THE ROLE OF PUNCH NEWSPAPER IN CREATING AWARENESS AGAINST DRUG ABUSE
1.1 Background to the Study
Mass media have been a major agent of socialization and tool for social change especially now that people depend on message from mass media. The potential power of the mass media help solve social problems. television, radio and print advertising can entice people to buy a wide range of products and services, and newspaper messages and advertisement influence our ideas, values and behaviour.
According to conventional wisdom, it could be possible to use mass communications to get people to act on behalf of their own health and well-being or to do right things. Based on this assumption, since World War II, the federal, state and local governments, private foundations and other non-governmental organizations have sponsored hundreds of public service campaigns to promote social rather than commercial “goods” (DeJong and Winsten, 2000).
It is not surprising, then, that prevention advocates would look to the mass media as an important aid in addressing the problem of high-risk drinking in society. Some advocates have pushed for reform or other restrictions on alcohol advertising. Others have sought to influence entertainment producers to end the glorification of high-risk drinking on newspaper, magazine, television and in the movies (Montgomery, 2009). More recently, prevention advocates have produced a small number of media campaigns designed to change students and youth knowledge, attitudes and behavior.
Most media campaigns focused on college students drinking which have been campus based, using a mix of posters, flyers, electronic mail messages and college newspaper advertisements. More recently, a few regional, state and national media campaigns have begun to address this issue as well.
Therefore, this study is out to examine the mass media especially the print in creating awareness against drug abuse.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The continuous abuse of these drugs has lead to a situation of drug addiction and the addict developing a bondage to the drug.
The effects of drug abuse is detrimental not only to the individual but to the society as a whole. Yet this problem is on the increase especially among those in higher institution of learning. Which is a serious threat to our national sanctity.
How well can print media as a vehicle for information dissemination be relied upon to perform its role in the society, to join hand in the battle against drug abuse?
How can the power of the mass media be used effectively to reduce high-risk drinking among people? To explore that question, this research begins by reviewing three types of mass media campaigns focused on drinking: information, social norms marketing, and advocacy.
Theses and many more questions is what the study is out to find answers to.
1.3 Research Questions
- Does the Punch educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
- Has mass media awareness campaign on drug abuse reduced the unlawful use of drug in society?
- Is mass media faced with any difficulty in creating awareness on drug abuse?
- Does newspaper promote drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo?
- Does newspaper educate and enlighten the general public on the bad effects of drug abuse?
- Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether newspapers educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
- To know if newspapers awareness campaign on drug abuse have reduced the unlawful use of drug in our society?
- To know if there is problem facing the mass media in creating awareness on drug abuse?
- To know if newspapers contribute to drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo?
- To examine if mass media present adequate information on the effect of drug abuse to the people in society?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research will benefit different people, organization, and government and other agencies especially the youth.
This study has important contribution to make in the education of drug abuse among our youths and society in general.
Drug abuse has lots of effects on the health of the nation. There is a danger of the waste of Nigeria’s next generation if the best Nigerian youth is consumed by an addiction that will leave effects on the economy.
The national security implication will be disastrous, hence the need for the media to intensity their role with various organization like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac) to combat this scourge in all its ramification.
Government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will benefit from the study to know the harmful effect of media drama showing lots of drinking and alcoholic programme, advert and marking on print media to the society.
Media practitioners and students of mass communication will equally benefit from the study to understand fully on the dangers in drug advertisement.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Because of time, geographical locations, fund and other necessary logistics, the study is narrowed down to Lagos State residents as a case study since it is very difficult if not impossible to study all the people across all the state of federation and that is why Lagos State is selected.
1.7 Limitation to the Study
Wide research of this nature cannot be carried out without some constraints, this constraints pose a lot of limitations to this work.
- Duration for the research work is relatively short.
- Stress emanated from other academic activities is also another constraints.
- Little materials are also available because the work is relatively new.
- Financial constrain poses another challenges.
- Most information is gathered through newspapers and internet.