JMC students’ participation in the production of the chariot radio and the chariot newspaper

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Journalism and Mass Communication
Project ID
International: $20
No of pages
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
 MS Word & PDF

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In this study, an attempt was made to examine JMC STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE CHARIOT NEWSPAPER AND THE CHARIOT RADIO. Questionnaires were administered to some 2OO students in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. The data obtained from SPSS was analyzed using tables. Descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentages were used in analyzing demographic variables and research questions.

The results and contribution to knowledge include that the rate of participation in the production of the Chariot Newspaper and Chariot Radio is low but that of Newspaper is lower. The most common reason for low participation rate is that students have other commitments and that there are many students in the JMC program.

The gender differences between male and female were very wide, it ranges from 81%(163) females and 18%(36) males. The age correlates because most of the students aged from 20-25yrs indicating that this research was carried out among university students in the University of Buea who comprises of young persons. It was recommended that the department should make participation obligatory, provide sophisticated equipment and amongst other things make more participatory activities should be introduced so as to get students engaged.



1.1 Background to the Study          

You cannot run a professional program without practical (Muluh, 2001). The Chariot newspaper started as an irregular newsletter printed in an A4 format. It is with the coming of Mr FungeDiffang that the pioneer Head of Department professor EnowTanjong asked that the paper be upgraded to a tabloid newspaper(page 20 The Chariot magazine 2018). The department then created a small cubicle beside the former J.M.C office in the present ASTI block, directly opposite Amphi 250. Interestingly, as equipment

The Chariot newspaper started with an old computer belonging to the pioneer HOD and because of little mastery of the computer, it was very possible to have typed stories lost in the computer because of amateurism. With time the department acquired a computer using diskettes from old technology.

Along the line, this cubicle for the Chariot was again transferred to the present television where more modern computers were now provided by the department but this time with a more modern technology together with USB flashes though they were scarce at the time and could easily be misplaced. It is worth noting that The Chariot newspaper went operational only when a few members of staff of the department contributed some money, took the paper to the press and then printed the papers out.

According to Funge(2018), the zeal of the students and staff of the department brought about The Chariot newspaper as they wanted something befitting for the art like a tabloid. A popular portion of the newsletter that existed before called “Mask man” in a letter to Yollandewas brought back. The Chariot went out of circulation for close to four years that’s during the reign of DR Julius CheTita(2013-2017). This non-circulation was as a result of bottlenecks and other dynamics across successive HODs and circumstances beyond the control of the department(Funge, 2018). The Chariot was revived when the new H.O.D Dr Kingsley Ngange was appointed. It should be noted that the participation of students in the production of articles for The Chariot newspaper has been falling as the years go by.

The Chariot Radio

The first broadcast exercise conducted by student journalists was done during the launching ceremony of the multimedia laboratory on the campus of the University of Buea. This exercise which lasted for three hours saw the enthusiastic participation of students in broadcast fields like directing, reporting, production and animation. The main objective of the laboratory was to enable communication students to get themselves acquainted with the technicalities of broadcasting and practice what they were taught in class. This lab was also created because, for the past six years, all those who graduated from this department left with insufficient knowledge (Asabe, Akono, &NjankouDecember,2001).

The University then saw the need to finance the laboratory. At the time, some of the equipment that was found at the multi-purpose laboratory were; a video camera, an audio console, other radio and photographic equipment and computers. Live broadcasts were expected to hold on-campus with program schedules like talk shows, music, news, announcement and entertainment programs. The department had plans of turning it into a full-fledged FM station since it had as objective to serve the University of Buea community (Muluh, 2001).

This dream was achieved a few years later thanks to the pioneer HOD of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Professor EnohTanjongwho got a grant from Open society for West Africa (OSIWA), Canada of sixty million francs worth of equipment. Following the grant, the HOD now requested successfully the laboratory used by nursing students to now host the new broadcast lab; The  Chariot FM.

The then Head of Broadcast Unit, DR Henry Muluh together with professorEnowTanjong and Mr DivineBesong were very instrumental in setting up the equipment at Chariot FM. Mr Omale was hired by Dr Henry Muluh all the way from Douala to set up the equipment at Chariot FM. Mr Omale worked day and night to ensure that this radio is well set, after which training seminars were organized by the department.

This training session was intended to get the staff familiarized with the state of the art of the equipment. Professor Taanjong together with the help of the vice Chancellor Professor Cornelius Lambi had set up a journalism training radio to tremendously improve on the training if journalism students (The Chariot Magazine 2018, p.27). Chariot FM 93.5 went on air for the first time in the 2005/2006 academic year. 

The influence of the Chariot has been great. This is partly because, during good old days of the department, students used mere recorders and Nagra to practice broadcasting (Taku, 2018). The training was so effective that students grasped the skills of editing using the Adobe audition very quickly. Journalism students got some good training and this explains why JMC students occupy editorial and managerial positions in some of the top media houses. Mr Joseph Fajong was appointed first station manager and Otto Enyame was appointed second. The Chariot FM 93.5 has dropping participation of student journalists as the years go by.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Majority of students in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication barely take part in the production of articles for The Chariot radio and The Chariot newspaper. According to Muluh(2001), you cannot run a professional program without practical. Funge (2018) says The Chariot newspaper is a training manual for the students in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. But a majority of these students from observation barely take part in participating in the production of articles for The Chariot Radio and The Chariot newspaper. This non-participation of student journalists is likely to affect their future careers as journalists since they do not acquire enough skills.

1.3Research Questions

  1. What is the level of participation in the production of The Chariot Newspaper and The Chariot Radio?
  2. Why do the majority of students fail to participate in the production of The Chariot radio and The Chariot newspaper?
  3. How involved are students in the marketing of the chariot Radio and The Chariot Newspaper?
  4. How can this non-participation by a majority of students be improved upon?

1.4 Hypotheses

  1. There is a low level of participation in the production of the Chariot Newspaper and The Chariot Radio
  2. Majority of students fail to participate in the production of these student manuals because some students think it is not necessary.
  3. Involvement in Marketing positively impacts students’ professional learning experiences.
  4. Participation can be improved by emphasizing professionalism during training.

1.5 Objectives of the study

1.5.1 General Objectives

The general objective of the study is to investigate reasons for non-participation of a majority of student journalist in the production of articles for The Chariot radio and The Chariot newspaper.

1.5.2 Specific Objectives

  1. To find out the level of participation in the production of The Chariot Radio and The Chariot Newspaper
  2. To increase the participation of students in the production of student manuals by a certain percentage by extension increasing the professionalism
  3. To establish the importance of student involvement in the production of student manuals
  4. To investigate mechanisms through which genuine and voluntary participation by the student can be achieved.
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