This study sought to examine the media use habits of male and female academics of tertiary institutions in Nigeria using universities in Enugu State. Academics are professionals who are in real time educational business. For them to remain effective in the business, they are to access the media to gain knowledge or skills for reshaping attitudes. Four research questions were raised and answered. Four hypotheses were formulated and tested using the Z-test and ANOVA to determine their media use habits. The findings revealed some positive habits of media use among male and female academics notwithstanding some constraints like economic and time factors. Male academics were found to use mass media more actively than female academics. They agree that mass media are useful in solving their teaching, learning and research issues. The study therefore recommends that government should provide an enabling economic environment for academics to sustain their positive media use pattern; Universities to implement special conditions to encourage female academics to actively use the media for functional purposes; academics should deliberately access the mass media in order to improve their knowledge, skill and practice so as to trend with globalization in the academic spheres.
Male and female academics belong to a stratum of the society from whose pots of life-long experiences, skills and wisdom, the young and old sapiens hook-on pristinely to draw equally life-giving knowledge and attitudes for nurturing their personalities towards their desired models, thus enhancing the building and developing of healthy human environment. They are involved in moulding of the attitudes of both the young and the old in the academic community and in the society.
As such, the academics must constantly remain functionally connected to the high grid organs of knowledge, entertainment, surveillance, and information dissemination on daily basis. Their utilization of these organs ought to be actively high so as to ensure that their pot of wisdom will never experience the notorious ‘out-of-stock’ syndrome prevalent in our present day life experiences. They are involved in this as a routine in order for them to not only develop their personalities but also to remain relevant in the ever cascading current tides of digitalized activities in the 21st century.
They should access the mass media every day however cursory because as human beings and by the nature of their official calling they must communicate, that is, sharing with other academics as well as their students, current and relevant ideas, emotions, and knowledge on every issue of life as they evolve. They must keep their brains busy with all evolving issues in all spheres of human experiences more especially with development in academic sphere and communication.
Communication, we must all concede is very necessary for our daily existence. Communication experts hold that interaction is very central to human existence which must be used to contribute to the feeling of nationhood. Every reasonable human being must communicate intelligently, more importantly, academics are to expose, access and use the media regularly as distinct variables for fast-tracking their empowerment necessary for their development of both human and material endowments.
Male and female academics use the media specifically for some functional purposes as in getting any of these gratifications: Information, Social interaction, Personal identity, Entertainment and Education.
Their tasks of developing the human resources as encapsulated by Okenwa (2010, p149) include: organization of resources for learning to take place, implementation of the academic curriculum, custodian of the key that unlocks the door that leads to modernization, participation in academic and management committee assignments, imparting of knowledge, information, skills, values, attitudes, practices to one or more persons assumed to be relatively inexperienced and unskilled on specific subjects in a manner that is morally acceptable and pedagogically efficient and proficient in research studies.
Academics are very special set of professionals that play pivotal role in upgrading the life of any nation in several spheres. They have the thrust of training and retraining of human resources.
They also provide teaching and research services requested/required by students in an effective, efficient and professional manner. They are in real time education business which is the bedrock upon which any society wishing to achieve its cardinal objective of encompassing development in all spheres of life is built. The human resources in turn utilize other factors of production to shape the social, economic and political spheres of the nation.
For effective performance of these onerous tasks, male and female academics are to be versed in knowledge and in the skill of imparting quality knowledge. They can be so by receiving further knowledge from other viable and credible sources. Such other viable sources of credible knowledge are the mass media which academics should access baring such constraints like time, internet challenges, service providers and economic resources. These constraints make academics deficient in current digitalized knowledge from the mass media which may result in their misdirecting their immediate constituents nay the entire nation.
Ordinarily, academics need to work up their knowledge for them to remain current on several issues. Else they may not be in real time business of moulding attitudes of the populace, particularly the future leaders among them through carefully-structured teaching and learning, especially in our ever-dynamic academic environment in which almost every activity is being digitalized. It must be such because learning is a continuum.
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