1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The mass media are often referred to as the fourth branch of government because of the power they wield and the oversight function they exercise. The media’s key role in democratic governance has been recognized since the late 17th century, and remains a fundamental principle of modern day democratic theory and practices. The media can promote democracy by among other things, educating voters; protecting humans’ rights, promoting tolerance among various social groups, and ensuring that government are transparent and accountable ( Idumange J. 2013).
The role of the mass media in “creating political awareness, engendering understanding and mobilizing people for election” had also been recognized (Sobowale 2002: pp. 271-280.). “The press” according to McQuail (2000) depict mass media as ways of communication that works on an expansive scale, coming to and including for all intents and purposes everybody in a general public to a more noteworthy or lesser degree. Media are the plural of medium, which implies a channel or vehicle through which something is conveyed or transmitted. At the end of the day, mass media are channels of communication in a cutting edge society, fundamentally the print and the electronic media. McQuail additionally depicts the mass media as the sorted out means for conveying straightforwardly and at a separation to numerous collectors inside a short space of time. The mass media are impersonal communication sources that achieve huge gatherings of people.
The essential capacity of the mass media are to give information to several millions of individuals. The mass media are to a great degree powerful. Every one of the media are dared to influence observations and conduct particularly. They can influence the general public and the other way around. The mass media are the exceptionally current methods for communication and quite a bit of their significance lies in the way that they are a noteworthy reason for whatever methods of discernment, thought, open talk, and political activity. In light of their size and the huge number of individuals they achieve, the mass media have huge effect on society. Murphy (1977) totals up societal impact of the media in various routes as oil, glue and explosive.
As indicated by (Oyesomi and Okorie, n.d.), the mass media in any general public cannot work in disconnection. They should work inside a state. The mass media are generally viewed as the fourth estate of government which fills in as the watch dog of the general public. They see what is going on in the general public and report back to the general population as it may be. The mass media could be TV, radio, daily papers, magazines, radio, and so forth. That is any medium used to transmit substantial information to an expansive heterogeneous gathering of individuals. They report the happenings of the Executive, Legislative and the legal arm of government in any given express that practices majority rule government.
Television is one of the most powerful mass medium because it combines both audio and visual. Television assumes an essential part in the democratization procedure. It is a mass media channel that routinely furnishes information (data) to its various watchers. Television informs its audience through broadcast of news, commentaries and entertainment. In any case, these bits of information (data) convey the ability to impact and decide behaviour (Aririguzoh, 2012).This study will delve into an in-depth appraisal of role of National Television Authority (NTA) in the political mobilization in Nigeria. However, the Nigeria Electorate in recent years has always been in intensely individualistic group. Hence political parties will always confront profound culture differences. Given the cultural structure of the Nigerian electorate, the important of NTA programmes cannot be overemphasized. The role of NTA in political mobilization abandoned before is one of the greatest challenges facing the electorate especially those in the rural areas in 1993 election. This also is a typical case of election malpractices that have been the lot of Nigeria elections.
However, NTA Sokoto to a large extend helps in making the people of Sokoto and other states in Nigeria to get all the political awareness, and it mobilize the people to vote for a candidate of their choice as an electorate. National Television Authority, Sokoto chapter on it’s own part is an electronic gadgets with the combination of sound and pictures. It is mot effective spontaneous message carrier of our time. Its conciseness brings to the masses especially the rural dwellers in on the spot account of the event making it number one when compared to any other medium. Admittedly NTA may be expensive as to have it in every home or to be affordable to most people but when its ability to satisfy curiosity by allowing you see for yourself is not just an overstatement. Again its ability to disseminate information in our various dialects also serves as atomic to language barrier. NTA as an integral part of the fourth estate of the realm, is expected as usual to play its traditional role as a watchdog of the society and as agent of change and innovations. In rural areas advertisement role on political trend aspirant responsiveness to the medium has become a major feature of campaigns for public office at national state and local government level. Most rural dwellers are known to be financially poor because of their low education status and cannot afford television sets. This has often been a problem to efficient and effective use of NTA station in achieving political mobilization in Nigeria. All things being equal, the term, NTA and political mobilization refers to all kinds of political services rendered to the populace to bring about information, Education, entertainment and influence in the people. Apart from the general rile, it enhance and encourage through its various programmes the acquisition and pursuit of knowledge thereby promoting national consciousness and acts as a powerful means of social mobilization.