Equal access Rule in Political Broadcasts
An Appraisal of Political Advertising on Television in Nigeria
The transmission of political materials particularly electioneering campaigns through the broadcast media has an exceedingly mass appeal because of the pervasive nature of broadcasting. However, any society which is desirous of democracy that is premised on the politics of equality would have to regulate the transmission to propel its broadcast media to create a level playing field for all political parties and their candidates. Except this is done, balance and objectivity in the coverage of politics and elections in society is hardly attainable. In Nigeria, there are several factors, among them ownership control of the media as well as economic inequality among political parties and candidates which make it quite hard for the media to adhere to the rules of political broadcasts. Against this backdrop and with the import of the Uses and Gratification theory in mind, this paper examines the disruptions to the rule on equal access in political broadcasts especially the posture of media professionals to political advertising on television in Nigeria. The paper calls for better monitoring of election expenses in the country by a viable regulator with a view to drastically reducing the commercialization of politics that has for long adversely affected the nation’s political growth and development.