Impact of news and media on political advertising. A study of 2020 governorship election in Edo State

Bachelor Thesis, 2020

39 Pages, Grade: 4.00



1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.4 Research questions
1.5 Research Hypothesis
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Concept of News Media
2.3 Concept of Political Advertising
2.4 Theoretical Framework
2.5 Empirical Review

3.1 Research Design/Technique
3.2 Research Population
3.3 Sampling and Sampling Technique
3.4 Sample size
3.5 Methods of data collection
3.6 Method of data analysis
3.7 Validity of Research Instrument
3.8 Reliability of Research Instrument






1.1 Background to the Study

Political advertising has become part of the political culture of most democracies and Nigeria as a democratic nation is not left out. Political advertising is one of the specialised areas of human communication and business. More specifically, it is an aspect of social advertising, which is part of social marketing. The component of social advertising is political advertising, social-cause advertising, philanthropic organisation advertising and private non-profit advertising. However, political advertising is a marketing function similar in intent and purpose to product marketing (Nwosu, 2012).

Gana (2012) notes that political campaigns involve canvassing for votes, which is a kind of political salesmanship. Political parties and candidates now use different media to reach their audiences, including the news media. News media is a broad term that emerged in the later part of the 20th century to encompass the amalgamation of traditional media such as film, images, music, spoken and written words, with the interactive power of computer and communications technology, computer-enabled consumer devices and most importantly, the Internet.

The importance attached to news media in the 2011 general elections was better explained by President Goodluck Jonathan decision to declare his intention to run for the highest political office in the land on facebook. Jonathan had on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 informed his 217,000 fans on the world’s most popular networking platform (facebook) of his intent; 24 hours later, 4,000 more fans joined his page, and by the day of the election, on 16 April 2011, he had over half a million followers. His closest rivals – Alhaji Mohammed Buhari of the CPC, Nuhu Ribadu of the ACN and Alhaji Shakarau of the ANPP were also among those that made heavy presence on facebook and other social media platforms.

In addition to the approximately 3 million registered Nigerians on Facebook and 60,000 on Twitter, almost every institution involved in Nigeria's elections conducted an aggressive social networking outreach, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, candidates, media houses, civil society groups and even the police (Adibe, Odoemelam and Chibuwe 2011). Apart from the presidential candidates, many governorship aspirants, senatorial and house of assembly seat contenders from the various states of the federation also embarked on aggressive use of media platforms especially the Facebook to disseminate their political messages, woo electorates and support groups towards the actualization of their goals.

In all ramifications, the 2020 Edo State gubernatorial election occurred on September 19, 2020. Incumbent PDP Governor Godwin Obaseki won re-election for a second term, defeating APC Osagie Ize-Iyamu and several minor party candidates. Obaseki received 57.3% of the vote. Godwin Obaseki emerged unopposed in the PDP gubernatorial primary after all the aspirants stepped down (Ayitogo, 2020). He picked Philip Shaibu as his running mate

Osagie Ize-Iyamu was the APC candidate with Audi Ganiyu as his running mate (Olaniyi, 2020). Mabel Oboh was the ADC candidate. Iboi Lucky Emmanuel stood in for ADP in the polls, while Osifo Uhun-Ekpenma Isaiah represented LP. 14 candidates contested in the election, 12 were male, while 2 were female. Two of the deputy governorship candidates were female (INEC, 2020).

One of the important promises of the news media is the democratisation of the creation, publishing, distribution and consumption of media content (Wikipedia, 2019). Therefore, this study focuses on the impact of news media in political advertising: a study of 2020 governorship election in Edo state.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The new media have become veritable tools for political campaigns, because they break boundaries and frontiers, reaching every part of the world. It was gathered that the general election results reveals a total of 14 candidates registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission to contest in the election (INEC, 2020). PDP Governor Godwin Obaseki won re-election for a second term, defeating APC Osagie Ize-Iyamu and several minor party candidates. Obaseki received 57.3% of the votes, while Ize-Iyamu received 41.6% (Vanguard, 2020).

The total number of registered voters in the state was 2,210,534 while 557,443 voters were accredited. Total number of votes cast was 550,242, while number of valid votes was 537,407. Rejected votes were 12,835.

The new media have consequences upon the social, political and economic values of people. New media hold out a possibility of on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as, interactive user feedback, creative participation and community formation around the media content. What distinguishes new media from traditional media is not the digitising of media content into bits, but the dynamic life of the new media content and its interactive relationship with the media consumer. This dynamic life, moves, breathes and flows with pulsing excitement in real time. It is against this backdrop therefore, that we investigate the impact of news media in political advertising: a study of 2020 governorship election in Edo state.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The objectives of the study are:

I. To assess the impact of news media in political advertising in Edo state governorship election;
II. Determining whether political parties in Nigeria recognise and use the new media for political campaigns; and
III. Finding out the factors (if any), which hinder the effective use of the new media in Edo State.

1.4 Research questions

Based on the problem and objectives of the study, the following research questions have been drawn to guide the study:

I. What is the impact of news media in political advertising in Edo state governorship election?
II. Do political parties in Nigeria recognise and make use of the new media in their political campaigns?
III. What are the factors that hinder the use of the new media for political campaigns in Edo State?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Based on the research questions above, the following research Hypothesis have been drawn to guide the study:

Hypothesis One:

H01: There is no significant impact of news media in political advertising in Edo state governorship election

Hypothesis Two:

H02: Political parties in Nigeria do not recognize and use the new media for political campaigns

Hypothesis Three:

H03: There is no significant factors that hinder the use of the new media for political campaigns in Edo State

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will review the impact of news media in political advertising: a study of 2020 governorship election in Edo state. The study will provide recommendations to policymakers that could assist in appraising the effectiveness of the news media upon the social, political and economic values of people. This study will also assist government with information that will help formulate, implement, and execute policy trajectories which can be employed to curb the level at paid political propaganda causes poor democratization.

The study will also serve as reference material for future and further works on the the impact of news media in political advertising in Nigeria and its attendant effects on the economy. It will also provide a basis for further comparative studies, in both the developed and less developed economies. The study covers the impact of news media in political advertising: a study of 2020 governorship election in Edo state. This study is limited to the Nigerian context, and the scope of the study was determined by data availability.

1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This research will provide elaborate studies on the the impact of news media in political advertising: a study of 2020 governorship election in Edo state. This study will rely on primary and secondary data that will be obtained from the latest INEC data. This research was limited by certain constraints which include difficulty in sourcing data from certain relevant organization, non-availability of data on certain variables, restrictions in accessing certain materials on the internet and insufficient financial resources for the study

Lastly, this study was also constrained by insufficient time on the part of the researcher, since attention had to be given to other course work.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Based on the study coverage below are the definition of terms:


Advertising is any communication that is paid for, directed at a target audience, through the various mass media like: radio, television, newspaper, magazine, motion pictures, Internet, etc, with the main aim of creating awareness about goods and services and also selling a candidate. Thus, advertising has to do with informing the people about the existence of something, so as to draw attention to it; it is giving of notice, so as to draw attention.

Political advertising

Political advertising is a form of marketing communication that is aimed at selling the candidate of a party to the electorate. Political parties now package their political candidates and sell to the people, so as to draw their votes. Modern politics is therefore, incomplete without political advertising. Political advertising encompasses all forms of advertising pertaining to building support for any and all political campaigns, including candidates running for office, ballot measures, political activism, etc.

News media concept

Most technologies described as "news media" are digital, often having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible and interactive. Some examples may be the Internet, websites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS and DVDs. New media does not include television programmes, feature films, magazines, books or paper-based publications, unless they contain technologies that enable digital interactivity (Wikipedia, 2019).

Political Participation

In a simple approach, political participation is citizens’ involvement in the acts, events or activities that influence the selection of and/or the actions taken by political representatives.


Election is the process of choosing leaders in a democratic process where a legitimate change of government is constitutionally allowed (Johari, 2011)


2.1 Introduction

In this chapter, relevant literatures were reviewed under the following sub-headings:

- Concept of News Media
- Concept of Political Advertising
- Social media and politics
- Political Participation
- Political Engagement
- Theoretical Framework
- Empirical Review

2.2 Concept of News Media

According to Wikipedia, (2020), the news media or news industry are forms of mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public. These include print media (newspapers, newsmagazines), broadcast news (radio and television), and more recently the Internet (online newspapers, news blogs, news videos, live news streaming, etc.).

By covering news, politics, weather, sports, entertainment, and vital events, the daily media shape the dominant cultural, social and political picture of society. Beyond the media networks, independent news sources have evolved to report on events which escape attention or underlie the major stories. In recent years, the blogosphere has taken reporting a step further, mining down to the experiences and perceptions of individual citizens.

An exponentially growing phenomenon, the blogosphere can be abuzz with news that is overlooked by the press and TV networks. Due to the rise of social media involvement in news, the most common news value has become entertainment in recent years (Harcup, 2017).

2.3 Concept of Political Advertising

According to Wiley Online Library (2020), political advertising is a form of political communication that uses the mass media to promote political candidates, parties, policy issues, and/or ideas. Advertising messages are generally controlled messages allowing for direct communication with the public and voters without interpretation or filtering by news media or other sources.

2.3.1 Social media and politics

The arrival of social media has greatly enhanced all aspects of human communication. The new technology due to the participatory, interactive and cost-effective nature has barely made everyone who can use it a mass communicator. This brings to fruition the prediction of Marshal McLuhan in 1964 that the world would someday become a “global village” where what happens in one part of the world would be known instantly and simultaneously worldwide. Today, one can stay right in his bedroom and access information, entertainment, events and enjoy full interaction with the world just by processing a button. Writing on this development, Adibe and Odoemelam (2010) observe that the new media of communication have in no small measure helped human society to be aware of each other. This agrees with the submissions of Baran (1998) that: … as the media shrink the world, people will become increasingly involved in one another’s lives, and as people come to know more about others who were hitherto separated from them by distance, they will form new beneficial relationships.

Baran’s argument is relevant to this discourse as it draws attention to what social media is doing in the area of human communication today, especially as it concerns the fostering of relations and interaction among people. In many parts of the world today, individuals, groups, organisations and even nations are taking advantage of the opportunities provided by social media and other e-media platforms to mobilise millions of people to support and advance their course. In the political sphere it has become a veritable tool for interacting and mobilising citizens towards active participation in the political process and democratic projects. This agrees with the submissions of Okoro and Dirim (2009) that it is through the media that people are able to participate freely in discussions relevant to public good.

Adelabu (2011) notes that the success of President Obama’s Presidential campaigns in 2008 and his eventual emergence as first black president of the United States was largely credited to his active use of facebook to mobilise millions of volunteers, and voters. Politics has indeed greatly evolved in recent decade with the advent of the new technology. With it, information sharing has greatly improved, allowing citizens to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions and share links. With social media, politicians reach the masses with the aim of assessing the political atmosphere even before venturing into the campaign. Social media is perhaps the best tool to assess the popularity of a candidate especially by the young people and craft the best language to use as a campaign slogan.

Social media also provides a politician with the opportunity to be informally free with the public. This free connection through social media helps politicians to communicate their humour, indicating their approachability and accessibility to the public. With social media, politicians appeal to citizens; this makes them seem more personable and gives them advantage of keeping in constant contact with their supporters. Social media grants many people the chance to participate actively and get involved fully in the political discourse by adding their voices on issues posted on the social media sites.

Thus, advancing the tenets of participatory democracy that sees media as a debate avenue and aids tremendously in actualising public-sphere journalism. It affords electorates a friendlier avenue of assessing candidates for political offices and promoting transparency in governance. The 2011 General Elections: Selected Cases of Social Media Use Since 2008 when Barack Obama broke new ground by using social media in his political campaigns in ways never seen before, many nations and politicians have continued to toe along this line. Nigeria had her first real test of social media use for political purpose during the 2011 general elections. The new technology played an unprecedented role in the April 2011 Nigerian General Elections. INEC officials had in early March 2011 welcomed the assistance of civil society volunteers with its Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as a new media situation room which received feedback from the public and later began to provide real time information and answered constituent questions. Nigerian politicians actively utilized social media in their campaigns. They sent bulk text and voice messages in unprecedented numbers.

They made massive use of facebook pages and other social media platforms to win supports and canvass for votes. President Jonathan as we mentioned earlier declared his intention to run for the presidency on Facebook and subsequently became the second most “liked” head of state in the world after US President Barack Obama ( Organisations like Enough is Enough Nigeria, ReclaimNaija, WangoNet and IamLagos established platforms enabling citizens to report election-related incidences with pictures videos, text messages and voicemail. At the same time, traditional media houses such as Channels Television, 234Next and Punch newspaper used new media to disseminate information and gather feedback from viewers. Adibe, Odoemelam and Orji (2012) further observe that during the elections in Nigeria, many Nigerians were armed with their blackberries and Twitter feeds. One of such Nigerians was Gbenga, a 33 year old IT consultant and an activist. His team had designed a smart phone application called Revoda which allowed voters to instantly upload reports of delayed voting materials and intimidating gangs at their local polling stations to their database; a daily summary was then sent to Nigerian election officials and Western observers as well as posted on their Revoda website; this allowed many people within and outside Nigeria to follow the process. Photos, pictures, details and videos from polling stations were quickly uploaded to Facebook and YouTube. Gbenga puts it succinctly: We’ve got one Blackberry Video of a policeman who was evidently drunk and intimidating people for those who want to go to court, they have got a lot of evidence (The Punch, April 17, 2010).

There was another group, “Reclaim Naija” who used text messages and e-mail reports to compile a live online map of trouble spots. There were also “Twitter activists” whose job was to look out for rigging and spread warning about bombings at polling stations. Omenugha (2011) observed that this massive use of social media culminated in the success of the election acclaimed the freest and fairest in the history of the country. Meanwhile, this disagrees with the observations of Adeyaju and Harana (2011) who believe that the technology did the nation greater harm than good as it provided avenue to disseminate provocative and inciting messages that eventually precipitated the post-election violence and tensions witnessed in many parts of the country, particularly in the north.


Excerpt out of 39 pages


Impact of news and media on political advertising. A study of 2020 governorship election in Edo State
Mass Communication
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Nigeria News Media, Political Advertising, Edo Governorship Election, News Media, Politics, World Politics, Governorship election, Nigeria
Quote paper
Ugboja Onuche Gideon (Author), 2020, Impact of news and media on political advertising. A study of 2020 governorship election in Edo State, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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