The Impact Of Radio Caritas Phone-In Porgrammes Of Soul Mender Among Youths In Enugu

Radio Caritas
Radio Caritas
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Phone-in programme is a segment in a radio programme schedule in which topical and importance issue are tabled for discussion.  The project was written to investigate on the impact of radio Caritas phone-in programme or “Soul Mender” among youths in Enugu.  During the course this research I noticed that phone-in programme deems it important to solicit for the support of the audience towards their opinions and contributions on the societal happenings.  The work has five chapters.  I narrowed it down from the general introduction and historical background of the study were discussed in chapter one.  Chapter two contained on the literature review.  I was able to write extensively on what phone-in programme is all about and the positive impact of my research I visited Caritas Radio station and other relevant materials I gathered which becomes useful. However, chapter three is all about the research design and methodology which analysis of the material for the study.  I used the following research instruments to extract data from the respondents; interview and questionnaire. I used percentage and tabular presentation in my chapter four.  Finally the project ended with the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.




1.1              Background of the study

1.2              Statement of the Problem

1.3              Objective of the Study

1.4              Significance of the study

1.5              Research Questions

1.6              Research Hypothesis

1.7              Theoretical Framework

1.8              Scope of the Study

1.9              Limitation of the study

1.10          Conceptual and Operational Definition of Terms



2.1              Source of Literature

2.2              Review of Relevant Literature

2.3              Gatekeeping

2.4              Summary of Literature


Chapter Three:  Research Design and Methodology

3.1              Research Method and Design

3.2              Area of Study

3.3              Search Population

3.4              Research Sample

3.5              Sampling Techniques

3.6              Instrument of Data Collection

3.7              Method of Data Collection

3.8              Method of Data Analysis

3.9              Expected Results


Chapter Four

4.1              Presentation, Data Analysis and Interpretation

4.2              Hypotheses Testing

4.3              Discussion of the Findings


Chapter Five

Summary of findings, recommendation and conclusions

5.1              Summary of Findings

5.2              Conclusion

5.3              Recommendations





1.1                                      Background of the Study

Communication is said to be the life blood of every society. There is therefore a need to know what communication is all about.  Communication as an academic discipline, sometimes called “communicology” relates to all the ways we communicate, so it embraces a large body of study and knowledge. Although, there is such a thing as one-way communication, communication can be better described as a two way process in which there is an exchange of ideas, thoughts, feelings towards a mutually accepted goal or direction.Radio Caritas

Hence, the process of a phone-in-programme. Mass media are important communication strategy to generate awareness and disseminate information. In most developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, radio is an effective medium to reach the general population. Unlike TV and print, radio phone-in-programmes are popular platforms for direct audience participation to exchange views and voice concerns on issues to increase knowledge, encourage open discussion on health and other socially relevant issues and promote sustained behavioural change.  In broadcasting, a phone-in is a programme format in which listeners are invited to air their live comments by telephone, usually in respect of a specific topic selected for discussion on the day of broadcast.Radio Caritas

According to research, BBC radio Nottingham is credited with having aired the first phone-in programme on February 4 1968, a programme called “What Are They Up To Now”?  Speech-based Talk Radio UK was launched in 1995, with much of its programming featuring phone-in-programmes. Ian Hutchby researched poor relations in phone-in-programmes looking at arguments and confrontations. Using conversation analysis, he describes how the host retains power through devices such as “the second position” – the concept of going second in a discussion, giving the host time to formulate a response.Radio Caritas

Similarly, the last word is always the broadcasting word. The audience can choose to end the conversation, but they are doing so by withdrawing from the interactional arena. Hutchby (1996:34) Talbot et al.

Though it cannot be stated in actual fact the date phone-in-programme began in Nigeria. According to research, it started before the advent of global system for mobile telecommunications (GSM) putting it in the 1980s. However, since the introduction of GSM in 2000 there has been an increase in audience participation in phone-in-programmes.Radio Caritas

1.2   Statement of the Research Problem

This research work is informed by this innovation in broadcasting especially the introduction of phone-in segment in almost every programme being aired on both public and private radio stations across the country. One of the problems is the implication of having a wrong audience choice which is better imagined. This would make the presenter have negative feedback. This is because there are some audience members who participate in discussions that are not meant for them.Radio Caritas

There is no gainsaying the fact that radio stations are out to perform the basic role of informing, educating and entertaining the target audience. However, another problem is the lure of including phone-in segments in most of the programmes which are capable of rendering them elitist, taking into consideration the number of people that can afford to buy a mobile phone.  Yet another problem is the fact that phone-in programmes are equally seen as an escapist approach of getting people to participate in programmes when they are not adequately informed about the issues involved.Radio Caritas

1.3      Objectives of the Study

It is noticed that the idea of phone-in is now prevalent among radio stations. This study is on radio broadcasting. This decision is made from the fact that the medium appears the cheapest and most accessible to the common man as the radio set is portable and can easily pick up signals from far distances. One of the key objectives is to find how competitive this feasibility of radio programmes appeared to dominate our broadcast.  It is aimed at finding how the industry radio has increased the pace of audience participation in radio programme.Radio Caritas

Another objectives is to find how critical the “soul mender as a phone-in programme has introduced the public and its meaningful contributions to issues under discussion.Radio Caritas

The aim of this research work is to find out if the programme justifies its existence and how it could carried out towards formulating a guiding principle that could help regulate audience participation on radio.Radio Caritas

1.4       Significance of the Study

A phone-in programme could be an instantaneous way of having feedback on any given idea, policy or measure about to be introduced either by a corporate organization, an individual or government of the day. It is obviously the best form of testing the acceptability of new ideas, opinions and policies.  This study is therefore significant because it is capable of enabling the sampling of opinion without necessarily undergoing the tedious voting process. This would make the listeners part and parcel (active) of decision making or policy formulation.  The participatory nature of phone-in programme is expected to give an individual radio listener a sense of belonging and not make him an inactive receiver of information and ideas passed across by the radio. It is therefore the opinion of this researcher that the appraisal of this phone-in programme will go a long way to enhancing quality production and presentation, by news makers as well as making it truly for audience participatory process.

1.5   Research Questions

  1. To what extent has the phone-in programme “Soul Mender” on Radio Caritas as provided the expected feedback required of the target audience?
  2. To what extent has a phone-in programme become important in the programmes planning of Radio Caritas?
  3. How truely interactive is “Soul Mender” on Radio Caritas?
  4. Do soul-mender programmes serves as a guiding principle for policy formulation?

1.6       Research  Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1

Hi:       The phone-in programme “Soul Mender” on Radio Caritas to an extent provides the expected feedback required of the target audience.

Null H0: The phone-in programme “Soul Mender” on Radio Caritas to an

extent does not provide the expected feedback required of the target audience.

Hypothesis 2

Hi: A phone-in programme is important in the programme planning on

Caritas Radio.

Null H0: A phone-in programme is not important in the programme planning

on Caritas Radio.

Hypothesis 3

Hi: “Soul Mender” on Caritas Radio is truely interactive and serve as a

guiding principle for policy formulation.

Ho: “Soul Mender” on Radio Caritas is not truely interactive and could not

serve as a guiding principle for policy formulation.

1.7       Theoretical Framework

The theory being critically examined for this research work is the uses and gratification theory.  The notion of uses and gratification has attracted the interest of many scholars in field of communication.  This theory centers on what uses we make of the media and what gratification we gain from exposing ourselves to the media.Radio Caritas

This concept is described as one of the most influential framework for media analysis in recent years.  It centers on a generalization that we should investigative how people uses the mass media, rather than wrong about how the mass media uses its audience.Radio Caritas

Contemporary research indicates that people seek various forms of media content for many reasons.  The psychological reward which people receive from rending, learning and viewing specific content determine the use to which they put the media. So, the idea that media use depends on the perceived satisfactions, needs, wishes or motives or the perspective audience member is almost as an old as media research itself.  Audiences are often formed on the basic of similarities of these appear to have a social or psychological origin.  Typical or such media are those for information, relaxation, companionship, diversion or escape.  The concept of uses and gratification theory is explained further by Danis (1987:73) as

The concept of uses and gratification theory is explained further by Denis (1987) as:

The term “uses” implies that audience are active rather

than passive members of the communication process,

and that they are willingly exposed to the media. The

term ”gratification” refers to the rewards and satisfactions

experienced by audiences and helps explain motivations

behind habits of media use.

The uses and gratifications theory is also called functional theory. A good illustration of this theory is the functional use of television entertainment by television audience members. Within the mass media audience, people’s needs are generated by their individual and group differences. Here in Nigeria, these needs arise from differences in sex, ethnicity, and education etc. The way Nigerians use the mass media depends on whether they are male or female, Igbo or Yoruba, educated or illiterate etc. because the needs within the people are determined by who or what they are, and people use the mass media for the purpose of gratifying these needs. Okunna, Stella (1998:21). These media use patterns that are not peculiar to Nigeria but are a feature of mass media audiences in different societies.Radio Caritas

From this clarification, it is crystal clear that media audiences are often motivated to listen, view or participate in media programmes by certain factors arising from the benefits accruable from their efforts. The term “uses” has revealed that participants on phone-in programmes are active contributors and their views go a long way to redefining the course of such programmes.Radio Caritas

At the same time, many are often thrilled by the glamour in the media in accepting to feature on their audience participation programmes, make request via mobile phone to their loved ones or even choose to attend musical concerts and live participatory programmes organized by such media outfit to get them exposed to the world. The Soul Mender programme of Radio Caritas Amorji Enugu is designed to enable audience participates by phoning to contribute to the issues discussed which affect them as individuals and the society at large. This provides gratification for the target audience.Radio Caritas

1.8       Scope of the Study

Phone-in programme is now prevalent among radio stations as it serves as an instantaneous way or having feedback on any policy or topical issue from the audience. The researcher therefore assumes that the study will throw up the important of the chosen phone-in programme to the audience and media house, as this will shed more and better light on the act of audience participation in radio discussions though phone in  programmes.

The researcher also assumes that the study will create an understanding in the contributions of phone-in programme to the technicalities that make up the act of communication as a whole.

1.10      Conceptual And Operational Definition Of Terms

Impact: According to oxford advanced learners’ dictionary, it is to have an

immediate and strong effect on something or somebody.

Impact: It is the influence a phone-in programme has on the listening

audience as well as the impression they are left with about the programme even after it is brought to conclusion.

Phone-In: According to Encarta dictionaries, it is a radio or television

programme in which audience members can participate by telephone and ask questions, make contributions or take part in discussions about a particular subject with the host and any quests.

Phone-In: It is a segment in a radio programming schedule in which

topical and important issues are tabled for discussion. This enables audience participation and allows the media body or outfit elicit feedback from its audience who are interested in the topic of discussion.

Programme: According to oxford advanced learners dictionary, it is a film,

play, activity etc that is broadcast on television for people to watch or on radio for them to listen to.

Programme: It is a schedule of activities to be carried out and aired in a

media house, be it radio or television.

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