THE IMPACT OF FAMILY PLANNING ADVERTISING ON RADIO AUDIENCE A STUDY OF ERUWA COMMUNITY, IBARAPA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Advertising can be traced down to the origin of man. Therefore, it is a phenomenon that has been with the society for a very long time. Although advertising is so popular, it is difficult to come up with a single and an all-embracing definition. However some scholars have proffered some definitions, which will be highlighted in this study.
According to academics dictionary of mass communication, compiled by Michael Hoffmann (2007, p.9) ?Advertising is a paid, medicated, form of communication from an identifiable source, designed to persuade the receiver to take some action, now or in the future?. Throwing more light on this, the dictionary of business and finance captures it as any form of paid public announcement or presentation, which is aimed at the promotion of the sake of goods and services, or at gaining acceptance for any idea or point of view.
No wonder Okunna (2002, P.99) Jonathan E. Aliede, says in their more recent and widely accepted definition states thus that, advertising is the non-personal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products (goods and services) or ideas by identified sponsors through various media. From the above running background, it is obvious that advertising from all indication is usually the easiest means to reach the target consumer directly. Therefore, advertising enables sponsor to reach a substantial segment of their target audience through various media especially print and electronic.
But before casting our research searchlight on the effectiveness of radio advertisement as one of the media on family planning programme advertisement, it is pertinent that we focus this research search light on the history of family planning programme because a people without a history is like a people without a past.
The historical development of man?s desire to control his reproduction is as old as humanity. The WHO (World Health Organization) definition of family planning states that it is a way of thinking and living that is adopted voluntarily based on the knowledge, attitudes and responsible decisions by individuals and couples in order to promotes health and welfare of the family group and thus; contribute effectively to the social development of the country. Egyptians as early as 1850 BC described various methods of birth control in scrolls. Aristotle, A Greek Philosopher in the 4th century B.C stated that the state?s best interest would be served by keeping the population stable. In the early history of African culture, the mother and the infant were separated from the father for prolonged periods of time following childbirths; consequently, this practice ensured a good nutritional period for the infant and abstinence for the mother. The above underscores the fact that family planning is as old as history itself.
In 1797, Jeremy Bentham advocated birth control in England. Giving credence to what Bentham advocated for, Francis place whose dissertation, ?Illustrations and proofs of the Principles of Population? published in 1882 made a remarkable impact which proposed contraception to reproduction. Subsequent theories by Thomas Malthins, an Englishman who wrote ?An Essay of the Principle of population? in 1798 which stated that poverty was unavoidable because the means of production could not increase as quickly as the population also made an impact.
It is under the above influence that Dr. Aletta Jacobs, in 1881 began the first systematic work in contraception in Holland. She and her medical colleagues gave professional assistance to birth control advocates in other countries. Consequently, their effort saw the light of the day when the first birth control clinic was opened in England by Marie Stopes and society for constructive Birth Control in 1921. Margaret Sanger in her little way in 1916 opened the first family planning clinic, which was closed down 9 days later by the authorities, who were against the consequently was imprisoned. As a result of that, she went on hunger strike for 103 hours. This led the U.S women to demonstrate and make an appeal to the government. These actions led to her release and allowed to carry on with her pioneering work in family planning.
It is from the above background that family planning is defined as; ?the control of reckless breeding of children? by Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN). The questions that are still begging for answer is, has the adequate awareness of family planning been made? If yes, to what extent and how has this awareness affected the life of the public in view? Consequently, the above question cannot be adequately addressed without looking into how this awareness is done hence this research is will examine the impact family planning advertisement via radio media in communicating family planning messages to rural dwellers, using Eruwa Community of Ibarapa, Oyo State as a study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
For a very long time, Nigerians have been indifferent to family planning. In some cultures, people?s dignity, prestige and power were reflected on the number of wives and children they had. Nigerian government in the past was also unconcerned about family planning as their basic amenities for their citizenry.
According to Nwankwo (1999, P.15). The major factor resulting in rapid population growth is the fact that many couples who would have wanted to limit the size of their family were discouraged by religious or cultural constraints. There are some religious beliefs that discourage any physical or material interference with the laws of nature or God, as children are believed to be gift from God. Furthermore, culturally Nigerians often say that ?it is only God that knows the child that will succeed one?. This saying was as a result of the precarious nature of the health facilities in the past. Then infant mortality rate was high so, in order not to lose the few children one has to measles, cholera, kwashiorkor and other health hazards prevalent then they resulted to having many children thereby throwing the social and economic implication over board. This belief is still in existence till now.
Many homes have thus produced children without adequate ability to meet the essential and educational needs of these children. These have led to the high rate of hooliganism and crime rate even among teenagers. There is a need for the government more than ever to curb this growing menace by taking advantage of the wide radio reaching range to sensitize the public on the importance of family planning.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study is prompted by many factors. Some of these are the continuing interest in and awareness of family planning by Nigerians and also the establishment of more family planning units by the government. The study will also help to determine the extent of knowledge of family planning among radio audience and likewise their attitude towards this programme.
Also the research should help to ascertain the importance of electronic media especially the radio as a media of bringing about people?s awareness of innovations. It will give indications of which medium is most effective in carrying out the advertisement messages. The research will also determine the various social, economic and cultural factors which may influence people?s attitudes towards family planning.
As a result of this study, the researcher hopes to enlighten the Nigerian public more on the benefits one stands to gain from a well-planned family. Such benefits includes: increase in standard of living of the whole family; safeguarding of the good health of mother and child and limiting the size of the family to the one they can conveniently cater for. It will assist the government to find possible ways of improving on the family planning policy.
1.4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of the research is to evaluate the impact of family planning advertising on the radio audience. The objectives include:
? To investigate the effect of religious and cultural beliefs on family planning
? To find out the adequacy of the contents of radio advertisement programmes in family planning
? To find out the perception of the various family planning advertisements on the radio by its audience
? To find out the extent to which advertisement on radio influence the public in adopting family planning
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research study is set to find answers to the following research questions.
1. What are the effects of religious and cultural beliefs on family planning?
2. How adequate are contents of radio and advertisement programmes in family planning?
3. What is the perception of the various family planning advertisement on the radio by it audience?
4. To what extent do advertisements on radio influence the public in adopting family planning.
1.6 CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Agency: Establishments that serve advertisers through the production and placement of advertisements in the media.
Audience: Radio listeners
Evaluation: The act of considering or examining something in order to judge its value quality, importance, extent, or condition.
Family Planning: The use of contraception to control how many children you have and when you have them.
Media: The various means of mass communication considered a whole, including television, radio, magazines and newspapers, together with the people involved in their production.
Mortality: The number of deaths within a particular society and within a particular period of time.
Population: The totality of items or persons from whom data necessary to study are collected.
Ubiquitous/Omnipresent: Something that is every-where; seeming to be in all places
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In the course of conducting this research some hindrances were encountered. The first problem was finance. Since radio audience are scattered across the country the researcher had to go from place to place in order to get different views and opinions. The traveling was capital intensive.
Some of the audience were conservatives and did want to talk about family planning saying that children are not mean to be countered. Also some were too busy to grant the researcher audience and fill out the questionnaires. But despite these problems, the researcher still managed to gathers the required data and analyzed them accordingly without altering the authenticity of the information and quality of the research work.