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Language Policy and Planning in the Broadcast Media of a Multilingual Context: A Case Study of Kogi State, Nigeria

Obukadeta, Funmilayo Modupe (2019) Language Policy and Planning in the Broadcast Media of a Multilingual Context: A Case Study of Kogi State, Nigeria. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Studies on language policies and planning in Nigeria have mostly focused on education while the broadcast media domain has received very little attention. This situation may be attributed to the fact that unlike in the educational sector where there is an explicit and substantially detailed structure of language policy and planning, there is no such thing in the Nigerian broadcasting media. Yet the Nigerian broadcast media has a complex task of deciding which languages to use for communicating information to a vast multilingual audience. This study addresses this gap in the literature by examining the language practice of four public broadcast stations consisting of two television stations and two radio stations. A wide range of interviews were carried out with relevant staff members who have a range of different functions at these broadcast stations. Data was also collected from official documents and programming records. My iterative process of data analysis informed by Grounded Theory Method produced two broad interesting findings. First, the data analysis reveals that although the broadcast stations claim they have no language policy, I argue for the existence of a de facto macro language policy in the Nigerian broadcast media which is being interpreted and implemented at the local broadcast stations in various ways. Secondly, the analysis of the language use in these broadcast stations demonstrates that English occupies a dominant position. Ample evidence from the analysis of the interview data collected and the stations’ programme schedules show how the dominance of English is being perpetuated in the stations through standardisation and commercialisation mechanisms. Although the stations have a multilingual framework by using some indigenous languages in their broadcast, this study reveals that these languages are under-utilised and there is generally very little will to increase their use. This study also shows that the Nigerian Pidgin English is gaining force as a proxy for the indigenous languages in the broadcast media. The study ends by advocating the need for an explicit language policy that will recognise and promote the use of indigenous languages in the stations as well as securing a decent airtime slot for indigenous language programming. By so doing, the general audience will not be excluded from the public space irrespective of their knowledge of English and/or Nigerian Pidgin English as a lingua franca. Finally, this study is the first of its kind to situate the language practices in the Nigerian broadcast media in the language policy and planning field.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Language Policy and Planning in Nigeria, Grounded Theory, Language Practice, Kogi State Broadcast Media.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.789516
Depositing User: Mrs Funmilayo Modupe Obukadeta
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 11:10
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2020 10:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24024

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