1.1     Background of the Study

Among the media of mass communication television emerges as one of the most unique. It is unique in the sense that it presents information both in sound and pictures. It is a credible tool for information, education and entertainment.

The word television comes from ancient greek (tele) meaning “far” and latin vision meaning “sight”. Television is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting sound with moving images in monochrome black and white color, and in two or three dimension. Oreh (1978:39).

Television is a mass medium for entertainment, education, news and advertising. Television signals were initially distributed only as terrestrial television using high powered radio frequency transmitters to broadcast the signal to individual television receivers. Graw (1952:29).

The television medium has had a good influence on information dissemination, education and entertainment. That is why scholars like gerbner (2002:21) went into intense study to find out its effect on viewers.

He also posited that television as a mass medium of communication had formed into a common symbolic environment that bound diverse communities together, socializing people into standardized role and behaviors.

According to gerbner, television major cultural functions is to stabilize social patterns and cultivate resistance to change. Murrow (1998:90) stated that this instrument can teach, it’s can illuminate, it can even inspire, but to the extent that human beings are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it is merely

wires and light in a box. This implies that thought television is powerful, we can only harness its power through effective use.

Television like the other mass media is intended to reach a large audience with communication messages. In our society today, television and the mass media perform a number functions. They are agent of social change, mass educators, opinion molders, mass mobilizes, upholders of societal values, interpreters of reality.

Okunna(1991:108) in her reflection on social function of the mass media, television inclusive, maintains, that mass media as a socializing agency work closely with other socializing agencies like the family, church, school and peer groups, through the process individuals is made aware of the values, norms and acceptable behavioral patterns of the society; they provide a common body of knowledge, the internization of which enables people to operates as effective members of the society. Television as a broadcast medium is seen to easily influence the society because it has an upper hand over the other channels of communication(radio, newspaper and magazines) simply because it combines sound with sight (audiovisual). The actions of people could be seen on screen. This gives more life to the message being put across to the viewers. As in the case of a drama or comedy, the actions could coach the viewers to laugh or be amused even if the viewers are deaf, the action could simply speak to them.

This helps to explain why television viewers depend on their seat rather than newspaper and other mass media. Television indeed is capable of exerting; paying more attention than any other medium of communication, due to the combined power of seeing and hearing at the same time, another role which television plays is on influencing and shaping our behavioral patterns. Virtually, no aspect of our habits, desires and relationship both as individuals and as groups escape

examinations in our public media getting along with neighbors, personal problems and our taste in popular music, social and religious tension and trends in fashion among other are constantly reported on television. Therefore the study is aimed at finding out the effectiveness of AKBC television programme “Esa Iban” on