ABSTRACT: This research work focused on The Attitude of Female Mass Communication Students towards Journalism as a Career. The study aims at finding out the attitudes that are being displayed by female mass communication students towards journalism as a career. Survey method was adopted and the instrument used for data collection was the questionnaire. The population of the study according to the current attendance of female mass communication students of the stated school was 370 girls out of which 192 were sampled using Taro Yamani’s formula for getting sample size. Out of the 192 questionnaire that were distributed, 190 successfully retrieved. Data collected was analyzed in tables and simple percentages.
The researcher found out that female mass communication students indeed have negative attitudes towards journalism as a career. The conclusion of the study was that female mass communication students have negative attitude towards journalism as a career. Again, it is also noteworthy that female roles as mothers and wives are some of the problems facing female journalists in Nigeria. The study therefore recommended that media houses should make it as a point of duty to employ more of the female journalists just like they employ the male journalists. It is only when there are chances for females in journalism that female under graduates will pick interest in the profession.
The Attitude of Female Mass Communication Students towards Journalism as a Career
1.1 Background of the Study
In this age of information, everyone wants to be aware of the happenings around them. The media is the source of all that information, be it print media like the news papers, magazines and journals, the broadcast media: radio and television or internet etc. They are all called “journalism”. Journalists are those actually responsible for all that information believe it or not, they hold the power to influence the whole crowds with their firsthand information that they pass. It is their job to either be a part of the news that makes the difference or just utter rubbish in the name of information for the people to assimilate.
Journalism is a highly responsible job, and highly interesting at the same time. If someone is looking for a career in journalism, they should have a presentable and confident personality, along with the ability to write and present information accurately and consciously. Other essential requirements that highlight a good journalist are: an inquisitive bent of mind, good writing and communication skills, ability to differentiate between facts and fictions, intelligence, and interested in current affairs. Most importantly, must be capable of handling the unforeseen situation efficiently.
Journalism is the collection, preparation and distribution of news and related commentary and feature materials through such media as pamphlets, newsletter, magazines, radio, motion pictures, television, the internet and books. The earliest known Journalists product was a news sheet in ancient Rome called the ACTA DIURNA published daily from 59 BC, it was hung in prominent places and recorded important social and political events. Journalism in the 20th century was marked by a growing sense of professionalism. In our society today it has been observed that female student Journalists have negative attitude towards taking journalism as a career. This negative attitude is highly reflected in the number of mass media houses.
Almost all institutions of higher learning in Nigeria offer mass communication courses leading to the award of various degrees and certificates, including National Diploma, higher National Diploma, Bachelor, and master’s degrees. The increases in the number of female graduates from all these institutions are not reflected in the media of communication in the country. It is obvious that each year, hundreds of female students graduate communicators. A close look shows that the number of female mass communication students surpassed the number of males. But in the field today, a good number of these female graduates are not seen working in the various media houses scattered all over the country.
Reference to the convocation booklets from these schools revealed that a good number of female ass Communication students graduated from these schools. In the year 1997, about 150 female journalists graduated from Federal Polytechnic Oko. The Ogun state Polytechnic in the same year turned out about 86 female Journalist students and similarly. Between the year 2014 and 2015, Godfrey Okoye University Enugu graduated about 12 mass communication students of which 8 of them were females.
In the year 2008, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka, turned out about 58 female graduates from the Department of Mass Communication. Between the year 2008 and 2009, Caritas University Enugu graduated over 50 female journalists. To put the record straight, the number of females that graduated from Maurid Polytechnic since inception surpassed that of males. In recent years, media houses in the western countries lack trained female Journalists in the various communication activities. Invariably, in Nigeria, this could be seen in most cases of the media houses in Nigeria. There has been an imbalance in the number of female, and male trained journalists working with them.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This study was undertaken because of the low participation of the female Journalist graduates towards practicing journalism as their career. Despite the fact that there is considerably number of trained female journalists, very few of them are wiling work with media houses in Nigeria. A large number of female Journalists are produced from different institutions offering mass communication, but female participation in the profession is very negligible. One thing that is glaring in the Nigeria media is the near absence of Nigerian women as news makers. Though Nigeria is developing, it has gotten to a stage where the female Journalists and their male counterparts should be competing in the media houses.
The number of female Journalists in the field today is seen to be very few compared to the number that graduates from Journalism schools and universities. This dormant attitude of females tow the profession has resulted to the males claiming superiority over them in the field and as such not portraying a good image for the women in the society. This is because most men in the society believe that Journalism exposes the practitioners and makes the female counterparts lose their dignity. Many female Journalists who work in the media sometimes do not show keen interest in their jobs. This affects the female practitioners as the male practitioners always tend to over shadow them both in position and in interest to work. This study therefore tends to find out why the female mass communication students have such attitude when it comes to females being in the journalistic field.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To find out how female mass communication students see journalism
- To know if there is any discrimination against the women journalists.
- To find out if there are wrong in about female journalist.
- To find out if the female roles as mothers and wives contribute to some of the problems facing female journalists.
The Attitude of Female Mass Communication Students towards Journalism as a Career
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study is very important because a lot of people are baffled over the issues of why women do not take up journalism as a career after studies. It has really agitated the minds of some professionals and has equally created a lot of controversies. The researcher, therefore, has deemed it fit to find out the reasons for such negative attitude of females towards Journalism.
Journalism as the researcher could understand is very controversial and there no need to live on mere assumption. This study has therefore provided an avenue for an in-depth study on the controversial issue of knowing the reason behind women going into Journalism as a career, how do these women see the practice of journalism? Do they go into the study with the intention of practicing Journalism or taking it up just as a career? The researcher also observed that female Journalists do not only disengage in the practice of Journalism but also do not contribute in the development and achievement of Journalism schools.
According to Okunna(1990) “In most schools in Nigeria, women are not often seen as lecturers both at universities and polytechnics” They do not involve in the teaching of mass communication courses. Women prefer working in other fields to the career of Journalism. The study will serve as a resource material for programme design and implementation in the effort concerning women in development and to students of women studies, mass communication, and Journalism. It will, be a useful reading and reference materials.