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ATTITUDE OF FEMALE MASS COMMUNICATION STUDENTS TOWARDS JOURNALISM AS A CAREER
1.1 Background of the study
It has been observer that female student journalist have negative attitudes towards taking up journalism as a career on graduation. This negative attitude is highly reflected in the number of woman engaged in communication work in various media of communication all over the country offering courses leading to the award of various degrees and certificates, including national and high national diplomas, bachelors degrees, and masters degree. The increase of female journalist in this school is not reflected in the number practicing journalism.
In June, 1983 alone, about 22 female journalist graduated from oko and Auchi polytechnics while the while the institute of management and technology (IMT) enugu turned out not less than 18 female journalist the same year, the Ozoro polytechnic also had about 10 female journalist the same year.
The picture in other mass communication schools virtually the same, for instance in 1983, the university of Nigeria Nsukka graduated not less than 8 female journalist, the university of Ibadan which offers past graduates studies mass communication produced 3 female journalist in the year 1983 too.
This data about expanding number of female journalist graduate s stand in stark contrast to what this researcher has observed in media institution as far of female participation in mass communication work is concerned. in recent years media houses across the country have been facing an increasing shortage of trained young women in various communication activities.
The “daily star” newspaper, for instance has only one female trained journalist while the editorial department alone has about 18 males. One question then that could arise from this imbalance is, does this suggest a kind of discrimination against the employment of women, as Alice Fins, who was also worried about this situation observed: according to he, “if there were more women seeking for jobs in the media mass communication and also more men seeking for work in the field with the same ability and background the men got the job. She notes that it is only when a woman is better qualified or worked harder would she be awarded the job, she further said that very often, the woman’s job was at a lower rate of pay than would receive and involved doing more professional tasks.
The Anambra television authority has a good number of trained male journalists, working in the different areas, but has only about four trained female journalist, the Nigerian television authority enugu (NTA channel 8) has only about 2 trained female journalist. The other media institutions not mentioned are not likely to be a sharp contrast from those mentioned.
1.2 Significance of the study
This observation about female journalist not ending in taking up journalism as a career has for long agitated the mind of this researcher. This researcher has therefore investigated the reasons for such negative attitude towards journalism instead of depending on mere assumption, in the words of Ikechukwu Nwosu, a senior lecture in the department of mass communication IMT Enugu.
“there is no need to develop opinion and facts from available information through the employment of social science research methods rather than depending on assumption”
Journalism educators also may be occasionally wondering, about the female journalist graduates, they provide for professional journalism. Do they really go into the profession? If they do, how do they find their jobs? If they don’t, what militates against their going into the professions?
Another journalism educator, Chinyere Okunna has wondered where female graduate of mass communication schools are since not many of them take up the teaching of mass communication as a carrier, in an article titled “impact of women on the media, delivered at a seminar organized in honor of Miss Diana Johnson (broadcaster) by the Nigerian union of journalist (NUJ), Anambra state council, she notes “women in Nigeria are apparently not contributing much to the achievements of journalism schools, either at the university level or at the polytechnic level; she noted that mast schools offering mass communication have only one or two women involved in teaching mass communication, for instant at both the university of Nigeria Nsukka and university of lagos where mass communication is studied at both undergraduate and post graduates levels, only one female lecturer is involved in teaching in a polytechnic, like IMT, e3nugu, there is one female journalist lecturer in mass communication department named Mrs. Nkem – Fab Ukozor.
The article assumes that many women journalist prefer working in the field to teaching in class rooms because the glamour of the media particularly the electronics seems irritable to many of them.
However, this researchers observation runs contrary to the assumption made by Okunna since this researchers has noted that the female journalist have negative attitude towards journalism as a carrier.
A lot of scholars have carried out studies concerning journalists and their attitude to work. Harold shaver for instance did a study on job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among journalism graduates. His study was centered on those that affect the working journalist, which satisfy him or dissatisfy him. In contrast to these general studies this research carried out research and found out why female journalist have negative attitudes towards journalism as a carrier reflected on imbalance in the ratio of female journalism practitioners to the number that are journalists. This researcher investigated this imbalance since the focus of scholars has not been on this particular problem.
1.3 The statement of the research problem.
In spite of large number of female journalist that are produced from different institutions offering mass communication, female participation in mass communication work is still very negligible of all the professions, journalism is one where only a few female journalists are engaged as professionals. A this stage of development, in Nigeria, one would expect that female journalists in the field is a sharp contrast from the number that graduated from journalism schools.
It is expected that female student journalists in IMT have negative attitude towards journalism as a carrier and that majority of them will end up not practicing journalism.
This is line with ilimball’s result that high school students saw several negative aspects of journalism carriers.
Ilrech also found that there is conflict between the roles of housewife and carrier woman.
A housewife is known as being in charge of the house, taking care of the children, make sure that the house is always organized before his husband comes back from work while carrier woman, through she is a house wife too but does not meet up to the expectation of the family, talk less of caring for the children. She goes out for work in the morning may be returning back the next morning. This is the more reason while female student journalist not only in I.M.T, but all over the world should have negative attitudes towards practicing journalism as a carrier.
Discrimination and condition of service make female journalists have negative attitudes towards journalism as a carrier discrimination against female journalists by employers make female student journalist have negative attitude towards journalism as a carrier.
It is expected that female journalist IMT should have negative attitudes towards journalism as a carrier because; the conditions of work such as a time factor in journalism work conflicts with the role of a house wife as being said earlier on. This means that time is a strong variable which stands as a constraint to the female journalists who has to combine household duties with nature of work in journalism.
This is because anybody that engaged in journalist practice must devote long hours to jobs.
Female student journalists are regarded as irresponsible by the respondents.
1.4 Research questions
1 Does it mean that female student journalist have negative attitudes towards journalism as carrier?
2 Do female student journalist shy away from practicing journalism?
3 Does discrimination against female journalist by employees and the conditions of service make them have negative attitudes towards practicing journalism?
4 Does the impression by the society that media women are irresponsible make them have negative attitudes towards practicing journalism?
Based on the research questions, the following are derived.
HI: Female student journalists have a negative attitude towards journalism as a career.
HO: Female student journalists do not have a negative attitude towards journalism as a career.
H2 Female student journalist shy away from practicing journalism.
HO Female student journalist do not shy away from practicing journalisms.
H3 discrimination and conditions of service make female student journalist have negative attitudes towards journalism as a carrier.
HO discrimination and conditions of service make female student journalist have negative attitudes towards journalism as a carrier.
H4 there is the impression by the society that media women are irresponsible.
HO there is no impression by the society that media women are irresponsible.
1.6 Definition of terms
NEGATIVE ATTITUDES – Expression of wrong feelings, absence of good feelings.
JOURNALISM CARRIER – way of making a living through working as a journalist.
DISCRIMINATIO – ability to show partial behavior.
IMPRESSION – valve judgment about a thing or action.
CONDITION OF WORK – those factors that are needed to avoid unpleasant environment e.g. hours of work.
NEGATIVE ATTITUDE- total scores of respondents that express wrong feelings towards practicing journalism.
FEMALE JOURNALIST- total scores of the respondents wishing to practice journalism on graduation.
SHY AWAY – total scores, which represent respondents that will not practice journalism on graduation.
DISCRIMINATION – total scores, which represent respondent’s feelings that female journalist, are discriminating against
CONDITIONS OF WORK- total scores, which represent the respondent’s feeling on the conditions of service in journalism profession.
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