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‘We are aware but not prepared’: Broadcast journalists’ perception of challenges and benefits of digitization of broadcasting in Oyo State, Nigeria

Oyindamola Omotolani Akinola-Badmus
Babatunde Raphael Ojebuyi


Nigeria is among the African nations expected to migrate to digital transmission by 2020 as proposed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Existing media and communication studies have focused on the benefits and challenges of the digital migration process. However, scanty scholarly attention has been paid to the levels of awareness of, and preparedness for, digitization of broadcasting among broadcasters in Nigeria especially in Ibadan, Oyo State, being the host to the first television station in Africa. Driven by the Technological Determinism and Diffusion  of Innovation theories as the framework, the study employed survey and in-depth interviews as the research methods to examine broadcast journalists’ levels of awareness, readiness for, and perception of, the challenges and benefits of digital switchover. A total of 300 copies of the  questionnaire were administered to broadcasters (208 were returned in usable form and constitute the basis of analysis and discussion in the study) who were purposively and conveniently selected from ten broadcast stations in Ibadan. An Administrator from the National Broadcasting Commission Abuja and one Administrator each from the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State and Diamond FM, Ibadan were purposively selected as interview participants. Findings show that most broadcasters (57.7%) were aware of the digital switchover. However, 49.0% of the broadcasters  confirmed that they were not adequately prepared for digital transition. Moreover, the broadcast journalists confirmed that, apart from skills, costs of content creation and procurement of digital technologies required by digital broadcast were the major impediments to digital switchover while they identified job creation, more revenue generation, richer contents, stronger bandwidths, and enhanced patronage as the benefits of digital broadcast. Relevant government agencies in charge of digital switchover in Nigeria should, through training and equipment procurement, motivate and empower broadcasters and broadcast stations to prepare them for a successful digital switchover.

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eISSN: 2449-1179
print ISSN: 2006-1838