15 Exploratory Study of Broadcast Media Discourse on Political Party Zoning System and Voting Patterns among Electorate in Select Nigerian Cities
This study was carried out to determine the dominant broadcast media position in its discourse revolving around political party zoning in Nigeria and the way such position influences the pattern of voting among the electorate. Anchored on the agenda setting theory and supported by the framing and agenda building theories, this study adopted a quantitative research method where survey was carried out on the broadcast media audience of voting age as of 2019 elections in the states that were sampled to represent Nigeria. Questionnaire was used as the research instrument for data collection, while the data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics. Through the data that were analysed, we found high exposure of audience and preference to broadcast media political programmes among the respondents. The discourse revolving around political party zoning in the broadcast media was also found to be quite high and they (discourses) were largely in favour of the political party zoning system which has also influenced voters prioritising political party zoning over meritocracy in their preferences and choices of candidates in elections. Conclusion reached was that the broadcast media is a powerful tool that influences the electorate to prioritise political party zoning above meritocracy in their preferences and choices of voting candidates in elections in Nigeria. The broadcast media should continue to be used as tool to shape public opinion on political issues since it is accessible to a significant number of people.