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The study examines the uses and gratifications of reality Big Brother Naija among Delta State University students. The study was anchored on the theory of uses and Gratification which concern with how people use the media. The research work was carried out using the survey method. The sample size of 150 and 150 questionnaires were distributed and received. The simple random technique was used while the purposive technique was used to get equal male and female respondents. The data from the returned questionnaires was selected, collated and analyzed using the simple percentage. The study showed that the gratification students get by watching BBN 2017 was that of entertainment and socialization. The reason for deriving such gratifications is for cultural educational and socialization. The students use the gratification they derived from watching BBN 2017 for personal character development and human relationship. Big Brother Naija reality TV 2017 was popular among Delta State University students. They claimed to spend more time and follow day to day activities of BBN. The study recommends that there should be an increase in viewership of Big Brother Naija because of the uses and gratifications students derived from it which the results of the findings indicated favourable. Producers of Big Brother Naija should endeavoured to make the reality TV show more of social programme to increase the number of viewers in subsequent editions. The producers of BBN should make the TV reality show more of real life activities because viewers seem to replicate contents, more television stations should be allowed to telecast Big Brother Naija in subsequent editions to increase viewership level and the producers of Big Brother Naija should increase contents that focused on cultural education; this will enable students to be acquainted with cultural heritage of individual cultural groups in Nigeria.
1.1 Background to the Study
The General belief is that mass media are significant but the particular belief is that they have effects on individuals, groups or organization (Mc Quail, 2010). Among the mass media of communication television is the most powerful and influential. It has the power to bend the minds of audiences. It has the power to launch/popularize an idea or destroy an idea. It is evidently seen as a powerful agent of socialization in the study of the society. Aside its powerful influence, television is the most watched medium all over the world (Akbar, 2009).
Studies on the television influence on viewers have been extensively discussed in the last decade. Many of the studies have focused on how television programmes that appear to be “real” such as news, documentaries, soap operas and day time dramas alter viewers’ perception of reality. Recently, a new trend in television has reality television shows, a genre of television programming that documents unscripted situations and actual occurrences, and often features a previously unknown cast. It often highlights personal drama and conflict to a much greater extent than other unscripted television shows (Laitto, 2015).
Television reality shows have become so popular and accepted globally that their impact is taken for granted in the western society such as United States of America, Britain and Holland. The Argument has been that TV reality shows are not simulated. They are produced and broadcast in real time with real people. This is because T.V reality is also entertainment. However, this is not the case in African settings where media or television literacy is still very much at its infancy.
Reality television show has in recent times significantly proved to be a favourite programme among the youth – particularly those who fall within the range of ages 18 – 25 (Chikafe and Mateveke, 2012). Among these programmes is the Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) which is the focus of this study. Other common ones here in Nigeria include: MTN Project Fame, Gulder Utimate search, Nigeria Idol, Maltina Dance all, Glo Naija sings ,etc. (BBN is regarded as the most popular reality television show ever aired on Nigeria television – owing to the high level of engagement, voting and fellowship. It is a reality television programme in which contestants are selected and placed in isolation from the outside world, and made to live together while being continuously watched by television cameras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/big – brother%28tv – series%29) Chikafa and mateveke (2012) write that the concept was borrowed from George Orwell’s novel of 1984 titled “Fictional dystopia of Oceania” in the which he described a world of never – ending surveillance. In the novel, the dictator who watched over the citizens of Oceania was called Big Brother, and his terrifying Slogan was “Big brother is watching you”. In the Big Brother television show, contestants confined in the house compete to escape eviction in order to win the prize money.
The show debuted in 2006 when 14 contestants were housed in south Africa to compete for $100,00 between March 5 and June 4, 2016; and Katung Aduwak was the winner. The 2017 edition of the show held for 2 weekd; from January 22 to April 9, Featuring 14 housemates including Cocolce, Efe, Marvis, Bisola, Marvis, Uriel, Tboss, Soma, Miyonse, gifty, Bally, Tintalltony, Bassey and Debie – Rise. And for the first time in Nigeria, a reality show gave away a total whooping money prize of 25 million Naira.
Efe got 57.61 percent of the votes and was declared winner while Bisola became the first runner up with 18.54 percent of the votes . She also won the one campaign prize and would feature in the United Nations Assembly to speak on girl- child education over the year. Tboss, who scored runner – up won the payporte Arena prize of N500,000.
This feat not withstanding critics of the shows insist that although BB Naija was a game, the intrigues in the house portrayed the reality of life in our modern society characterized by alcoholism, nudity, sex entertainment and vulgarism even as multi-choice, the organizers of the show announced that the show was for adult viewers only.
The level of immorality being celebrated by the Big Brother reality show is adjudged short of being a programme intended for education, (Laitto, 2015). This has led to several calls demanding for its ban and censorship. For instance in 2007, the Nigeria House of Representative issued a directive to the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission to discontinue the airing of any clip or debate on Big Brother (Ralvy, 2007). Despite these outcry and the moral panics, the reality show has neither improved in moral tone nor viewership level reduced.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since inception of Big Brother, the TV reality show has been popular among youths in Nigeria and other part of the world. This is because of the captivation scene. The study will find out the gratifications the students derive from viewing BBN 2017 reality TV shows; examine the level of viewership of BBN 2017 reality TV shows among undergraduate students of Delta State University and establish the effect of Big Brother Naija 2017 reality TV shows among undergraduate students of Delta State University Abraka, Nigeria.
The study will close up the gap in knowledge as regard to the above objectives raise which cover ways to find out the level of accessibility of Delta State University Students to Big Brother Naija 2017 Reality TV show; ascertain the level of viewership of Big Brother Naija 2017 reality TV shows among undergraduate students of Delta State University, examine the gratifications that students derive from viewing Big Brother Naija 2017 reality TV show and identify the uses of the gratification Delta State university student derived from watching BBN 2017
The study will adopt the survey design research method. This method is most appropriate to this study because the study seek to investigate the perception of students in Delta State University, Abraka on the uses and gratification of BBN reality television show.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study has the following objectives.
To find out if Delta State University Students have access to Big Brother Naija 2017 Reality TV show.
To identify the level of viewership of Big Brother Naija 2017 reality TV shows among undergraduate students of Delta State University.
To examine the gratifications that students derive from viewing Big Brother Naija 2017 reality TV show.
To identify the uses of the gratification Delta State University students derived from watching Big Brother Naija 2017.
1.4 Research Questions
Do Delta State University Students have access to Big Brother Naija 2017 Reality TV show?
What is the level of viewership of Big Brother Naija 2017 reality TV shows among undergraduate students of Delta State University?
What are the gratifications that students derive from viewing Big Brother Naija 2017 reality TV show?
What are the uses of the gratification Delta State University students derived from watching Big Brother Naija 2017?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study is significant for the following reason:-
The findings of this study will show parents how to be responsible for the leaving and training of their children instead of leaving such training to their peers, television, teaches and determine watching hour and programme exposure of their children.
The findings of this research will serve as a good literature for both scholars and students of mass communication who might want to carry out similar or related research in the future.
The research findings also help media houses to learn to schedule their programmes and know the nature of the programme to be televised. The findings of this study will be beneficial to educationists, university administration and policy makers on how to regulate and monitor TV contents.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study will be confined to the Delta State University students of 2017/2018 Academic session. The focus of this study is on reality television show, Big Brother Naija 2017. The study will survey only registered students in the different faculties of the University.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Television: This is genre of mass media that broadcast programme with the combination of sound and audio to pass out massage to the audience.
Reality TV Show: this is the type of television programme that present real time situation of participants or housemate as they relate with each other without having connection to outside world.
Big Brother Naija: This is a typical realty television show organized for Nigerian participants and the first edition was held in January 2017.
Gratification: This means what the student get from watching reality TV show and what they use it for.
Viewership: This is the level at which a people watch televiosion for a purpose properly for uses and gratification. It could be high or low depending on an individual.
Accessibility: Accessibility is a point at which people can gain access to television programme like TV reality show.
Undergraduate Students: Students who are undergoing academic training in tertiary institution such as university, polytechnic and college of education.
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