THE ROLE OF AFRICA IDEPENDENT TELEVISION IN PROMOTING POPULAR CULTURE AMONG YOUTHS IN KADUNA METROPOLIS
Concept of Television in Nigeria
Television broadcasting in Nigeria started with the initiative of the first Western Region Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who on October 31, 1959 launched television broadcasting at Ibadan the headquarters of the region.
The western Region Government went into partnership with the Overseas Rediffusion Limited. The western Nigeria Radiovision Service Limited was created with the responsibility of radio and television broadcasting under one management.
A small transmitter of 500 watts power was mounted on Mapo Hill in Ibadan and another at Abafon near Ikorodu. The television was therefore established to disseminate information and entertain viewers. The radio and TV stations in the Western Region pioneered commercial broadcasting in Nigeria to supplement government subvention.
In 1962, the Western region government took full control of the WNBS/WNTV by buying over all the shares held by the Overseas Rediffusion Ltd.
In the same year, the Nigeria television Service was born in Lagos with the radio corporation of America (RCA) and the national broadcasting company international limited managing the station. But the management was eventually handed over to Reverend Victor Badejo, who was then the acting Director General of the NBC. The NTS later changed its name to NBC/TV. The Federal Military Government of Nigeria under General Olusegun Obasanjo (as he then was) took over the television stations in Nigeria in 1978 and changed its name to Nigeria television authority (NTA)
Today, Nigeria has thirty six states with each aspiring to set up her own television station. The federal government is also making effort to establish a branch of NTA in each state. In 1976, television stations started beaming colour programmes thus, however, opened in the history of TV broadcasting in Nigeria with the federal government take over of all television services in 1978 (Supra). All TV stations are made to beam network programmes.
Many state government have however, established more television and radio stations since then. Most of the state television stations have been competing favourably with the federal government station.
A new chapter was opened in the history of Nigeria broadcasting in 1992. the federal government under general Ibrahim Babangida deregulated the broadcast industry by granting license to private individuals and organizations to set up radio and television broadcasting stations. As at today, there are over thirty.
There were 2 government controlled television broadcast stations in Nigeria in 1999 and 14 licenses to operate private television stations. The nation has 82 AM radio stations and 35 FM stations. There are 11 short-wave stations in Nigeria. Throughout the country there are 23.5 million radios and 6.9 million television sets.
In 1992 the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was founded to monitor and regulate broadcasting on a national basis. One goal of the organization is to open up the industry to the marketplace paradigm. Both foreign and domestic participation is sought. A total of nine mandates are itemized in the charter of the NBC.
Additionally, the agency has the role of arbitrator between the industry and other areas of the government. Education is also a component of the organization's work. It is charged with ensuring the development of trained personnel through accredited curricula and programs that offer courses in mass communication and broadcasting. And the final mandate is to guarantee the liberty and protection of the broadcasting industry under the constitution.
Nigeria's president appoints the Board of Commission for the NBC based on the advice of the Minister of Information. The Commission consists of a Chairman, the Director-General. Ten other members are also on the board representing law, business, culture, education, social science, broadcasting, public affairs, engineering, and state security service. Members serve on the board on a part-time basis. The Director-General, who occupies the role of chief executive, conducts day-to-day oversight. That position is assisted by the Secretary to the Commission and the Board of Management, which includes the Heads of Directorate and Departments.
2.2.1 History of AIT
DAAR Communications parent company of AIT did not start broadcast operation until 1994, six years after incorporation. This was due to legislative initiative in Nigeria’s broadcast sector. It was not until August 24, 1992, about fifty years after the advent of broadcasting in Nigeria that the government promulgated Decree No. 38 which deregulated the ownership of the electronic media in the country.
Following this piece of legislation which ushered in a new era of private ownership of Radio and Television stations, DAAR Communications applied for Radio, Television and Direct Broadcasting by satellite license. The license was subsequently granted. It began full commercial broadcast operations on September 1, 1994 on its high profile radio channels with the call sign, Raypower 100.5, the first private independent radio station in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Initial funding of Daar Communications Ltd came from Daar Investment & Holding Company and the founder of the conglomerate - Chief Aleogho Dokpesi, PhD.
As a measure of its confidence in the project, a consortium of leading banks in Nigeria actively supported the company. Leading the consortium Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. Other participants are First of Nigeria Plc, NAL Merchant Bank Plc, Afribank Plc and Lead Merchant Bank Plc.
In line with the regulations of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Security & Exchange Commission (SEC) which require a minimum of five years of operation before quotation on the first tier of the Stock Exchange, shares will be noted and publicly quoted for the Nigeria Stock Exchange in the nearest future. This will provide the opportunity to widen the ownership base as well as raise funds to implement the expansion of the company to all parts of the globe.
AIT’s audience is global with general viewership. Our appeal is to a broad cross-section of popular tastes. To those seeking authentic and authoritative information about the Africa, Caribbean and Afro-American experience, AIT provides the natural programming choice.
AIT beams quality programs round the clock which are down-linked and redistributed in Africa, the whole of Americas, Mexico and the Caribbean.
AIT’s in-depth coverage aims to keep global viewers fully in tune with the soul of an African broadcaster offering premium quality service.
- Transmission Schedule for DAAR’S Services
DAAR Communications Limited broadcast stations are on air 24 hours daily. The internet company also provides a 24 hours service.
- AIT Global Satellite Parameters
Satellite: Telstar 5
Oribital Position: 97w
Number of Transponder: 26
Polarization: 12, 151
Symbol Rate: 22 Mband/s
FEC: ¾ (.75)
Standard: MPEG2/DBV fully Complaint
December 6, 1996 heralded the coming of a star in global Satellite Broadcasting, Africa Independent television channel 21. AIT provides a fresh slant to TV broadcasting with a unique programming theme that shares the African Experience with the wider global community.
- The Vision
AIT channel 21 and AIT International share the same vision and a similar mission. AIT has a unique mission that of sharing the African Experience with the wider global community. With its fascinating cross-cultural theme and vibrant programme content, Africa Independent television (AIT) aims to share everything that is exciting about the African experience with the nations of the world. The station logo and pay-off, AIT - Sharing the African Experience symbolizes its vision: to offer on a daily basis, a refreshing but revealing insight into the African experience worldwide. This sentiment is proudly echoed in AIT’s corporate identity - AIT Sharing the African experience.
With a thematic pay-off which emphasis’s the objective of sharing the unique African experience with the world, AIT’s mission is to enhance global understanding through an untainted appreciation of the world and its peoples.
Unusual amongst global satellite broadcasting stations, AIT is motivated by uniquely altruistic aims to promote a methodical reduction of tension and friction and foster a greater appreciation of humanity. It is committed to the task of bridging the gap in global communication which places Africa at the ruthless mercy of western perspectives, opinions and nuances. AIT’s main task is to project Africa from a wholistic African prospective.
Untainted, undiluted and absolutely original, AIT offers the world a new insight into the African experience.
- Management Structure
The management structure allows for autonomy in the running of the distinct services that make up the broadcast company, Raypower 100.5, Raypower 2 106.5FM, AIT, and Daar Internet with separate general managers for each of the stations.
The autonomy of the distinct arms is only limited to the extent that it is answerable to a Board of Management which is headed by a Chief Operating Officer.
2.3 Repackaging Africa’s Rich Cultural Heritage through Television
Nigeria TV stations such as the African independent Television uses advanced digital technology tools to repackage and disseminate (i.e. preserving, promoting and projecting) Africa’s rich cultural heritage in forms of Dramas, movies Documentaries, animated television commercials and alternative indigenous educational technology resources. Notably, some of these Nigerian Television were able to strike international broadcast deals with prominent media organizations likes of CFI, the BBC, Disney and HBO satellite channels. Having developed ‘standard’ African folkloric tales for local and global consumption, thereby adding diversity to the current global digital contents. This is no doubt a step ahead of the traditional dissemination of cultural ideologies through Television platforms. Enhancing international Business Partnership: Of course, international partnership has immediate and long-term socio-economic benefits on Africa and its people. Socially, this provided cooperative and mentorship opportunities between local and international organizations. For instance, relationships with organizations like Tiger Aspect Productions,
It is noted that the aforementioned benefits are evidences that the African heritage is not about violence, starvation, diseases, crime or corruption, nor are Africans comfortable with being donor recipients or adherents of unscientific methods in solving problems. Arowolo laments that “two hundred years or so of colonization were not only destructive in terms of cultural heritage and values for which Africa was famous before colonialism, but also precariously retrogressive as the continent was robbed of decades of opportunities for self-development, self-government and self-styled technological developmental pace
According to (Voelker 22), the mass media are important forces in our society. They provide information and entertainment and, at the same time, have persuasive powers that are capable of effecting radical changes. For this reason, the role of the mass media in the development and promotion of our culture, moral and community life cannot be overestimated.
When therefore, one talks of the role of the media in development, broadly speaking, one is referring to the roles of these media in encouraging people to accept and practice changes in attitudes and behaviour that will bring about development. Culture could be likened to tradition, which is a belief, principle or way of behaviour which people in a particular society or group have continued to follow for a long time. A culture or tradition seems to exist in a community, perhaps forever, because it is passed on from one generation to another through traditional means of communication. Since cultural beliefs are transferred from the older to the younger generation, there is the temptation to ask how the process of transference will continue when the old and aged become extinct. This is where the issue of communication comes in to ensure that there is a continuous flow of culture from one generation to the next.
Many social changes evident today are at least partially attributable to the mass media. The electronic media in particular provide a global view that has allowed us to become involved in concerns far beyond the scope of earlier generations. Cultural, moral and community opinions have been changed largely by the fact that the mass media can provide seemingly uninterrupted news that have influenced community life, indigenous culture and morals as well.
2.4 The Role of Television in Promoting Culture
Television as an expensive medium of communication has contributed to overall development of the nation in no small measure. When any developing country opts for television, it definitely must be because, among other things, T.V.has an important role to play in advancing the process of national development. It has and is still making a lot of impact on the economic, political, social, cultural and educational advancement of the nation. It is the most effective modern means of mass communication now available to mankind (Akpan, page. 13).
The television is regarded as one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, of the modern media of mass communication. The enormous powers usually ascribed to this medium stems form its audio-visual properties, which command instant believability.As the most effective modern means of mass communication, its effectiveness in aiding development derives from the following attributes:
(a) T.V. can present things as they really are;(realism achieved through sight and hearing)
(b) Events can be shown as they are happening
(c) It can address the whole person, since its range of subjects is both comprehensive and flexible.
(d) It can also address both the literate and the illiterate with equal success and effectiveness.
(e) It can speak to the individual intimately, but also lends itself to group reception.
(f) It has both intellectual and emotional appeal. As a development agent, television has done much and can do much to activate human intention and cultural development through serious educational programmes which happily are now a feature of Nigerian television.
Learning by television is not limited to schools broadcast; other socio-cultural programmes such as drama pass information across to viewers. The purpose of television plays is partly to impart to the people the moral lessons implied or intended by the plays. Also, looking at the socio-cultural aspect, television has the ability to activate, Localize, homogenize and even adapt people to their own culture. It also has the ability not only to reflect but also shape opinion, and to play a part in forming attitudes, which affect morality. The Nigerian Television has not lagged behind in revitalizing the nation’s cultural heritage and promoting the musical and dramatic talents.