This study was undertaken to assess the training that students of mass communication receive in Nigerian universities. That is, carefully identifying the areas of strength and weakness of the various mass communication training programmes in these Universities, and to see whether the nomenclature of their degrees has any bearing on the designing of the training programmes. In carrying out this study, I used the survey research method since I am not going to study all the Universities in Nigeria that are offering training programmes in Mass Communication. With stratified sampling technique, the Universities in Nigeria were divided into two: Publicly owned and Privately owned. A sample of four Universities was selected from the two broad groups, two from each group. The research relied on questionnaires, observation and interviews to generate primary data while the secondary data was gotten from existing text. The population of study was the students and lecturers working journalist in the selected Universities. The study found that some universities award B.A. degree in Mass Communication while some award B.Sc. degree. Also, the nomenclature of the degrees influenced the designing of the training programmes offered by the University. For instance those that award B.Sc. emphasize credit passes in Mathematics with less emphasis on Literature while those that award B.A lay more emphasis to Literature and less to Mathematics. Generally, the training programmes in the selected universities are of a high quality in scope and contact although more emphasis should be given to practical training than to theory. Based on these findings, the work went ahead to recommend that all Universities offering training programmes in Mass Communication should have functional studios and as a matter of fact they should apply for license to operate their own campus Broadcast outfit. They should also sustain and strengthen the media attachment course in their programmes. Furthermore they should put in place a functional printing press to print their
Background To The Study
The world is living in the era of public opinion, when the opinion of the people counts so much in all aspects of human activity from government to business. According to Lippamann (1972:20), the mass media play a very important role in the formation of opinion. There is no way one can read and practice Mass Communication without being noticed or without nf1uencing the society. Studies on the mass media usually focus on one of the three related problems: on the process by which mediated messages are generated; on the message content itself; or on the diffusion of information through a population, and its impacts on individuals, groups, or the society as a whole (Stone, 1976). There are a few studies done African and non-Africans on this area. However the volume of study is inadequate to properly eliminate the area of Mass Communication In this study, we present the result of a comprehensive comparative analysis of study programmes or curriculum of tertiary institutions in Nigeria train journalists. My decision to study this aspect is borne out of my experience in media training in Nigeria Universities. I vehemently believe that the level of enlightenment and quality of entertainment the society gets from the media depends on the quality of training that those at package media software received. A survey of global literature will reveal various terms used to describe the press – like watch dog, the voice the voiceless, etc. (Daramola, 1990:28). It is also known as the 4th estate of the realm” after the executive, judiciary and legislature (Denneberg; 1976:18). All these expressions no doubt, depict the sociological value of the media in society. It is no secret at a lot of people depend on the media for further education on contemporary social issues. According to Njoku (2002:14) before the journalists can properly inform the public, they must first be properly informed. And being well informed here hinges on the quality of training and education received by this crop of men and women, who cross the land everyday to ensure that the society is well-informed, entertained and educated. One wonders the kind of education one gets from a half educated man. This study hopes to realistically picture the kind of journalistic training available in Nigeria today. However, fortunately or unfortunately, there had been no formula for automatically producing successful journalists. No amount of reading, attending lectures, or practicing can ensure automatic success. Success comes through proper adaptation and combination of the above factors together with the various human qualities. In general, there are two schools of thought on the subject of training Mass Communicators — one emphasizes mechanics or technicalities or literary ingenuity Hyde (1976:24). The other largely ignores mechanics and substitutes a strong emphasis on communicating ideas, regardless of skills Flesch (1972:86). Since good journalism has resulted from both approaches, this study will look at the possibilities of combining both.
Statement Of The Problem
By virtue of their level of influence on society, mass communicators are supposed to be one of the best-trained professionals. But unfortunately, practical evidence shows that they are not. Journalism is a very highly essential and sensitive service to the society that training should be the best and the concern of all in the society. It is one profession that Practitioners cannot hide from the glare of the society. The society relies on it for further education, continuous and continual information and entertainment (Daramola, 1990). While it will be redundant to ask other professional groups what they studied, such question is far from being obvious in the case of journalism in Nigeria. The continuing dilemma for those pushing for professional status for journalism to note that it has no single set of procedure or requirement for certifying its practitioners. Moreover, as we shall see later on, there is little agreement among those current practitioners and the training institutions as to how specifically to go about becoming a mass communicator. The statement of the problem is that intending journalist do not have the training they need to function effectively and training programmes in universities appear not to be adequate to give them the necessary exposure they need.