By: Razaq Yekinni
The major role of the media in any given society is to inform, educate and entertain but in a sane society, the media also picks up social responsibilities which are aimed at improving the lifestyle of their domicile society or state. These responsibilities range from projecting programs that sharpen the thought and way of life of her audience while others may be aimed at correcting the social ills of the society which effect may not be seen immediately but will definitely have a ripple effect on the citizen at the long run.
The primary role of the media is to mirror the society so as to keep the society and the heterogeneous audience abreast of happenings around them to serve as a medium or means for education for good morals and cautious tool against the negative principles or derogatory influence in the society.
Mirroring society is a huge responsibility on the part of the media as it is now a super-agent of socialization in the 21century because some parents do not really have time for the upkeep of their children and these kids result in the media for behavioral advice. It is imperative for media organizations to note that while mirroring the society, they have to be very careful as the media is so powerful that its programs influence the behavior of the people and thus the Bullet Theory of the media postulation.
The Bullet Theory or Hypodermic Needle Theory proposes that the media (needle) inject the message into her targeted audience consequently causes changes in the audience’s behavior or conduct and this is why the media must be cautious about what goes and what goes not.
In recent times, some media organization in Nigerian has thrown caution into the winds and loose guard forgetting her gatekeeping theory of the press that allows the media to chunk-off both print and broadcast materials that negate the primary responsibilities of the mass media and the press in general. Media organizations not gating contents that promote violence, social vices, abuse, drug abuse, molestation, thuggery, to mention a few.
The normative theory of the media states the mode of operations and responsibilities of the media which at the initial stage was four different theories under the normative; Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social Responsibility and Soviet Media Theory but two was later added as the dynamism of the media and press grows and the recently added are Democratic Participants and Developmental Theory but for the purpose of this discuss which is the rate at which social ills are being subtle projected by some media organization, I will only buttress my points with only two among the six; Social Responsibility theory and Developmental Theory, among the six principles which should guide a normal media organization.
Social Responsibility Theory postulated that the media is extracted from the society and the people and the responsibility of the media is to provide a code of conduct, follow it and develop a viable standard in journalism and reportage to protect journalist, and give punishments to herring media practitioners while the idea behind Developmental Theory is the media being an agent for development of the people in a nation or to improve the targeted population positively. It is expected that communication messages in this regard serve the people without manipulation and to supports sincere or genuine feedback.
However, the place of freedom association and freedom of speech cannot be exhumed in today’s democracy but when exercising one’s right infringes on others then the law must take its place and play her role.
Parenting today has been redefined unlike the usual regular African / Nigerian style of parenting where everyone shows concern in the upkeep of children in the community and ensures the right value and morals are instill in the kids but today no one cares. Parents must take the bull by the horn and do their job as a parent and not pushing their responsibilities to the teachers in school.
Parents must sensor all the things their wards are exposed to such as movies, music, shows, social media, and internet. Although one cannot outrightly sensor the last two but when the right morals had been instilled; then the child will be able to discern and behave wisely. Surprisingly the reverse is the case; some parents encourage and instill bad morals unknowingly in the name of civilization and socialization. The kinds of clothes adorn for some kids by their parent or guardian encourage immoral dress sense and this makes these children feel they are on the right part while the parents are only being trendy thereby putting the innocent generation in line. As a parent, you are not expected to listen to a few radio programs or some music, watch some movies even TV shows at the presence of your kids considering the content of such programs. An adult can discern but these kids do not know their right from left considering their age and they learn by modeling and that is doing what they see parents or adults do in their presence believing it’s the right thing to do.
The cause of the major social vices and social ills is bad parenting and this can be seen even at the most tender age of 2years and above in child upbringing. This can be linked to the kind of dress adorn by some of these kids at that level as it portrays immoral dress sense, the musicals played in some homes in Nigeria encourage violence, thuggery, and the likes including the choice of movies watched by parents in the presence of the children. Parents are therefore advised to take child upbringing and good virtue as serious business and put their wards on the desired pedestal. As parents, you must forgo your own benefits for the upkeep of your wards and not just to provide all the material things they needed and of what benefit is given the child the best without instilling the right morals that will make them ready for the task ahead and prepare them for the university of life. As a parent, you also educate them on any trending issues and help them to know the right thing to do and the reason behind the happenings around them.
The trending issue on social media is the MARLIANS VIRUS which is ruining the lives of several youths and the most disheartening of it all is the happening around secondary school students even those in the junior classes who are harden addicted to Naira Marley. From the little gathered on Wikipedia, Naira Marley was born in Agege, Lagos State, Nigeria. At 11 years old, he moved to Peckham, South London, England. He began his education at Porlock Hall, before moving to Walworth School where he got his General Certificate of Secondary Education. Naira Marley went to Peckham Academy where he graduated with a qualification in business. He went further to learn at Crossways College, presently Christ the King Sixth Form College, where he finished his business law. Naira Marley is a Nigerian and a musician with some unperceptive lyrics believed to have been influencing and promoting several social ills in the Nigerian society while his followers and fans are referred to as or preferred to be called MARLIANS.
Well, one should not see Naira Marley as the agent of bad behavior or illicit drug abuse in the society but just as every regular musician who has a lyric or style they are projecting with passion and keen interest. We need to realize that many people who are claiming to be Marlians have a personality of their own and they will align with any brand that seems to promote the personality they bear or carry within. Marlians are of several categories and class but the negative Marlians outweigh the positive because they are beltless boys, the no panties girls, the drug addicts, et’ al. All these characters had been in existence before Naira Marley comes to limelight and this is a fact.
Going back memory lane, Olamide’s Science Student is a song that negates the use of illicit drugs and at that time; the clubs, media, and others were balling with Baddo’s hit. The rate at which our youths and teenagers abuse these illicit drugs is very alarming thus Baddosneh dedicating a track to preach against the use of all forms of illicit drugs.
This alone is a strong indication that Naira Marley is not the one initiating the Marlians to the ills but an already existing bad-mannered people who needed a celebrity or an authority to endorse their immoral. So when asked if Naira Marley is responsible for this? I will say many of these youths are only hiding under this to create a brand that exists and Marley.
However, do not forget the place of freedom of association, freedom of expression and thoughts are basic human rights which everyone is entitled to but while exercising one’s right then second and third person’s rights must not be infringed as well and this is the place of the media and communication theories. The media should have gatekeep Naira Marley from sight and leave him at the mercy of the club bangers and night bar disk jokers for all of his songs with illicit lyrics.
When some media organization aired their entertainment programs, the presenters, producers and other personnel involved in the production must have forgotten the primary function of the media which is to inform, educate and entertain but while doing any of the three mentioned, the social responsibility theory of the media and the developmental theory of the normative must be considered. Meaning that while the media is entertaining her heterogeneous audience, they should also educate and inform and when a critical look is given to some of these entertainment programs both on television and radio; caution is being thrown into the wind thereby promoting immoralities and other vices in the name of entertainment.
Pix 8: need for Survival
It is understandable that the media needs funds and sponsorships to keep running but should some media kill her market just for peanuts? It is imperative for media practitioners to remember that why a product is being brought to her commercial or advertising department is because of the number of audiences they have and that is the market they are selling to advertiser; why not guide it jealously by protecting them from what will have a negative ripple effect on the society they are operating from and that is not for Naira Marley alone but for every broadcast materials that could be detrimental to the economy later.
Pix 9: Police on guard
Views gathered online and social media accounts postulated that the government is using those guys (Naira Marley et’ al) to create more miscreants to sustain their exploitative and extortive system which is yet to be verified. It will be recalled that the Economic Financial Crime Commission, a government establishment arrested Marley and others in 2019 in connection with internet fraud popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo and this may be seen as an indication that government is against activities that could mal her international reputation around the globe but what happens to the teenagers, youths, and others here in Nigeria as some artists implant venom into this generation and it seems no one is doing anything to prevent and stop this menace.
Pix 10: President Buhari*
The Nigerian government should be more responsive to her duties and stop paying lips service to people’s affairs. Structures that has to do with the generality of the nation should be properly man and run by those willing and ready to work it out and not using public offices as compensating beverage to political leader, politicians both in office and out of office for their contributions to the party or envisaged future gains which will later tell on the national and government policies because it is these civil and public servants that will drive government people’s oriented policies and programs.
Nigerian Broadcasting Commission is the broadcast regulatory body of the Nigerian nation, it was established in 24th August 1992 by decree 38 which was later amended as an Act of the National assembly by Act 55 of 1999 and popularly and now referred to as National Broadcasting Commission Laws of the Federation 2004 which serves the purpose of regulating, and controlling the activities of the broadcas frms in Nigeria. The mission of the commission is to define the standard of all aspects of broadcasting such as licensing, regulate and monitor an atmosphere that supports investment and development of excellent programs and technology for a viable industry that will compete favorably in the international information community.
In Nigeria today, with the trend in the broadcast world, it is looking as if the NBC has gone into a docile state as no sanction or penalty is being meted out to herring stations and this has given the Nigeria Television and Radio stations free access to do what they feel without considering the implications of their broadcast or projected items on the society they are operating from.
The staff of NBC needs to start to monitor, regulate and give appropriate severe sanctions that is in line with what the code says and this way numerous havoc caused by illicit songs or programs caused to our society will be casted off the shelve and create a better and benefiting media operation for Nigerians.