FOREIGN TELEVISION STATIONS’ REPRESENTATION AND THE PERCEPTION OF NIGERIA’S IMAGE BY YOUTHS IN SELECTED UNIVERSITIES IN SOUTHWEST NIGERIA
Nigeria youths are perhaps vulnerable victims of foreign television programmes transmitted to Nigeria. The manner in which the foreign television stations represent the image of the Nigerian society appears imbalanced. This could impact on the perception of the country’s image among theyouths. The perception could lead to anti-social behaviour among Nigerian youths.The study examined the influence of foreign television stations’ representation of Nigeria’s image on the perception of Nigeria’s image by youths in selected universities in South-West, Nigeria.
The study adopted survey research design. The population comprised 37,650 undergraduates of three selected universities in South-West, Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was employed in the selection process. Simple random sampling was used to select three states (Oyo, Ogun,Osun) and three universities, one from each of the selected states in Southwest, Nigeria. A total of 15 schools/faculties were randomly selected from the universities. The sample size of 1,500 undergraduates were randomly selected. A validated questionnaire complemented by a Focus Group Discussion guide were used for data collection. The Cronbach’s Alpha reliability co-efficient for the constructs in the questionnaire ranged between 0.872 and 0.974. The response rate was 94.1%. Data from the questionnaire were analysed,using Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Data from the focus group discussions were content-analysed.
Findings revealed that there was a strong positive significant relationship between youths’ perception of Nigeria’s image representation and the nature of news stories disseminated by foreign television stations on Nigerian society (r=-0.711, p<0.05). There was a strong positive significant relationship between the selected youths perception of Nigeria’s image representation and the predominant tone of foreign television stations’ contents on the Nigerian society(r= -0.778, p<0.05). Findings from the focus group discussions revealed that Nigerian youths perceived their country’s image the way foreign television stations represented the country as a terror, poor, backward and corrupt society.
The study concluded that the type of news and the predominant tone of foreign television stations’ programme contents formed the basis for the perception of the image of Nigeria by the youths in the selected universities. The study recommended that foreign television stations should engage in investigative reporting to be able to truthfully and adequately cover Nigerian stories in the right perspective. Parents, guardians and teachers should inculcate values of patriotism into the youths so that they can believe in their country.
Keywords: Foreign television, Image representation, Nigerian youths, Predominant tone, Perception