1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Since 1981 when HIV/AIDS was first diagnosed in united states of America, (USA) the virus has spread throughout the worldwide affecting both the rich and the poor urban and rural people alike.
Technically speaking, the HIV which disables the human immune system is either of two strains of a retrovirus, HIV – 1 or HIV-2 that destroys the immune system T Cells the loss of which causes AIDS (Encarta, 2006). The African continent has not been spared from this scourge. Statistic reveal that of the estimated 40 million people infected with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2005 (UNAIDS reports, 2006) at least 70% were residing in sub sahara Africa (development management associates 2002).
The pandemic had left 1.7 million people around the world have died of HIV/AIDS 3.8 million of them are children while 4.1 million were infected with HIV in 2005 and 2.8 million died of HIV/AIDS I 2005 alond (UNAIDS report 2006). In Nigeria, the 2005 HIV/AIDS Syphilis sentinel survey show that 4.4% are living with HIV/AIDS of the total adult population aged 15 – 49 years who are still sexually active. The sentinel survey was compiled from data collected at antenatal clinic across the country. The media HIV/AIDSS prevalence among antenatal clinics has leveled off at around 4% (FMOH report 2003) however, such a report is a guideline and cannot be considered conclusive. Most Nigeria mothers do not deliver in clinics and not all of them do allows themselves to be tested for HIV/AIDS test (Afolabi and Adesina 2005).
Nevertheless, Nigeria has the third largest global number of people living with HIV/AIDS with an estimated number of between (1.7 million and 4.2 million) behind India and south Africa (UNAIDS Report on the global HIV/AIDS Epidemic 2002) countries of the world have been responding to the challenges of HIV/AIDS through various awareness campaign to sensitize her nationals on meaning, mode of spread as well as prevention of the infection.
The media have played a pivotal role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is often said that education is the vaccine against HIV/AIDS (Global Media AIDS initiative 2004). Therefore, many media organization are rising to the challenge by promoting awarrenss of HIV/AIDS and educating the general public on its control. In united state of ameria 72% of Americans indentify television radio and newspapes as their primary source of information about HIV/AIDS more than doctors, friends and family. India, more than 70% of respondents aid they had received their information about HIV/AIDS from television (global media AIDS initiative 2004).
Similarly, moto (2004) reports that the advent of the fatal health condition in Malawi was made public to the nation through a newspaper article and radio broadcasts on then only broadcasting corporation (MBC). Moto (2004) further notes that with the current HIV/AIDS epidemic, the different media ageicnes made it imperative to engage in what is known as straight talk about sex organs and or sexual behaviour.
The above studies corroborate Lindsey (1994) who argues that the media cast an eye on events that feeds us direcly of experience and render remote happenings observable and meaningful. It is in this sense that the media come across as persuasive instrument in mass struggle for self libration and development.
The strength of media in influencing peoples perception as well as making society to change their behavior may be an essential tool for fighting medial and social problem such as HIV/AIDS. In line with this, steinberg (1972) observed that the mass media select and bring to waiting multitudes a constant flow of detail related to those fruitful dialogues of difference and concordance upon which free societies thrive.
In other words, the media could be sued to successful advocate for behaviour and attitudinal change and more specially addressing people living with HIV/AIDS in order to prevent stigmatization as well as discrimination against the infected and affected persons. It is in this direction that wellings and macdowall (20000 affirm that the strength of the mass media lie in helping to put issues on the public agenda. In reinforcing local effors in rasing consciousness about issues and in conveying simple information Adeseye and Ibagere (1999) reaffirm the powerful influence of media on the public when they hold forth that agenda setting implies that the mass media predertermine what issues are regarded as important at a given time in a given society.
Similarly, the development media theory advocates that the media could be used to facilitate the process of socio economic development effort of a country (Baran and Davis 1995).’ The theory further hold that by supporting development efforts media and society at large. In other words,; the media particular the broadcast media could and should be used to rally people, infrastructure and institutions in aid of national development in modern societies.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
HIV/AIDS in Africa has earned heightened popularity in that the yound and ld are al victims of the scourge. It has really seem to be part of the African society. The way it is, there is need for a promoted awareness and campaign to reduce or at least fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Africa. The mass media as means of social reform and an agent of change is supposed to be in the vanguard of this move. To what extent has it been involved in the galvanizing support for the fight against this scourge in Africa?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This research is meant to accomplish the following objectives:
- To examine the role of the mass media towards galvanizing support for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
- To ascertain the extent the mass media have gone in galvanizing support for the fight of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
- To evaluate the means or strategies employed by the mass media for the fight of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work would be found helpful to the entire African and the world as a whole because, it would provide information about he HIV/AIDS as dreaded disease. It would also serve as a means of promotional awareness on the subject. Furthermore, this would be needed by people who are already infected with the virus because it provides an air of sympathy and accommodation for them, as members of the society. And to the HIV free person. This work will enlighten them on preventive measure against HIV/AIDS.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Do people get most information about AIDS through the mass media?
- Do the mass media programmes on HIV/AIDS meant to gather support against HIV/AIDS in Africa?
- Does the mass media programmes against HIV/AIDS help to protect the African society?
- Do the mass media emphasis on preventive than cure of HIV/AIDS?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HI: People get most information about AIDS through the mass media.
H0: People do not get most information about AIDS through the mass media.
H2: The mass media programmes on HIV/AIDS are meant to gather support against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
H0: The mass media programmes on HIV/AIDS are not meant to gather support against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
H3: The mass media programmes against HIV/AIDS help to protect the African society.
H0: The mass media programmes against HIV/AIDS do not help to protect the African society.
H4: The mass media emphases on prevention than cure of HIV/AIDS.
H0: The mass media do not emphases on prevention than cure of HIV/AIDS.
1.7 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The following theory has lent its self to this study. The agenda setting theory. Acceding to McCombs Shaw (1972) wqas introduced in 1972 by Maxwell McCombs and Donald show in their ground breaking study of the role of the media in 1968 presidential campaign in chapel Hill North Carolina.
The theory explain the correction between the rate at which the media covers an event and the extent that people think that this story is important. News media have large influence on audience in terms of what story to consider news worthy and how much prominence and space to give them (P. 187).
Agenda setting theory means postulate is salience transfer. Salience transfer is the ability of the news media to transfer issues of importance from heir news agenda to public agenda. Through the media, day to day selection and publication editors and news directory focus the attention of the people and influence people perception of what are the most important issues (McCombs 2004:p1).
According to Winner and Dominick (1987: P 385) agenda setting theory examines the relationship between the media priorities and audience priorities in the relative importance of news space. Nwodu (2006; p120 – 121) while quoting Larson (91840 relayd agendxa setting postulation “the public agenda or what kind of things people dicusss think and worry about (and sometime ultimately pres for legislation about) is powerful shaped and directed by what the news media chose to publicize.
Walter Lippman viewed this idea when he argued that the media shaped pictures in our head. To that effect cohen (1963) reinforce their idea and fine turned this: the media may not always be successful in felling people what to think but they are always successful feeling them what o think about (Nwodu2006> p121).
Since this study aims at evaluating the role of media in the crusade against global terrorism, agenda setting theory becomes a suitable theory for the assessment of the media in their reportage and advocaty in favour of anti-terrorism crusade in the world.
1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is scoped around Africa as a continent including countries that make up the continent.
1.9 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This is limited by time factor which would not allow to cover the scope of this study so well.
Finance is another limitation of this study. Lack of enough fund has limited this study notably.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Mass media: An advance technological machinery for mass communication.
Africa: A continent containing mainly black peoples.
AIDS; Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
HIV: Human Immune virus
Media: Newspaper magazine bill board television and radio
Africa: Developing countries of the world
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome a dreaded disease that has no cure
HIV: Human immune virus the virus that cause AIDS
Adeseye F and E. Ibagere communication and man A theoretical based for he student Akure Ola-Olu enterprises
Afolabi O.A and AA Adesina 2005. HIV/AIDS Psychosocial and Therapeutic issues in the disclosure of diagnosis
Global media AIDS initiative 2004. The media and HIV/AIDS Making a difference Retired from www sahims net/doclibary on july 17, 2007
Moto F 2004 Towards a study of the lexicon and sec and HIV/AIDS Nordic J. Afr.STUD 13(3(343 – 362
UNAID 2002 Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic retrieved from www.unaids.org/publication/factsheeton June 8 2007
Baran SJ and D.K (Davis 1995 Mass communication theory foundations ferment and future califonia wadsworth publishing company.
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