New Media and Political Advertising in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges
This paper examines the new media as a tool for political advertising in Nigeria vis- a-vis, the challenges and prospects. The new media, especially the Internet and Global System for Mobile Telecommunication (GSM) have become important political campaign tools in Nigeria and the world over. This paper is guided by the fact that the new media have become so important in the dissemination of political activities. Thus, the study aims at finding out the relevance of the new media and the prospects/ challenges. We adopted the survey research method, employing the questionnaire as an instrument of data collection. Two hundred copies of questionnaires were administered to the respondents, to elicit their opinions concerning the prospects and challenges of the new media as a tool for political advertising. Two theories were chosen to provide the theoretical framework for the study. The theories are technological determinism theory and the agenda setting theory. Findings from the questionnaire administered to the two hundred respondents show that the political parties in Nigeria recognise and make use of the new media for carrying out their political activities, but this they do occasionally. Findings show that there are prospects and challenges of new media as a tool for political advertising in Nigeria. One of the prospects is that the new media can reach a very broad audience while one of the challenges is that the ability to constantly deliver messages via the new media is difficult. Based on the findings, the paper concludes that the extent to which the political parties in Nigeria use the new media is minimal and therefore, recommends that political parties in Nigeria should give due attention to the use of the new media for the dissemination of political activities.
Key Words: Advertising, Political Advertising, Communication and the New Media