election as a procedure recognized by the rule of
an organization, be it a state, club, voluntary organization or whatever, where all, or some, of
the members choose a smaller number of persons from among them to hold an office or
offices of authority within that organization. Powell (2000) therefore states that the mainstay
of democracy is competitive elections taking place at regular intervals. According to him,
citizens engage in elections for seven reasons: as a means of holding politicians accountable,
expressing discontent, pointing the route they want policies to take, placing issues on the
public agenda, occasioning public debates and choosing delegates or trustees. Powell
describes elections as instruments of democracy.
To what extent does television influence the people to participate in elections? The power of
television lies in its visual capabilities. Good pictures catch the eyes attention. Bittner (1989,
p. 258) writes that television‟s enormous credibility can be attributed to two factors: its
tremendous impact on our lives and its power of sight and sound. The ubiquity and centrality
of television in our everyday lives cannot be denied. Television is part of the popular culture.
Gerbner and Gross (1976, pp. 172-194) declare television as the dominant force shaping
modern society through the symbolic content of real-life drama shown „hour after hour, week
after week‟. They ascribe to television the role of being society‟s institutional storyteller
acquainting us with a “coherent picture of what exists, what is important, what is related to
what and what is right.” Their comment assume deeper meaning when placed alongside
Newcomb‟s (1974) remark that television keeps people at home and offer friends and family
members the opportunity to share and deliberate what they have just watched. Lazarsfeld and
Merton (1948, pp. 95-118) accuse television of causing the narcotizing dysfunction in the
society. They explain that television presents the society with its challenges and a false sense
of involvement and participation.
Verba and Nie (1972, pp. 118-119) identify seven levels of political participation among
voters. They categorized voters into: the unclassifieds, inactives, voting specialists,
parochials, communalists, campaigners and the complete activists. The unclassifieds are not
known. The inactives are not politically active. The voting specialists vote but do not get
involved in other activities. The parochials contact officials concerning their individual
problems. The communalists work in voluntary groups, contact party officials on a variety of
issues but avoid campaign work. The campaigners work actively in political campaigns and
vote in elections. The complete activists are fully involved in all aspects of political life.
Milbrath (1982) collapse these into four broad categories: the apathetic, the spectators, the
transitionals and gladiators. He explains that the apathetic are non-voters and avoid all
involvement in politics. The spectators may wear party buttons, put stickers on their cars and
try persuading others to vote in a prescribed way. The transitionals attend political meetings,
make financial contributions and even contact public or political leaders. The gladiators run
for offices, hold public and political offices, solicit for funds for the parties, attend caucus
meetings and are active in political campaigns. Milbrath classifies the apathetics and the
spectators as inactives while the transitionals and gladiators are actives. He adds that most
citizens are inactives.
Much as voting is seen as essential in democracy Ross (1996, p. 11) believes it is one of the
least tasking forms of political participation. Piven and Cloward (1988), and Wolfinger and
Rosenstone (1980) emphasize that the right to choose not to vote is also essential for a
successful democracy. Berman and Murphy (1996, p. 374) point out that some people do not
vote because they are satisfied with the ways things are and therefore see no particular reason
to become politically involved; feel that their votes do not count; the voting process is
difficult; or that the parties are not differentiated. Ross (1996, p. 13) enumerates additional
reasons to include lack of interest in both politics and in the elections; lack of time, nonregistration; voters travelling at the time of the elections and hindering medical problems.
Schattschneider (1960) writes that those who have no stake in public business do not consider
it necessary to participate in political activities. Avery (1988, p. 125) quips “if you don‟t
benefit, you drop out!” Absenting from voting may be harmful to the society irrespective of
the reasons for doing so. This explains Mencken and Nathan‟s (1920) famous statement that
“bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote”.
Berman and Murphy (1996, p. 366) claim that the core of participation is the vote. They
suggest that if all citizens easily register to vote and then actually vote, then the candidates
they vote for will be representative of the population. They further add that democratic
involvement through voting and other acts of participation usually results in political stability
because the citizens show greater levels of contentment in the political system. Almond and
Verba (1963, p. 8) find that a civic culture is crucial for the stability of modern democracy in
England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. This culture is a "culture based on
communication and persuasion, a culture of consensus and diversity, a culture that permitted
change but moderated it". They say that there is a correlation between political competence
and civic participation and the effectiveness and legitimacy of a political system (p. 230).
TELEVISION AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: Watching television is part of the
popular culture. In a democratic and pluralistic setting, voters watch television to source for
news and information on the government and elections. Beck, Dalton, Greene and Huckfeldt
(2002, pp. 57-73) and Chaffe, Zhao and Leshner (1994, pp. 305-324) also remark that mass
media channels including television, are the principal sources of information on modern
campaigns. Voters must have accurate and timely information to make informed decisions.
Lang and Lang (1959, p. 226) find that news media influence extends far beyond political
campaigns. According to them:
all news that bears on political activity and beliefs-and not only campaign
speeches and campaign propaganda-is somehow relevant to the vote. Not
only during the campaign, but also in the periods between. The mass
media provide perspectives, shape images of candidates and parties, help
highlight issues around which a campaign will develop, and define the
unique atmosphere and areas of sensitivity, which mark any particular
Television as an audiovisual mass channel has been vigourously employed in elections. It
brings into millions of homes what is happening on the political front, especially the
campaigns. As Dye, Zeigler and Lichter (1992, p. 4) observe, television is essential in present
day elections and is “our most significant form of mass communicating - that is
communication that reaches nearly everyone: the poor, the illiterates, the aged, the sick,
children…”According to them, television has replaced the political parties as the main link
between the candidates and the voters. The candidates can bypass the parties and appeal
directly to the voters. Those that appear on television are perceived as more serious (p. 125).
Ross (1996, p. 324) remarks that television is the most cost-effective way to reach the public
as messages can be tailor made to reach specific voters.
Cohen and Nice (2003, p. 80) are of the opinion that television gives the political candidates
more opportunities to communicate with the public directly rather than passing through party
organizations. Therefore, media intrusion theorists like Davis (1990) claim that the media,
especially television, have intruded into politics and undermined political party control over
elections. Patterson (1980) argues that television has replaced the political parties in the
election processes as the candidates use television to promote their own interests and not the
interests of their parties.
Hellweg, Pfau and Brydon (1992, pp. 80–82,109), Keeter (1987, pp. 344–358) and Lang and
Lang (1968) lament that the rise of television has introduced a more image-based political
setting that lays emphasis on a candidate‟s personal qualities. As Graber (1990, p. 138)
explains, “people draw a multitude of inferences from human physical appearance and
movements . . . . Many people infer personality characteristics from human physical
Ansolabehere and Iyenger (1995) claim that the battleground of the modern campaign is the
mass media, particularly televised advertising because it enables candidates to communicate
directly and on their own terms to the voters. This supports Forrest and Marks (1999, pp. 99–
114) remarks that contemporary election campaigns are progressively more dominated by
national television, radio and press coverage with the attendant financial resources required
by political parties to run such campaigns considerable and escalating. According to Woll and
Binstock (1991, pp. 475- 478) the most important impact of television in presidential politics
is perhaps the expansion of the coverage of the horse race and of the personalities of the
candidates particularly during the primaries. Television has brought more exposure that is
public and made the candidates and their styles of overriding importance. This makes it more
difficult for them and their advisers to manipulate the public than they could have done with
other media that gives them less exposure.
Why is there so much interest in using television during elections? Baran (2004, p. 450)
responds that it is because television is the primary source of public affairs information.
Roskin, Cord, Medeiros and Jones (2003, p. 154) add three more reasons. Their first reason is
that television has touched and changed politics. Their second reason is that television has the
strongest persuasive power because it mimics face-to-face communication. Their third reason
is that television has eroded the roles of opinion leaders. According to them, the television
newscasters have now become the opinion leaders. However, they qualify that television‟s
impact is partly still dependent on the discussions the viewers have with their families and
friends after watching its programmes. Gerbner (1990, p. 261) confirms that television gives
us much of what we think about, know or do in common.
Just, Crigler and Alger (1996, p. 233) say that citizens are much more likely to make their
assessments of political candidates based on the personal attributes of these politicians rather
than on their political affiliations. The inference from this observation is that television can
affect the decision of the viewer on who to vote for based on what he has seen. Druckman
(2003, pp. 559–571) discovers that television images matter in politics because they
significantly affect overall debate evaluations, prime people to rely more on personality
perceptions in their own evaluations of the candidates, enhance what people learn and may
have indeed played an important role in the first Kennedy-televised Nixon debate. Druckman
(2003, p. 560) concludes that television substantially shapes political attitudes and learning,
with the implication being that television viewers have access to visual imagery and
nonverbal cues that often play important roles in shaping peoples‟ assessment of others.
These authors note that voters may ignore their political affiliations.
Gould (1998), Holmes and Holmes (1998) and Finkelstein (1998) explain why politicians,
their advisers and professional pollsters continue to use television. They note that even at the
last minute, a good election campaign message can cause a vital shift in the voting
convictions and consequently change the beliefs of at least the wavering voters who have not
firmly decided on who to vote for. MacKuen (1984, p. 374) explains that television‟s pictures
may cause evaluative effects in those individuals who have low levels of previous political
information and awareness. However, those with higher levels of prior interest will still
watch television‟s images and remain unaffected, because the screen pictures do not
adequately upset their more refined evaluations.
Roskin, Cord, Medeiros and Jones (2003, pp. 161-162) write that television has changed
politics in three different ways through nomination of candidates based on the bandwagon
effect, turning itself into a kingmaker and making politicians to schedule and strategize as to
how to capture television attention. They add that the bandwagon effect enhances recognition
and generates subsequent television coverage.
But has television‟s entrance into politics weakened or increased the citizen‟s participation in
election? Roskin, Cord, Medeiros and Jones (2003, p. 163) seem to agree with the
explanation that television creates apathy and passivity, which in turn lower Election Day
turnouts. They observe that television saturates the viewers, in advance, with the frequent
coverage of the candidates that the voters lose interest in voting. Baran and Davis (2003, p.
339) have the same opinion about television creating voters‟ apathy because many people
stay inside their homes to watch what is happening rather than in participating.
Television tells the viewers who the candidates are. Scholars like Atkin and Heald (1976, pp.
216-228) and Brians and Wattenberg (1996, pp. 172-193) find that television commercials
increase reported turnout propensities, enhance viewers‟ knowledge of the candidates, and
reinforce citizens‟ underlying partisan predispositions. As Lowden, Andersen, Dozier and
Lauzen (1994, pp. 293-304) comment, the voters who focus on candidates‟ images consult
television broadcasts while those more interested in issues examine the newspapers.
The agenda-setting theory came out of the popular Chapel Hill Study of McCombs and Shaw
(1972, p. 177). They were able to establish that the mass media influence the audiences. They
measured newspapers, magazines and television newscasts during the United States of
America 1968 Presidential election. The media agenda or what the media thought were
important was determined by the prominence of the news stories of the moment- their length
and position. The public agenda, the focus of public attention or what the public thought,
discussed or worried about as important were determined by asking 100 undecided Chapel
Hill voters exposed to a mix of newspapers, network television news, and news magazines to
outline what each thought were the key issues of the campaigns, irrespective of what the
political candidates were saying. They discovered that the media appeared to exert
considerable impact on voters‟ judgement of what they considered the major issues of the
presidential campaign. In fact, there was a correlation of + .967 between the major issues
emphasized during the campaigns and the voters‟ independent judgements of what they
thought were important!
Griffin (2003, p. 392) listed the media agenda in order of importance as foreign policy, law
and order, fiscal policy, public welfare and civil rights. The public agenda list was nearly
identical. McCombs and Shaw found an almost perfect correlation of .97 between the media
agenda and the public agenda. They tagged this occurrence agenda setting, observing that
“the mass media set the agenda for each political campaign by influencing the salience or of
attitudes toward the political issues”. McCombs and Shaw (1974) define agenda setting as the
impact the mass media have in shaping cognitive changes in individuals by structuring their
worlds. Indeed, what the public considered to be the most important issues of the day were
being shaped by the mass media! However, they regard this as normal and inevitable in the
flow of news. This makes McCombs and Shaw (1974) to assert that there is a positive
relationship between what the media emphasize by the coverage given and what voters see as
Numerous studies like this have established the firm correlations between the media and the
public priorities. Such studies include Dearing and Rogers (1996), Ghanem (1996),
McCombs and Shaw (1993, pp. 58–67) and Weaver, Graber, McCombs and Eyal (1981). As
Newbold, (1995, p. 121) correlates, the salience of an issue in the agenda will also be seen by
the audience to be very important. Rogers and Dearing (1994, p. 91) equally stress that the
media agenda have strong influence on top decision makers. Nonetheless, Walker (1977, pp.
423–445) and Wood and Peake (1998, pp. 173–183) assert that except for some uncommon
and non-routine crisis situations, the media‟s political agenda setting impact is limited.
In the light of classic agenda-setting studies, campaign scholars like Brandenburg (2002, pp.
34-54), Brandenburg (2004); Norris, Curtice, Sanders, Scammell, and Semetko (1999);
Roberts and McCombs (1994, pp. 249-262); Semetko, Blumler, Gurevitch and Weaver
(1991) and Van Aelst, (2004) started focusing attention on the relationship between the media
and the political agenda to determine the extent media and political parties interact during the
campaign and to answer the question of who sets the agenda: the political parties or the media
The agenda setting researchers believe that the media do not only tell the people what to do,
but can and do tell people what to think about through the coverage the media give or refuse
to give to events. McCombs (1994, p. 4) say this is possible because the mass media have the
ability to transfer the salience of items on their news agenda to the public agenda. The media
do this by assigning specific attributes to the potential objects of interests in the issues, events
or persons. This means that if the media assign, ascribe or credit somebody or something with
some qualities the media consumers equally credit that person or something as the media
have so done. This explains why McCombs and Shaw (1974) remark that “we judge as
important what the media judge as important”. Thus, Cobb and Elder (1971, p. 909) comment
that “the media can also play a very important role in elevating issues to the systemic agenda
and increasing their chances of receiving consideration on institutional agendas.”
THE RESEARCH DESIGN: The survey research design was used for this study to
aggregate the views of the large human samples used. The survey design made it possible to
study the samples and variables as they were, without giving the researcher any room to
control or manipulate them. This method helped to determine the relationship between the
various variables studied.
STUDY POPULATION: The study population were the registered voters in the 2007
Nigerian General Elections living in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government. This community was
deliberately chosen because it combines the qualities of both urban and rural communities. It
houses a large collection of the major tribes in Nigeria. However, there is a predominance of
the Yorubas. Residents in this council can watch the programmes of the twelve television
stations from the nearby cosmopolitan Lagos and all the stations in Ogun State. AdoOdo/Ota is divided into two constituencies: Constituencies I and II. Each has eight wards or
Registration Areas. This study examined the two. There were 187,391 registered voters in
these constituencies. Copies of the questionnaire were administered to 5% of these voters
totalling 3,635 respondents from thirty polling stations. The respondents were picked from
the individual households. 3,064 copies of the questionnaire were returned indicating an
84.29% return rate.
SAMPLE FRAME: The sampling frame is a register of all the groups under study. The
sample frame for this study is the list of the polling stations from the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC). Each Constituency has some polling stations listed under it.
There were 277 polling stations in both Constituencies.
SAMPLING PROCEDURE AND SAMPLE SIZE: The random probability sampling
technique was used to select the individual respondents and to guarantee each member of the
population an equal and independent chance of being chosen. This means that the resultant
sample is a close depiction of the residents of Ado-Odo/Ota. The individual respondents
were randomly picked from Constituencies I and II.
The sampling was done in different stages. The voters were already banded into different
clusters or wards based on the physical location of their wards. There were 16 such wards or
clusters. Three wards were picked from each constituency. The systematic sampling method
was used to select the three wards to be sampled.
STEP 1: Numbering the wards up to 16.
STEP 2: Finding the sampling interval
This is the standard distance between the selected elements.
population size
selected number of wards
This meant that every 3 ward from the first one was picked. The first ward, Ota 1 was
selected as the starting point. The wards picked for Constituency 1 were Ota 1, Sango and
Iju. For Constituency II, Ado-Odo II, Ketu/Adie-Owe and Agbara II were chosen.
The percentages of respondents that agreed that television broadcasts made them to
participate more in the presidential election are as shown below:
Stimulating respondents’ interest to find out more about political parties
Stimulating respondents’ interest to find out more about contestants
Increasing level of political involvement
Respondents voluntarily joining political campaign teams
Respondents voluntarily joining political parties
Respondents voluntarily getting others to join political parties
Raising topics for discussion
n= 3064
Television broadcasts made voters in Ado-Odo/Ota to be more curious about the contestants
and their political parties. This simply means that it is a wise thing for their media relations
managers and strategists to give out more good information about the contestants they are
fielding in electoral contests and their political parties‟ affiliation to television broadcast
houses and other mass media channels not only for the electorate to be more knowledgeable
about them but also to secure their votes and loyalties. The need for this is more pressing
when it is realized that more than half of the respondents increased their level of political
participation because of what they saw on television. This means that the government, NGOs
and political parties can actually use television broadcasts to mobilize voters to come out and
exercise their civic rights. Some respondents went some steps further to join political parties,
campaign teams and getting others to join the parties too. Importantly, we know that our
close family members and friends influence some of our decisions. Television broadcasts
raised topics for discussion between respondents and others who are significant in their lives.
It is possible these discussions catalysed them into more political participation.
From the above it is obvious that television broadcasts to the voters made them to increase
their level of political participation during the 2007 Nigerian presidential election for
example by going to register and actually going to vote on Election Day.
These are specified in functional forms as follows:
Yvp = f (Tip, Tic, Til, Tct ,Tpp ,Top ,U)
Model II
Yvp = Voters‟ participation
Tip = Television stimulating interest to find out more about the political parties
Tic = Television stimulating interest to find out more about the contestants
Til = Television stimulating interest to increase their level of involvement
Tct = Television stimulating interest to voluntarily join political campaign teams
Tpp = Television stimulating interest to join political parties
Top = Television stimulating interest to get others to join political parties
U = Error term representing other factors not included in the model
The functional forms of the above equation can be stated explicitly as follows:
Yvp = a0 + a1Tip+ a2 Tic+ a3Til + a4Tct, + a5Tpp + a6Top + U
Equation II
When these variables were subjected to the Pearson Bivariate Two-Tailed Correlation tests,
there were found positive and significant relationships between the respondents‟ exposure to
television broadcasts and increases in their political participation.
There was a .562+ correlation between television broadcasts making respondents to
voluntarily join political campaign teams and the same broadcasts making these respondents
to voluntarily get others to join political parties. Similarly, there is a .526+ correlation
between television broadcasts stimulating respondents to find out more about the political
parties and respondents wanting to find out more about the presidential contestants. Television
broadcasts encouraged voters to participate in the political process by seeking more
knowledge about the political parties and their candidates. If these were voters who had not
decided on whom to give their votes, carefully packaged information can sway or push them
away from specific contestants and their political parties.
Equally, there was a .521+ positive relationship between television broadcasts making
respondents to voluntarily join political campaign teams and the same broadcasts turning these
respondents to voluntarily join political parties. In a similar fashion, a .515+ significant and
positive relationship exists between television broadcasts making respondents to voluntarily join
political parties and these broadcasts in turn making these respondents to voluntarily get others to
join political parties. We therefore conclude that the voters‟ exposure to television broadcasts
made them to participate more in the presidential election.
It has been established that there are positive and significant correlations among all the
variables that tested voters‟ exposure to television and amplification of their political
participation in the last presidential election. Television broadcasts specifically made voters
to take certain actions like going to the registering centres to register as voters and then going
to the polling centres to vote. They also improved their knowledge about the political parties
and the various presidential contestants; joined and got others to join in political parties and
helped out in campaign teams. It is certain that what voters saw on television directly
influenced them to be more involved in political participation.
The relatively high correlation figures 0.526 - 0.515 show the various ways television
broadcasts prompted the voters into more active participation. The hypothesis that exposure
to television broadcasts increased the voters‟ participation in the presidential election is
It is hereby concluded that television broadcasts made the voters in Ado-Odo/Ota Local
Government Area to participate more actively in the last Nigerian presidential election.
These television broadcasts – news, commentaries, spots, advertorials and other types of
coverages – jolted the voters on the need to be more active in their political involvement.
Most importantly, the voters took decided to get more involved in political participation
before the presidential Election Day. Television also stirred respondents to find out more
about the political parties and about the presidential contestants; voluntarily join political
campaign teams and political parties and getting others to join political parties too.
Members of the studied population had access to television broadcasts. These broadcasts not
only gingered them into getting more involved in political participation in the 2007 Nigerian
presidential election but to get others involved too. Participation destroys voters‟ apathy and
builds democracy up. This active participation of the citizenry should be encouraged as it
leads to the election of a more robust government where literary everybody makes a
contribution to national development. Thus television content producers should be
encouraged to do more.
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