Media, Political Socialization and Participation: The Case of South-South/South-Eastern Nigeria
Political participation in Nigeria since the fourth republic has been a major challenge to the progress of democracy in the country. Though on the surface there are indices of political consciousness such as number of political parties and aspirants, the net participation among the masses still remain a challenge to the growth of democracy in this part of the world. The present study focused on the youth and the public media outlets as the pillars for the future survival of democracy in the country. The study involved 625 undergraduate students from the South East and South-South Nigerian universities while survey research design was adopted to collect data from the respondents. The findings showed the strong relationship between political socialization at the family and political participation (P<0.01. rho=0.451), political socialization at the educational institutions and political participation (P<.00. rho=0.419), access to public media and political socialization (P< 0.01 rho=0.284) and attitude to political participation and political participation (P< 0.01 rho=0.351). Nonetheless, only political socialization at the family/educational institutions, attitude to political participation and rating of the information on public news media can predict the future direction of political participation in the regions. In contrary, there is low level of political participation, political socialization in the educational institutions, significant level of unfavourable attitude towards political participation and public news media in the regions. For the improvement of democracy in this region the study recommends the enhancement of neutrality in the public news media and encouragement of political socialization via the educational institutions in the regions.
Okafor Samuel Okechi, Akwaji Fidelis Ngaji and Oga Timothy