Monday, 14 August 2017

Four (4) Reasons Why the Media Must Set Agenda for the Society

INTRO: The influence of the media on the perception of the people on public issues is empirically verifiable, and well-documented. As far back as 1922, Walter Lippman, a newspaper columnist was concerned that the media had the power to present images to the public. Little wonder why Bernard Cohen in 1963 observed that the press "may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.” The empirical confirmation of the truism of the Lippman’s 1922 position came only in 1968 when during the Chapel Hill Study, published in Public Opinion Quarterly, Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw studied the 1968 American presidential election and demonstrated a strong correlation coefficient (r > .9) between what 100 residents of Chapel Hill, North Carolina thought was the most important election issue and what the local and national news media reported was the most important issue. That study promoted the agenda setting theory of mass communication. Although, affirming the effectiveness of the agenda setting function of the mass media, the agenda setting theory of Mass Communication argues that media agenda does not reflect the reality. This however does not mean that media agenda setting in the society is dysfunctional. The mass media agenda setting function is important due to the following reasons:
1.     Agenda-Setting Molds Public Opinion for Policy Process: The strong correlation between mass media priority issue and public opinion has been verified in the Chapel Hill study of 1968 by the duo of McCombs and Shaw. This is why it is not uncommon to hear people say something like, “it is true, I heard/read it in the news.” By nature, people are followers, and this is manifested as bandwagon. Armed with the rare capability of reaching large number of audience simultaneously, the mass media have been able to exploit the bandwagon tendency of people in molding public opinion. Given the strategic importance of public opinion in policy formulation and implementation, agenda setting function of the mass media therefore helps to chart the waters for policy formulators to the overall betterment of the society.   
2.     Agenda-Setting Helps in Maintenance of Law and Order: Media content disseminated to the society are sieved and filtered through the process of media gatekeeping, bearing in mind among other things the maintenance of law and order in the society. In this manner, the media trivialize volatile issues or fundamentally doctor the content for law and order.
3.     Agenda-Setting Helps in Promotion of Democracy: The media in its agenda setting function have promoted democracy with several fronts of propaganda. Thus, scholars seem to have reached a common consensus that recognizes mass media’s critical role in democratization (Hall & O’Neil, 1998; Hyden & Okigbo, 2002; Jakubowicz, 2002; Pasek, 2006). Agenda setting function of the media tells the populace about current events, educates the electorates for meaningful contribution on public issues, and inspires participation which is the hallmark of democracy.
4.     Agenda-Setting Helps in Policing against Abuses: Be it in the political power box or in the streets, the media eye-of-god surveillance polices abuses. The simple knowledge that the media are out there and very ready to make a mountain out of a mere hill of an abuse has served as a deterrence to political, social, economic and or religious abuses. Agenda setting function of the media may not truly reflect the reality but it has achieved a noble feat in getting popular attention against heinous crimes and abuses in the society.   

References
Hall, R. A., & O’Neil, P. H. (1998). Institutions, transitions, and the media: A comparison of Hungary and Romania. In P. O’Neil (Ed.), Communicating democracy: The media and political transitions (pp. 125–146). London, UK: Lynne Rienner.
Hyden, G., & Okigbo, C. (2002). The media and the two waves of democracy. In G. Hyden, M. Leslie, & F. F. Ogundimu (Eds.), Media and democracy in Africa (pp. 29–53). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction
Jakubowicz, K. (2002). Media in transition: The case of Poland. In M. E. Price, B. Rozumilowicz, & S. G. Verhulst (Eds.), Media reform: Democratizing the media, democratizing the state (pp. 203–231). New York, NY: Routledge.
Pasek, J. (2006, August). Fueling or following democracy? Analyzing the role of media liberalization in democratic transition. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Conference, Philadelphia, August 30–September 3.


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Six (6) Moral and Medical Reasons Why Abortion Should Never be Chosen


INTRO: Abortion has been defined as the accidental or deliberate destruction of pregnancy before the birth is due. Several reasons have been floated in support of abortion; most of them are medical while others are social. Some of the reasons for abortion include: Abnormal progress of pregnancies, fetal abnormalities, maternal medical conditions, unwillingness to be a single mother, pregnancy resulting from rape, child abuse or incest, etc. The one million dollar question here is, are the reasons reasonable? The answer is negative and monosyllabic. Deliberate abortions can never be justified judging from the moral and medical reasons listed below:
11. Abortion is an Act of Murder: It has been proved that right from fertilization, life has started in a typical foetus in the womb. Destroying the foetus by implication is assassination. The Fifth Commandment we all know is quite vocal on this: “Thou shall not kill.” As an abortionist, there is no difference between you and a convicted murderer. Yours is even the worse because you roam the streets instead of prison yards having killed a weakling that cannot be able to sue you. Abortionists should please, fear God.
22. Abortion is Against the Golden Rule: The Golden Rule establishes that you should do unto others as you would like to have them do unto you. I wouldn’t want to remind you that you were once in the womb and nobody killed you, and now why should you decide to kill? Even as an adult now, I am sure as hell that you don’t even want to die; that is the more reason you should not kill. Abortion by every scale of measurement is against natural justice, equity and good conscience. You are not even justified for abortion even if the doctor says your life is at stake. Is the doctor God? Aren’t you not going to die for the love of your child?
33. Abortion Could Lead to Death: It will be the greatest joke of the year if for instance, an abortion is committed to “save” the life of the abortionist and then the abortionist dies. Satan I bet will give such a person a very warm welcome befitting a serial murderer (having killed the baby and herself) into hell fire. Cases abound where abortions went awry. You may not be able to predict your fate; therefore, forebear from abortion.
44. Abortion Causes Infertility: This is not surprising. If abortion pills or injection could be able to destroy a foetus, the damage that it could at the same time inflict on the womb is better imagined than described. The choice of abortion can obliterate your dream of future conception permanently, leaving you with all the attendant social humiliation that follow barrenness. Kindly play on the side of caution.
55. Abortion Leads to Depression, Regret and Substance Abuse: Regrets and depression that follow abortion are fertile breeding grounds for substance abuse in the attempt to let bygone be bygone. The sad truth is that he who murders sleep can sleep no more. Futile efforts to shake off the guilt of abortion could worsen the substance abuse, pushing the person to the cliff of insanity.
66. Abortion Makes One Unworthy of God’s Blessings: By abortion, one treats God’s blessing as a curse. Misfortunes, accidents, and other similar ill-fates have hit known abortionists. I bet that you don’t doubt the reality of Karma. Come to think of it, while couples jostle for adoption, you are considering abortion. Kindly have a rethink.      


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Three (3) Simple Reasons for Proving the Existence of God


INTRO: God is a spirit. Nobody has seen him face to face. This has cast doubt about His existence in the minds of the people. Some people that believed, later began to falter in their belief in the existence of God because of their various life experience. I was once among the latter group until recently when I found reasons that proved the existence of God to me. They are as follows:

1) Duality of Life: I observed our world and found out that there were two sides of virtually everything in it - day and night, black and white, man and woman, birth and death, good and bad, and now, God and Satan. Majority of the people that don't believe in God, believe in the reality of Satan because they see magicians for instance employing satanic powers in a broad day light to pull their stunts, and evil ones using it to destroy their targets at will. Going by the duality of life, at the polar opposite of the satanic powers sits the power of God; therefore, there is God.

2) Orderliness of the Universe: The universe is too orderly for coincidence. It is by providence. The Solar System, Galaxies, Nabulae, time and seasons, etc follow a very consistent pattern. In their nature, they profess the existence of a supernatural intelligent being as a designer. The designer is God.

3) Hierarchism: This argument focuses on ranking. In every sphere of life, there are ranks. Equality is utopian. Even in the "Animal Farm," it was later discovered that though all animals were equal, some were more equal than others. We are therefore living in the world of ranks: Good - better - best; powerful - more powerful - most powerful; etc. In the ranks of beings (human and spiritual), at the top of the triangle is a being, and the being is God.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Six (6) Reasons for High Unemployment Rate in Nigeria


INTRO: Unemployment has been a recurrent issue in the Nigerian economic discussion due to the alarming percentage of the unemployed in the country. Report by the Bureau of Statistics has it that 38% of the population of Nigeria that falls within the employable age are unemployed and 65% of Nigerian youth face unemployment as at September 2016. Simply put, unemployment could be seen as the  condition of people who are without jobs. It is what exists when members of the labour force are fit and wish to work but cannot get jobs.

Unemployment has different forms such as Frictional Unemployment (a short period between ones old job and the new one), Structural Unemployment ( a mismatch between skill and vacancy), Cyclical/Seasonal Unemployment (employment pattern that follows the rise and fall in demand and supply of the products and services of the recruiting industries due to season or economic dynamics), Technological Unemployment (replacing men with machines), and Chronic Unemployment (a long term unemployment). Nigeria suffers from chronic unemployment, and several reasons such as below are responsible for the ugly condition:

1) Corruption: This is a canker-worm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of Nigeria's status as a country because it frustrates the country from meeting its litany of responsibilities to the citizenry. Described as the use of public office for private gains, corruption has been rocking the Nigeria's ship of progress right from the colonial days. It involves giving and taking of bribes, siphoning of public treasury and violation of due process. Corruption accounts for an army of problems facing Nigeria today including unemployment. It has carted away public funds that could have been used to build industries for job and wealth creation. One out of the huge list of corruption cases in Nigeria was the missing $20 billion at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as revealed by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi Lamido.

2) Overpopulation: The rate of population growth in Nigeria is faster than the resources can provide for. The situation has been described as an elephant in a room. According to reports in Nigeria Health Watch, in 2015, the estimated number of people in Nigeria had grown to 182.2 million, a 300% increase in 56 years. Nigeria is estimated to be the third most populous country in the world by 2050 with a population of 399 million people. Absorbing the gargantuan and still counting population in a meaningful employment in order to achieve full employment level of unemployment is more or less impossible.

3) Monocultural Economy: Since Oil Boom, the oil sector of Nigeria's economy accounted for the 95% of the country's export earnings and 70% of the government's revenue. By implication, other productive sectors of the economy are left behind in mad chase of petro-dollar which ties the fate of the country firmly to the vagaries of the international oil market. Among other things, the resultant unemployment situation arising from the repudiation of other productive sectors of the economy due to Oil Boom in Nigeria has pushed scholars and analysts to describe the Oil Boom as a doom.

4) Poor System of Education: The design of Nigeria's educational system is largely theoretical than practical for skill acquisition; less qualified teachers are recruited due to corruption, and worst still is the lack of facilities for teaching and learning. This kangaroo system has consistently produced "half-baked" graduates with little or no skill to offer the society, but to end up roaming the streets not only as unemployed but also as unemployable.

5) Energy Problem: Power supply in Nigeria has been said to be more epileptic than epilepsy itself. Often times, it is doesn't show up at all talkless of being epileptic. This ugly condition has dissuaded industrialization, and by extension, employment generation. Few brave industries that weather the storm do so at very high cost which often makes them to downsize the labour in order to cut cost.

6) Orientation of the Society: The society has been keyed to believe that the road to success is getting education and then, white collar job. Going by this, graduates don't see opportunities in other places other than in "clean shirt" job positions. None of the graduates wants to be a farmer even when it is said that wealth is created from nature; an artisan even when it is known that  there is dignity in labour; or a small and medium scale merchant even when it is known as a gold mine.

Six (6) Unusual Reasons Your Adsense Application is Repeatedly Denied Approval


INTRO:  Google Adsense in one of the easiest ways to make money online, but it is often times difficult to secure approval for the programme. Google has in place a lot of conditionalities which a publisher must meet in order to join the community. Those conditionalities are the Google Adsense Terms and Conditions, and Programme Policies. Very popular among the publishers, they range from laws against piracy, through morally questionable contents to unethical traffic sources. But it surprises many publishers that after painstaking efforts in observing the rules, Google still deny them permission into Google Ads publishing community. From careful study and frustrating experience, we have been able to identify "unusual" reasons for the rejection of Google Adsense application as listed below:

1) The Use of Google Sample Templates: I found this out by experience. I had made conscious efforts in observing Google Adsense Programme Policies, but I did not know that using the sample templates on Blogger runs foul to the Policy on Design in the Programme Policies. I made all the designs possible on the sample template but little did I know that Google was not impressed. They kept giving me one reason or another for the rejection but did not specifically mention "the sample template." I scaled through the hurdle when I noticed a blog that looked quite professional while it still ran on Blogspot. I checked online on how to look like that and I found different beautiful free blog templates (from New Blogger Themes) which I quickly learnt how to upload and edit (I have knack for technicalities). I then reapplied and Google promptly accepted my website. They indeed need a professional looking website worthy of their ad banners.

2) Absence of Popular Posts Widget on Your Website: You may not believe this but it is true. Google looks out for this widget as a feature of your website. They will scarcely give your application an approval without the widget. Popular Posts widget makes google job of checking your website for policy compliance simple. This widget will chronicle the most viewed posts on your website. You will agree with me that sex-related posts are often popular and will top the list of popular posts on your website. Google will find out the nature of the content on your website at a glance just by looking at the widget. Experience taught me a lot.

3) Presence of Elipsis in Words Written in the Blog:  Elipsis is a mark or series of marks ( ... or * * * , for example) says thefreedictionary.com, used in writing or printing to indicate an omission, especially of letters or words. Elipsis is mostly employed not necessarily for economy of space but for respecting the sensibility of the reader. That is why it is common to see something like f**k, s3x, p*n!s, etc in many blog contents. Google hates them. The caveat is, if you can't say it, don't write it.

4) Absence of Sitemap: Websites without map can hardly be granted an Adsense approval. Sitemap is not that you should be a cartographer, no, it is the act making all the content of your website reachable from a link on your homepage. It is called "Navigation." Google needs it for a better user experience. You can use Pages or Labels widgets on Blogger to achieve this if you operate on the platform.

5) Absence of the Blogger's Brief Information: Google needs the blogger to tell the audience about his or herself in order to solve trust issues. The blogger is required to publish his name, picture and contact such as email address. In other words, the blogger must not be faceless. The "About Me" widget on Blogger solves this issue for those on the platform.

6) Absence of Website Policies: These include the Disclaimer, and Privacy/Cookies Policies. Your website must feature these policies for it to be approved for Adsense. Your reader must be intimated on how the data you collect about them are utilized; and how much the responsibility you pledge to undertake in their use of your website. Google is interested in those policies not just because you are their partner but also because they are interested in protecting the citizens of the cyberworld. Furthermore, it should be remembered that Google has been embroiled in controversy over the use of cookies which assists their ads service. Google expects all their partners to make it brazen that they use cookies and the user could choose to accept, or decline by not visiting the website. You don't need an attorney or special skill to write this policies. You can copy it online and make amends where necessary to fit your website.