Keep Tabs On 2023 Elections, Experts Charge Researchers, Journalists

Keep Tabs On 2023 Elections, Experts Charge Researchers, Journalists

2 years ago
3 mins read

Research experts and scholars have advised journalists and Communication researchers to pay close attention to every activity regarding Nigeria’s 2023 elections with a view to analyzing the dynamics of the messages and their impacts on political, economic and social well being of the country.

The call was made by communication scholars who led discussions during the November edition of the ‘Knowledge Hub’ webinar series organised by the University of Nigeria Mass Communication Alumni Association known as The Jacksonites.

The programme, which was held on Friday, November 4, 2022, analysed  “4 Top Qualitative Research Methods,” had the Publisher of Prime Business Africa, Dr Marcel Mbamalu as chairman of the event.

‘The Knowledge Hub’ is a part of The Jacksonites Professional Development Series (JPDS), designed to rally communication professionals, academics, researchers and graduate students for knowledge exchange.

The panelists include: Dr. Karen Amaka Okigbo from University of Chicago, Victor Ayedun-Aluma of the University of Jos Nigeria; Prof. Rotimi Olatunji, Lagos State University Akoka; Dr. Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu, Bayero University, Kano; Dr. Raheemat Adeniran, Lagos State University; and Dr. Nuhu Gapsiso, University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

Dr. Okigbo who spoke on Ethnography (descriptive study of a particular human society, the people and cultures), said the research method which is apt in studying human interactions could be used in examining the Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.

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Ms Okigbo, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Pubic Policy, said the upcoming elections present vital oppotunities to analyse the dynamics of the exercise starting with the campaigns.

She urged journalists and communication researchers to use methods embedded in ethnographic research to study all activities and communications regarding the elections and be able to highlight their sociological impacts and how they affected the choices of the citizens, democratic transition and the overall political stability in the country.

Dr. Nuhu Gapsiso spoke on Focus Group Discussion (FGD) as a qualitative research method that adopts a mode of informal discussion by experts knowledgeable in an issue of interest in order to extract vital information needed to address a problem of public concern.

Gapsiso who traced the origin of FGD to the 1940s and 80s when it gained popularity, said the method which is today also applied by marketing communication researchers, is aimed at gaining deeper understanding of social issues and does not discriminate against people who cannot read or write even as it is also cost effective.

The university don while giving a general overview of the past JPD series, said they had been very robust and knowledge driven. He stressed that the webinar series would help those in academics especially postgraduate students gain more insights in thesis writing, adding that many of them had tesitified to the usefulness of the programme in their academic and professional pursuit.

Another panelist, Dr. Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu of the Department of Information and Media Studies, Bayero University, Kano, discussed in-depth interview as a qualitative research method that helps in gathering primary data, and answering questions about ‘how and why’ something occurs or exists, which are usually not captured in statistical data.

Raheemat Adeniran spoke on qualitative content analysis (study of the manifest content of communication) and the procedure for using it as a research method.

Victor Ayedun-Aluma and Prof. Rotimi Olatunji highlighted the application of historical research method in communication research.

Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Marcel Mbamalu, CEO of Newstide Publications Limited, publishers of Prime Business Africa, said the monthly webinar has attracted diverse interests, as reflected in the geographical spread, professional and demographic backgrounds of registered participants.

“These monthly webinars have now taken on a life of their own, as evident in the people who registered for today’s event. When I checked the list last night (Thursday night), there were more than 150 registrants from diverse fields that include Accounting, Agriculture, Consulting, Education, Film Making, Government PR, Medicine, and Software Engineering. I also saw people from Cameroun, Ghana, and the USA, among other countries. Some are teachers; others are students. Yet, others are consultants, physicians, government officials, and CEOs,” Dr. Mbamalu stated.

The media scholar and entrepreneur, who is also a Fellow of the United States’ East West Center (EWC), gave a rundown of the topics treated in past webinars in the last six months as (1) Strategic Fundraising and Capital Campaigns, (2) Action Research, (3) Mixed Methods Research Approaches, (4) Qualitative Methods, and (5) Quantitative Methods.

The former Editor at The Guardian, Nigeria, emphasised  the central theme of Friday’s edition of the JPDS webinar – Qualitative Research –  as being vital for emerging scholars as Nigeria goes into the 2023 elections.

“As Nigeria embarks on a historic political transition and election campaign, all the qualitative research methods that will be discussed today will be found useful by researchers, journalists, political party stalwarts, and members of the public,” Mbamalu stressed, adding that it one way the Jacksonite Alumni contributes to the “promotion of an evolving democratic culture,” in the country.

Dr. Mbamalu noted that research begins with asking right questions and finding answers for solutions to problems, adding that the webinars would continue to offer vital topics that address the academic and professional needs of people as long as there are participants who find them useful for their studies, teaching and professional practice.

The wbeniar was moderated by Dr. Chuks Enwerem of the National Open University, Abuja.

A PG student of Mass Communication, UNN, Ogochukwu Ogobe thanked the panelists for making insightful presentations to enrich their knowledge of research.

She also thanked the moderator, Dr. Enwerem and the organisers, Professor Chinedu Mba of Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada, (who is chairman of the Jacksonite Professional Development Series Steering Committee), Prof. Charles Okigbo of North Dakota State University, USA.

The group informed participants that the next webinar, scheduled for  Friday, December 2, 2022, would focus on  ‘Top Five Quantitative Methods’ as Nigeria prepares for the 2023 elections.


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