I.I      Background of the Study

The introduction of television in the 1930s as a medium of mass communication radically changed the global communication industry.Its ability to combine sound with vision was nothing short of wonder to its global audience as its appeal spread across nations. It helped to successfully spread news which was seen as the major responsibility of it for runners like news paper and radio. Television has remolded the human psyche, influencing the rich and the poor, the literate and the illiterate, the young and the old. It alters the youth’s attitudes, objectives, visions, dress codes and even their sense of humour. As television crafts new icons for a new age, there is near unanimity in the view that it has indeed altered domestic scenarios affecting inter-personal relationships in the family and changed lifestyle rhythms eating habits and even prayers which are tailored to suit television timings. To show how powerful this medium quickly became, at the thirteen year of its invention, television drew upto fifty million views (National Geographic magazine, 1999)

Television news refers to “disseminating current events via the medium  of television”. “news bulletins or “Newscasts” are programmes lasting from minutes to hours that provide updates on world, national, regional or local news events. Television news is very image-based, showing video of many of the events that are reported.

Television channels may provide news bulletins as part of a regularly scheduled news programmes. In some cases, television shows may be interrupted or replaced by “News flashes” to provide news updates on current events of great importance or sudden events of a great importance.

To break the monotony and dominance of news on television, entertainment programmes were evolved. The viewing audiences welcome those entertainment programmes as they provide a good way of relaxing at home after the days work. It is inthis aspect that news, which had dominated the airwaves, was found wanting. It lacked in content and the ability to help audience relax or be amused. In communication parlance, it is said that bad news sells and in this sense “bad news” means natural disasters, assassinations, war or conflicts, crime, death of international personalities economic crisis, political tension, etc. it does seem that the audience of news programmes have become overwhelmed by the nature of its harsh content, that today, they ran to entertainment as a means of escape.

Entertainment on television refers to “programmes such as music videos, movies, soap operas, situation comedies, television dramas; sports, assorted shows built around high profile celebrities. Usually, the common theme in the programmes is their representation of popular values. These popular values are such things as dress styles, slangy expression, sex, crimes, survival, love, romantic relationships etc. these are ideal among global youth and when embodied into television programmes, they receive high level of acceptance amongst viewing audience.

Today, the proliferation of entertainment television channels is suggestive of high demand and gratification people, especially the youth get from entertainment programms. Form the foregoing, news and entertainment play crucial roles in our society. This research, therefore, is designed to find out the audience preference of television content.

Stated differently to determine whether youths who watch television. Prefers news to entertainment and the reasons and underlying factors for their preference.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Since the inception of mass media, news has furnished us with information about recent and important happenings, keeping us abreast of developing trends and development in the society. Its place in the Nigerian society is of great importance as it could provide a pointer to future happenings through interpretative reports in spite of this, exacted position news enjoys by virtue of its capacity to make people live life meaningfully, as well as interpreting events as they unfold, the overwhelming majority of the Nigeria youths seem not to be included towards this significant media content.

Increasingly, entertainment programmes seem to enjoy a substantial amount of scheduling on television. Moreover, there seems to be an upward increase in the variety of entertainment content in the television media. Entertainment on television has expanded beyond the traditional genres to sophisticated and often complex entertainment mix, all geared towards sustaining the attention of the audience.

To cash in on her huge advert placement, the entertainment programmes which the youths watch on television attracts a worrisome trend which has developed in the Nigerian television industry. Four out of every five private television stations set up in Nigeria are entertainment based. This poses a threat to the value placed on news programmes as television stations strive to retain the attention of the youth form the back of their viewing audience. This trend also posses menace to the survival of television stations the broadcast more of news programmes because entertainment programmes tend to attract multi-million naira sponsorship deals  owing to the large number of viewing audience they  attract.

This existing competition between news and entertainment programmes has the potential to create an environment where people are not adequately supplied with news for better and meaningful existence. Given that the youth represents one of the popular age bracket to television screen, it becomes important to find out what they watch and why they watch, and possible effects of such preference.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general purpose of this study was to examine the extent the manner of preference among chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam undergraduates in regard to the news and entertainment contents of television specifically, the following objectives were intended.

  1. To findout whether the undergraduates of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam have access to television content.
  2. To discover the pattern of preference between news and entertainment content among the undergraduates of COOU, Igbariam.

iii. To discover the pattern of actual consumption between news and entertainment content among the undergraduate

1.4 Research Questions

In line with the fore going objectives, the following research questions will guide the study.

  1. Do undergraduate students of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam have access to television?
  2. What is the pattern of preference between news and entertainment content among the undergraduates?
  3. What is the pattern of actual consumption between news and entertainment content among the undergraduates?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this research cannot be over stated. This research will generate useful data that will be relevant in the repositioning of the current undue dominance of television airwaves by entertainment programmes. This study is in effort made to ensure that a healthy balance is struck in television programming. If this imbalance remains as it is, we may in the nearest future have a generation of young men and young women  who have little value for news programmes.

The result of this study will also add to the stock of data and literature on these research problems as well as assist policy makers and regulatory bodies in the area of maintaining equitable balance in television content.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study was conducted in Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojikwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State. The work is limited to the examination of the preference of news/entertainment programmes by students.

1.8 Conceptual and Operational Definitions of Terms


This refers to programmes shown on television for humor and relaxation. These programmes include music videos, movies, soap operas, comedies etc. these programmes are built around high profile celebrities. Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have developed over thousands of years specifically for the purpose of keeping an audience’s attention. Although people’s attention is held by different things, because individuals have different preferences in entertainment, most forms are recognizable and familiar. Storytelling, music, drama, dance, and different kinds of performance exist in all cultures, were supported in royal courts, developed into sophisticated forms and over time became available to all citizens. Entertainment evolves and can be adopted to suit any scale, ranging from an individual who chooses a private entertainment from a now enormous array of pre-recorded products; to a banquet adapted for two; to any size or type of party, with appropriate music and dance; to performances intended for thousands; and even for a global audience.


News is a timely report of events that has taken place and which is of importance or interest to the audience such timely report can be carried in both the print and electronic mass media respectively.It is packaged information about current events happening somewhere else; or, alternatively, news is that which the news industry sells. News moves through many different media, based on word mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, and electronic communication, and electronic communication. Common topics for news reports include war, politics, and business, as well as athletic contests, quirky or unusual events, and the doings of celebrities. Government proclamations,concerning royal ceremonies, laws, taxes, public health, and criminals, have been dubbed news since ancient times.

News Bulletin:

This is a brief update or summary of current news on radio or television. This comes up on air to interrupt a program or news broadcast to indicate that something new and important has happened.

News Broadcasting:

A programme of news broadcast over television or radio. It is the medium of broadcasting of various news events and other information via television, radio or internet in the field of broadcast journalism. The content is usually either produced locally in a radio studio or television studio newsroom, or by a broadcast network. It may also include additional material such as sports coverage, weather forecasts, traffic reports, commentary and other material that the broadcaster feels is relevant to their audience.

News Flash:

An important item of news that television or radio companies broadcast as soon as they receive it and it often interrupts other programmes. It is a short news report on radio or television, giving the most recent information about an important or unexpected event.