APPRAISAL OF THE QUALITY OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION DURING 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS
1.1 Background of the Study
Political Communication is a sub-field of political science and communication that deals with the production, dissemination, procession and effects of information, both through media and interpersonally, within a political context. This includes the study of the media, the analysis of speeches by politicians and those that are trying to influence the political process, and formal and informal conversations among members of the public, among other aspects. The media acts as bridge between government and public. The study and practice of political communication focuses on the ways and means of expression of a political nature. Robert E. Denton and Gary C. Woodward, two important contributors to the field, in Political Communication in America characterize it as the ways and intentions of message senders to influence the political environment. This includes public discussion (e.g. political speeches, news media coverage, and ordinary citizens' talk) that considers who has authority to sanction, the allocation of public resources, who has authority to make decision, as well as social meaning like what makes someone American. In their words "the crucial factor that makes communication 'political' is not the source of a message, but its content and purpose." David L. Swanson and Dan Nimmo, also key members of this sub-discipline, define political communication as "the strategic use of communication to influence public knowledge, beliefs, and action on political matters." They emphasize the strategic nature of political communication, highlighting the role of persuasion in political discourse. Brian McNair provides a similar definition when he writes that political communication is "purposeful communication about politics." For McNair this means that this not only covers verbal or written statements, but also visual representations such as dress, make-up, hairstyle or logo design. With other words, it also includes all those aspects that develop a "political identity" or "image". Reflecting on the relationship between political communication and contemporary agenda-building, Vian Bakir defines Strategic Political Communication (SPC) as comprising 'political communication that is manipulative in intent, that utilises social scientific techniques and heuristic devices to understand human motivation, human behavior and the media environment, to inform effectively what should be communicated – encompassing its detail and overall direction – and what should be withheld, with the aim of taking into account and influencing public opinion, and creating strategic alliances and an enabling environment for government policies – both at home and abroad'.
There are many academic departments and schools around the world that specialize in political communication. These programs are housed in programs of communication, journalism and political science, among others. The study of political communication is clearly interdisciplinary.
Political communications is an interactive process concerning the transmission of information among politicians, the news media and the public. The process operates down-wards from governing institutions towards citizens, horizontally in linkages among political actors, and also upwards from public opinion towards authorities.
1.2 Statement of problem
During the 2015 governorship election in Enugu State, as in other parts of Nigeria, politicians made all manner promises to the general public which they used to sell their parties and the candidates on their platforms. That advertising was delivered does not necessarily mean that it was received, nor does it imply that it was understood and accepted as truthful, such that it actually influenced the behaviour of the electorate in Enugu State during the governorship election. Or were there intervening variables in the communication process? It is in the light of the above that the study decided to investigate the quality of political communication during 2015 general elections.
1.3 Objective of the study
This research work titled “appraisal of the quality of political communication during 2015 general elections” The objectives of this research work includes the following;
1. To appraise the quality of political communication during the 2015 election in Nigeria.
2. To examine the impact of political communication on the success of 2015 election.
3. To evaluate the impact of political communication on the development of Nigeria.
4. To examine the challenges faced by Nigerian 2015 election.
1.4 Research questions
1. What is the quality of political communication during the 2015 election in Nigeria?
2. Does political communication have any impact on the success of 2015 election?
3. What are the impacts of political communication on the development of Nigeria?
4. What are the challenges faced by Nigerian 2015 election.
1.6 Significance of the study
This research work will be of immense help to the following group of individuals;
This research work will be of immense help to the researcher as it will help him to know more on the quality of political communication during the 2015 election in Nigeria.
This study will also be of great importance to politicians in the country as it will enrich their knowledge on the quality of political communication during the 2015 election in Nigeria.
This study will be of great importance to students and other researchers since it will serve as a reference point for the upcoming researchers.
This research work will also be of immense help to the general public as it will help the policy makers to enact laws that will guide the quality of political communication in Nigeria.