This project was undertaken to analyze “television as a tool for moulding public opinion, a case study of mainland local government Lagos State. The research aimed to study the television as one of the engines that propel, mould and influence public opinion for its continuity and realization through: Informing, entertaining and persuading. Television is a powerful tool for moulding public opinion, social and behavioural change in any society; it can be studied in its various roles as an agent of social change, a reflector of dominant values, and as a reinforcer of dominant values. Especially on cultural values by projecting the social norms on how infant, adolescents, women. e. t. c are expected to behave and further develop the society through expressing their opinion through the television towards social development. The project also examine how National television programs can reach millions of viewers in an instant and frequently these programs cover stories that would influence what we think of the subjects in them. The project also evaluates the important role media play in fostering an environment of good governance for public opinion. As the watchdog and interpreter of public issues and events, the television has a special role in every society. In information-based society the television have a disproportionately visible and influential role in moulding public opinion. Democracy cannot exist in the absence of the media. This is because democracy is based on popular will and popular opinion depends on the public’s awareness and knowledge. It is the television that brings up, promotes and propagates public opinions. Implications for research and practice of this finding is discussed. Most of the interest in the area is based on claims that television serves as a tool for moulding public opinion. Many studies have been conducted on the link between television and public opinion. It mainly highlights the methods and process adopted in collecting relevant data for this project. It covers the research design, sampling technique, population of the study, sample size, data Collection Method and summary. Finally it analyzed, interpreted and discussed the result obtained from the characteristics, presentation and analysis of data according to research questions and hypothesis test, which explain and pinpoint that the idea suggested is a possible way for explaining the situation, and deals with discussion lit’ the findings. Conclusion of the research work and recommendations.



1.1    Background of the Study

New mass media technologies of the twentieth century have transformed the way in which the media communicates information to the public.  The written medium. e.g., newspapers and novels) served as the main conduit of mass information until the advent of the radio. In the mid-twentieth century, the television brought information by means of audio and visual imagery and thus, had more possibilities of attracting audiences and influencing public opinion.  Adedeji (2005).  In the late twentieth century, the Internet has served as a ground breaking form of information transmission. While the television is limited as far as sharing information relative to the Internet, the former probably most influences public opinion worldwide, while the Internet is readily available in developed nations, such as the United States is yet to reach poorer nations around the world.

The internet has displaced the television as far as information provided to users. According to Adedeji (2005) the Internet has made our world smaller by allowing people to communicate easily with other web users and thereby influencing public opinion. While most people have access to the Internet, the rest of the world still lags behind due to the unavailability and costs of the technology (i.e access to computers, monthly subscriptions). On the other hand, more people around the world have access to television.  Once the rest of the world gains access to computers and the Internet, people will become more dependent on information from the Internet (rather than the television) due to the diversity of sources and interactive nature of the technology. Because of the wide range of news available from the Internet, public opinion may be more diverse in nature. According to Bayo (2007), television offers limited channels for news, thereby influencing public opinion from a few points of view.

In developing countries, such as Nigeria, the ability of the Internet to influence public opinion can be limited depending on demographics.  For example younger people tend to be more technically savvy and derive news from the Internet. Older people who did not use the Internet during their formative years may not be inclined to search for information in the Internet and may rely on old fashion mediums including television and print news. Furthermore, those having a higher socioeconomic status are more likely to be influenced by the Internet due to having personal subscriptions and access through cell phones. Less wealthy people have to visit public libraries for access to the Internet and instead have the television more readily available.

The Internet, in a sense, subsumes the television by making available almost all shows that appear on the television. That is, one can find most television programs on the Internet, newscasts, movies, episodes etc. However most people in the world do not have access to the Internet and/or the technical knowledge to use it.  As of this year, television still has the greater influence on public opinion. But as technology advances worldwide, the rest of the world will someday discover the unlimited potential offered by the internet thereby forming personal opinions from the variety of information absorbed.

The television also serves as a vital tool for promoting the dissemination of information in Nigeria and outside the world. The opinion of the people cannot not be termed valid without a legal source like the television that help the public to determine their opinion towards political change and behavioural change in the society. The information the public receives from the television broadcasting service mould the opinion of the people and stimulate general acceptance in political economic and social decision making in the society.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

This research work focuses attention on how television can be used as a tool for moulding public opinion with Mainland Local Government as a case study. Television like other media disseminates information to the public can impact positively or negatively, but some hindrances have been identified by the researcher. Also for the television to be able to carry out its duties effectively and successful it has to go through some criteria’s. From the above statement the following are the problems, the researcher looked into the inability of the television to be able to cut through barriers of illiteracy hinders the effort to influence the opinion of the people and some television have no audio visual potential to enables them to disseminate to the public or get the right information across to the people but the challenging aspect of it is the fact that not everybody in the society have access to television, this is a major problem the researcher intends to highlight.

Also, the television because is not potable like radio majority of people do miss some important television programmes while working. These and many more are the problem the researcher will look into.

1.3    Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to highlight television as a tool for moulding public opinion. The study also examines the following:

1.       To evaluate how television can serve as a tool for moulding public opinion.

2.       To see whether television propagation of public opinion among the people of Mainland Local Government is effective.

3.       To access the impact of television as a tool for moulding public opinion.

4.       To examine the public perception of television news and programmes on public opinion.

1.4    Research Questions

This research project attempts to provide answers to the following questions:

1.     How does television serve as a tool for moulding public opinion?

2.     How effective is the television propagation of public opinion among the people of Mainland Local Government?

3.     What is the impact of television as a tool for moulding public opinion?

4.     To what extent does public perception of television news and programmes have on public opinion?

1.5    Significance of the Study

This study, hopefully will help to identify the roles played by the television especially television as a tool for moulding public opinion in Mainland Local Government in Lagos State Nigeria.

This study also intends to help in determining whether the programmes, news, features and commentaries of television have any effect on public opinion.

The solutions and recommendations that will be made after this study will contributes to the growth and development of television broadcast as a powerful instrument for cultural heritage and socio cultural development of public opinion in Nigeria.

Finally, this study is useful to researcher, students, lecturers and academics in the following ways. It will expose and enable him to know more about television and public opinion.

i.        It will enable him to know more about the role which television and public opinion play in Nigeria.

ii.       It will also enable him to know the different meaning/definitions and classifications of television and public opinion.

iii.      It serves as reference and as a guide to them.

1.6    The Scope of the Study

The scope of this research is visible in the research topic and that is why the project work focuses on the television as a tool for moulding public opinion in Mainland Local Government. Therefore, the generalization of the result would not be affected. Also based on the fact that there is no time, financial and material resources in addition to other academic programs to be done, the researcher will not be able to cover each and every member of staff of the Local Government under study.

1.7    Definitions of Terms

The following term used’ in this study should be taken to mean the following.

Agent: This is referred to as means, tool, instrument or way by which community are develop.

Television: Is an audio-visual medium, it has the capacity to reach a mass audience with both sound and motion which help enhance social development of the community.

Social development: It means a social change and changing in activities and ways of life of people in community.

Public Opinion: An aggregate of the individual views, attitudes and beliefs about a particular topic, expressed by a significant proportion of a community.

Media: Communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data, or promotional messages are disseminated.

Social Behaviour: interactions among individuals normally within the same species that are usually beneficial to one or more of the individuals.


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