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MEDIA REPORTING, VOTING BEHAVIOUR AND LEADERSHIP ASCENDANCY DURING 2011 AND 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA

POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS

ABSTRACT
It is globally accepted that media reporting, to a great extent, influences voters perception of given candidates for public office. The adoption of propaganda in electioneering campaigns including use of hate speeches could make or mar the chances of presidential candidates at leadership ascendancy. Inspite of existing laws regulating reporting of political events, there was massive use of hate speeches and propaganda ahead of the presidential elections of 2011 and 2015 in Nigeria, which led to electoral violence. The study examined media reporting and the nature of its influence on voting behaviour and leadership ascendancy during the said presidential elections.
This study employed survey research design. The study population consisted 160 million, using the 2006 census. Multi stage sampling technique was used in the process of selection. Six states, one from each geopolitical zone (Abia, Bauchi, Kaduna, Lagos, Plateau, Rivers), were purposively selected, with a total population of 30,954,672, (being states that recorded electoral violence cases). Using Yamane’s formula, a sample size of 2,169 was determined. Snowball sampling technique was used in selecting the interviewees; namely, six senators one each from the geopolitical zones, six reporters, and three correspondents from Television houses. The instruments used for data collection werevalidated questionnaireand interview guide. The Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients for the constructs ranged from 0.724 to 0.819.The response rate was 93%. Data from the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Data from front pages of 6 national newspapers were content-analysed. Data from personal interviews were analysed according to themes.
The findings showed that media reporting had a significant influence on voting behaviour (R2 = 0.388, F(1,2014) = 1274.872; p < 0.05); and on leadership ascendancy (R2 = 0.478, F(1,2014) = 1274.872; p < 0.05). Moreover it was revealed that positive and significant relationships existed between voting behaviour and leadership ascendancy (r = 0.693; p < 0.05). Media reporting and voting behaviour had a significant influence on leadership ascendancy (Adj.R2 = 0.590, F(2,2013)= 1450.562; p < 0.05,). Television was the main media source used that influenced voting behaviour. Other extraneous factors such as monetary inducement, ethnic and religious affiliation, opinion of community leaders, godfatherism, and personal benefits influenced voters’ choice of leadership in 2011 and 2015.
The study concluded that media reporting of party propaganda, hate speeches, and programme promises, influenced voters choice of candidates, thereby determining leadership ascendancy in both 2011 and 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria. It was recommended that the National Broadcasting Commission and Nigerian Press Council should strictly implement the Electoral Act 2010 No. 6 Section 99-102; on media houses that engage in reporting hate speeches and propaganda. In addition, Independent National Electoral Commission should engage in massive political education programmes to promote peaceful conduct of elections.
Keywords: Media reporting, Voting behaviour, Leadership ascendancy, Presidential elections,
Media ownership.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Content Page
Title Page i
Certification ii
Dedication iii
Acknowledgements iv
Abstract vi
Table of Contents vii
List of Tables xi
List of Figures xiii
Appendices xiv
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 5
1.3 Objective of Study 6
1.4 Research Questions 7
1.5 Hypotheses 8
1.6 Significance of the Study 8
1.7 Scope of the Study 8
1.8Operational Definition of Terms 9
1.9 Chapter Outline 10
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEWOF LITERATURE
2.0 Introduction 11
2.1 Media and Elections 11
2.1.1 Political Advertising in the Media 21
2.1.2 Media coverage of Elections in Nigeria 23
2.2 Media Coverage of party Presidential Primaries 25
2.2.1 Media coverage of general Presidential elections 27
2.2.3 Media Reporting and Voting Behaviour 33
2.3.1.Media Ownership and Reporting 43
2.4 Leadership Ascendancy and Media Reporting 46
2.5 Media and Women in Leadership 47
2.6 Voting Behaviour and Leadership Ascendancy 49
2.7 Gaps in Literature 51
2.8 Theoretical Framework 53
2.8.1 Agenda Setting Theory 54
2.8.2 Public Choice Theory 55
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.0Introduction 58
3.1 Research Design 58
3.2 Population 59
3.3 Samplesize and sampling Technique 59
3.4 Method of Data Collection 61
3.5 Sources of Data 61
3.6 Research Instrument 62
3.7 Test of reliability of the research Instrument 62
3.8 Administration of Research Instrument 63
3.9 Method of Data Analysis 63
3.10 Ethical Considerations 63
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND
DISCUSSSION OF FINDINGS
4.0 Introduction 64
4.1 Questionnaire Administration 64
4.2 Selected Demographic Characteristics 65
4.3 Demographic Characteristics 69
Content Page
4.4 Data Analysis on Respondents Perception of Media Sources 75
4.5 Data Analysis to Answer Research Questions 82
4.5.1 Media reporting influence on voting behaviour in Nigeria during the presidential
elections of 2011 and 2015 82
4.6.1: Discussion of findings on Research Question one: How did media reporting
influencevoting behaviour in Nigeria during the presidential elections of
2011 and 2015? 83
4.6.2 Media reporting influence on leadership ascendancy 85
4.6.3 Nature of influence that media reporting had on leadership ascendancy in
Nigeria during the 2011 and 2015 presidential elections 88
4.6.4 Composite effect of media reporting to voting behaviour on leadership
ascendancy in the 2011 and 2015 presidential elections 92
4.6.5 Manner, trend and language of the frequency of newspaper and television
reporting of Presidential elections of the period under study. 95
4.7Test of Research Hypotheses 101
4.7.1 Hypothesis 1 101
4.7.2 Hypothesis 2 103
4.7.3 Hypothesis 3 106
4.7.4 Hypothesis 4 107
CHAPTER FIVE: CONTENT ANALYSIS OF NEWSPAPER
REPORTS AND INTERVIEW RESPONSES
5.1 Content Analysis of Newspaper Front Page Reports 111

CHAPTER SIX: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND Page
RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 Summary 132
6.2 Conclusion 134
6.3 Recommendations 135
6.4Contributionto Knowledge 136
6.5 Suggestions for Further Studies 137
References 138
Appendices 157

LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
2.2.1 List of Parties, Presidential Candidates and their Running Mates 26
3.3.1 Questionnaire Administration 59
3.7.1 Reliability Statistics 62
3.7.2 Cronbach’s Alpha Table 63
4.1.1 Data for analysis 64
4.2.1 Selected Demographic Characteristics (Lagos, Bauchi and Rivers States) 65
4.2.2 Selected Demographic Characteristics (Kaduna, Plateau and Abia States) 67
4.3.1: Respondents’ Demographic Characteristics 70
4.4.1 Respondents’ Perception on Media Sources 76
4.4.2 Respondents who voted during the 2011 presidential election 79
4.4.3 Reasons which stopped respondents from voting 79
4.4.4 Respondents who voted during the 2015 presidential election 80
4.4.5 Reasons which stopped respondents from voting 80
4.5.1: Media Reporting and Voting Behaviour 82
4.6.2: Media Reporting and Leadership Ascendancy 85
4.6.3: Nature of Influence Media Reporting and Leadership Ascendancy 88
4.6.4: Composite Effect of Media Reporting to Voting Behaviour and Leadership
Ascendancy 92
4.6.5a: Manner, and trend of the frequency of television reporting of Presidential
elections of the period under study 2011 and 2015 95
4.6.5b: Major factor considered to have had great influence on the behaviour of
voters in 2011 presidential elections. 99
4.6.5c: Major factor considered to have had great influence on the behaviour of
voters in 2015 presidential elections 100
4.7.1a: Model Summary 101
4.7.1b: ANOVAa 101
4.7.1c: Coefficientsa 102
4.7.1d Summary of evaluation statistics of simple regression analysis between Media
And Voting Behaviour 102
4.7.2a: Model Summary103
4.7.2b: ANOVAa104
4.7.2c: Coefficientsa104
4.7.2d: Summary of evaluation statistics of simple regression analysis between Media
Reporting and Leadership Ascendancy 105
4.7.3: Correlations 106
4.7.4a: Model Summary 107
4.7.4b: ANOVAa 107
4.7.4c: Coefficientsa 108
4.7.4d: Summary of evaluation statistics of multiple regression analysis between
media reporting, voters’ behaviour and leadership ascendancy 108
5.1.1: Hate Speeches/Insults 114
5.1.2: Promises 115
5.1.3:Threats and Propaganda 116
5.1.4: Campaigns 117
5.1.5 APC/Buhari Prominence 119
5.1.6: PDP and Jonathan Prominence 120
5.1.7: Ethnic Interest 122
5.1.8: Religious Interests 123
5.1.9: Fights/Explosions 125
5.1.10: INEC Reports 126
5.1.11: Comprehensive Summary of Data obtained from Newspapers 129

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page
1: Selected Demographic Characteristics (Lagos, Bauchi and Rivers States) 66
2: Selected Demographic Characteristics (Kaduna, Plateau and Abia States) 68
3: Respondents Combined Demographic Characteristics by Gender 72
4: Respondents Combined Demographic Characteristics by Age 72
5: Respondents Combined Demographic Characteristics by Highest
Educational Qualification 73
6: Respondents Combined Demographic Characteristics by Religious
Affiliation 73
7: Respondents Combined Demographic Characteristics by Profession 74
8: Respondents Combined Demographic Characteristics by Ethnicity 74
9: Respondents Combined Demographic Characteristics by Registered
Voters 75
10: Hate Speeches/Insults 114
11: Promises 115
12: Threats and Propaganda 116
13: Campaigns 118
14: APC/Buhari Prominence 119
15: PDP AND Jonathan Prominence 121
16: Ethnic Interests 122
17: Religious Interest 124
18: Fights/Explosions 125
19: INEC 127

APPENDICES
Appendix
I. Informed Consent Form
II. Questionnaire
III. Interview Guide
IV. A Request of Audience for a Personal Academic Interview
V. Interview Guide for National Assembly and Press
VI. List of Interviewees
VII. Pictorial View of Interview Sessions In National Assembly

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
Media reporting of events and issues in Nigeria has advanced significantly within the upsurges of the country’s politics, especially in her processes of elections. Yet, there seems to be a growing concern on the influence of media reporting in the past presidential elections and more critically in the 2011 and 2015 presidential elections. A cursory look at the influence exerted by media reporting around the world in presidential election processes, strains the importance of studying the influence of media reporting in aforementioned subject in Nigeria. Media refers to any means of transmitting information which is done through the various forms, devices, and systems that make up mass communications considered as a whole, including newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television channels, and the internet. Media reporting therefore is the use of these medium to present news or report events or issues (Danesi, 2009).
Media reporting is not done in a vacuum, it makes use of linguistic which makes reporting effective and significant (Allan, 2015) The phonology in writing or broadcasting an event or an issue has much to do with the understanding or misunderstanding of the event or issue being reported. Again, the approach or the attitude in which the written event or broadcast is being released to the masses affect their understanding of the information passed to them. This in turn brings to fore the intended goal of the media in their report of such events and issues under discussion. This can be summed up to be news framing. McQuail (2010) agrees that framing may activate certain inferences, ideas, judgments and contrast concerned issues, policies and politicians. The slant may dictate what readers may likely perceive and how voters may behave after such perception from the media towards making a political choice.
Voting behaviour therefore is a political behaviour of choice or preference based on the information available to the voter (Zahida & Younis, 2014). The plan of the media is always to sway the masses opinion on a particular issue to achieve a specific result. No difference is found when it comes to the matter of politics and the influence language of media reporting approach or attitude of report exert on voting behaviour. The influence of media on voters and their conviction towards any candidate as has been sold to them by the media produces leadership.

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