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THE ROLE OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN POLITICAL AWARENESS AMONG YOUTH OF DISTRICT OKARA IN PAKISTAN

Anwar Ahmad Bhatti,Ammar Hassan and Hassan Ali
 Department of Rural Sociology
University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan
 ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN POLITICAL AWARENESS

  ABSTRACT
Popular sustenance is a significant catalytic representative in political awareness and it is conceivable to attach it by inspiring rural people and fetching about constructive change in rural society from end to end the role of electronic media. In the earlier, both TV and Radio have been used instantaneously for transmission development communications but this determination has agonized on numerous problems. The best thing about the electronic media is that it immediately provides us with the latest information about the things happening around us.This study carried out in one tehsil of District Okara. At the first stage one tehsil (Tehsil Depalpur) out of three tehsils was  selected randomly, at the second stage two union councils (Shah Yakka and Rajowal) were selected randomly at the third stage four villages two from each UC were selected randomly and at the last stage 120 respondents were selected randomly from the selected villages. Data were collected with the help of a well-designed interview schedule. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were applied for data analysis. It was found one-fourth (24.2%) of the respondents were matric passed. A major proportion (40.8%) of the respondents had Rs. 10001-20000 monthly income. A huge majority (96.7%) of the respondents utilized TV and 79.2% of them utilized TV with cable connection, Majority of the respondents used electronic media for information (90.8%) and education (28.3%) purpose, while 60.8% of them used ‘to a great extent’ for entertainment purpose. Majority of the respondents liked different news channels i.e. PTV (82.5%), Geo TV (75.2%), Express news (80.8), Dunya News (80.0%), Samma and ARY news (65.0%). About a half of the respondents were spending 3-4 hours with electronic media. A huge majority (92.5%) of the respondents reported that the electronic media presents the political awareness. 61.7% of the respondents were watching/listening political talk show and majority of them were agreed that political talk shows provide political knowledge to them. It was found that the PTV is a main TV channel in rural areas. So government should broadcast political awareness programs on this channel.
Keywords; Political Awareness, Electronic Media, Evaluation, Socio-economic, Youth Awareness

INTRODUCTION
In this world media is a vast and varied concept. When we define the media it’s mean we talk about the constantly change, development of the society and technologies. Through the media we can know what is happening in the nation and around the world (Volgy and Schwarz, 1980).
 However print media and electronic media are two types of media in current era.  Electronic media  consider  the modern media which  include  television,  radio, computers, mobile phones;  internet, CD players,  tape  recorders etc  (Hassan , 2008).
The  state  and  role  of  the  mass  media  in  Pakistan  today  reflect  the  country's communication, education system and  its position  in  the world. Media define structural explanations of inefficacy and point out who is wrong either the politician or the policy. Today media serve as a mediator between the political realities and political malaise. Media play a vital role in the people perception, priorities and their thinking about the politics and politician. Media also effect on the public behavior.  It shows how person live and behave in their country. So we can also says that media is reflection of that country (Becker, 2009).
Media can play a tool to conceal conflict and journalism can build peace in the country. Whenever journalism triggers conflict then media can resolve it (Mirza, 2011).
Media also built the value of nationalism in society and nationalism refers to the area of politics, language, culture and history. Media  transform  rapidly  for  the  last  few years and show  the  real  picture  of  nationalism  for  Pakistan.  Beside  the  fact  that media  is  still  facing  a  lot  of troubles  and  issues. The  numbers  of  scholars  are  continuing  investigate  to  find  out  the relationship between the exposure and attention to political comedy programs and political knowledge like  The Daily  Show  (Xenos  and Becker, 2009).
Media disseminate information remains significant and play a mediate role between the state and civil society (Sabir, 2009). Social network based on the model of how people perceive and interpret the media content (Seth, 2008).
Objective
Thus the main objective of this research to find out the influence of electronic media upon youth’s perception about the prevailing political conditions and to evaluate which electronic media (internet or TV) is more effective in bringing political awareness in the behavior of the youth generation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study Area
The study site selected for this research is Depalpur tehsil of district Okara randomly. Two union councils (Shah Yakka and Rajowal) were selected randomly. Then four villages two from each UC were selected randomly.
Sample Size
Sample can be defined as accurate envoy of the population, which has all the characteristics of preferred population. 120 respondents (30 from four villages) were selected randomly from the study area.
Data collection:
Construction of data collection tool
Social science deals with human nature, Feelings, emotions and minds of human being. To study all these factors it was compulsory that data collection tool was very accurate and reliable. Interview schedule was prepared with open and close ended questions to collect the data from respondents. It was structured to get all the required information from the respondents.

Interviewing the respondents:
Interview was conducted from respondents to collect facts.  The investigator himself interviewed each respondent to make sure unbiased response and then rechecked each questionnaire for accuracy and uniformity because it was very difficult to approach the same respondent at any subsequent stage.
Analyzing of data:
Collected data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Descriptive statistics, including frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations, were used to summarize different variables. Data was interpreted with the help of a computer software i.e. statistical package for social sciences.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Table 1 here
Table 1 depicts that a huge majority i.e. 96.7 percent of the respondents utilized TV, while 79.2 percent of them utilized TV with cable connection, while 13.3 percent of them utilized radio, 25.0 percent of them utilized Internet facility. So majority of the respondents used TV and cable connection.
Figure 1 here
Figure 1 is showing that more than one-fourth i.e. 26.7 percent of the respondents were spending 1-2 hours daily on available electronic media, while a substantial proportion i.e. 48.3 percent of the respondents were spending 3-4 hours per day on the available electronic media and 25.0 percent of the respondents were spending above 4 hours per day on available electronic media.
Table 2 here
Table 2 shows that 26.7 percent of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ and about a half i.e. 50.8 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ that electronic media enhance the competition race in all aspect (social, cultural, political, economic etc.), whereas 22.5 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

Figure 2 here
Figure 2 is showing that 30.0 percent of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ and 58.3 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ that electronic media has enabled millions of villages to receive information of all kinds, while 11.7 percent of them were replied negatively.
Table 3 here
 Table 3 is depicting that more than a half i.e. 56.7 percent of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ and about one-fourth i.e. 27.5 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ about the electronic media has positive impacts in developing their political awareness, whereas 15.8 percent of them were never agreed with this opinion.
Conclusions
Based upon the results of the present study, some conclusions are given as the findings of the present study may not be considered as conclusive as the study was not based on a truly representative sample of rural population of district Okara. It is, therefore suggested that more studies on higher level may be undertaken to draw generalizations about impact of electronic media on the political awareness. The Government should take steps to raise literacy rate in the rural area. It was found that the PTV is a main TV channel in rural areas. So government should broadcast political awareness programs on this channel. Political talk shows should be presented on local TV Channel and local language. Government should arrange political awareness programme at village level. Government should promote the political awareness through workshops/ seminars at school and college level. Electronic media should be presented the actual picture of our politics and politicians.

Compliance with Ethical Standards
  1. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
This study received no funding from any institution/organization.
  1. Conflict of Interest 
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
  • Research involving human participants and/or animals
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
  1. Informed consent
 Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
References
Mirza, G. M. 2011.  Private  Channels’  Coverage  to  NRO  and Viewers’ Perceptions. Berkeley Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 10, 2011
Becker, M. 2009.  Peace  Journalism  and  Conflict  Reporting:  The  Case  of  Pakistani  Media.  A  Research Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 311-32
Seth, A. 2008. Understanding Participatory Media Using Social Networks. School of Computer Science University of Waterloo, ON, Canada
Volgy,  J.T.  and  E.S. John.  1980. On Television Viewing  and Citizens' Political Attitudes, Activity  and Knowledge:  Another  Look  at  the  Impact  of  Media  on  Politics.  Western  Political  Science Association, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Jun, 1980), pp. 153-166
Xenos, A.M. and B.B. Amy. 2009. Moments of Zen: Effects of the Daily Show on Information Seeking and Political Learning. Political Communication. Retrieved:  http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/upcp20 pp. 317-332
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