UNN alumni in mass communication teach research methods

Despite the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Nsukka (UNN) Mass Communication Alumni Association of the University of Nigeria (Jacksonites) held their monthly in-service training on methods of social and communication research for the benefit of interested researchers in Nigeria. the universities.

Previous sessions in the webinar series have covered insight into mixed methods approaches and applications of action research to address pressing social issues.

This month’s session, held on Friday, September 2, covered qualitative research methods and was covered by five highly experienced teacher-researchers in the United States and Nigeria, with over 65 participants from from across the country to listen to the presentations and interact with the panelists. .

Professor Okigbo, a former lecturer at UNN and a pioneering registrar at the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), and now Emeritus Professor of Strategic Communication in the United States, explained the need for using qualitative methods in mixed-methods designs, while Dr Nuhu Gapsiso from the University of Maiduguri illustrated the different ways of conducting qualitative data analysis.

Professor Mustapha Malam from the University of Bayero provided three fascinating examples of qualitative and mixed methods applications in recent thesis research by BUK students. One of his examples is from Balarabe Maikaba’s 2010 dissertation titled “Mass Communication Research in Nigerian Universities (1980 – 2006): An Analysis of Themes and Trends”. This research showed that different mass communication departments reflected different curricular emphases. UNILAG and BUK emphasized broadcasting, while UNN showed a strong interest in print journalism.

The fourth speaker, Professor (Rev. Sr.) Bellarmine Ezumah of Murray State University in the United States explained the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative methods, gave examples from his research in the United States, Nigeria and South Africa, and concluded by emphasizing that qualitative and quantitative methods are equally valuable, depending on the objectives of our research. She drew attention to the valuable use of qualitative approaches in research situations that require deeper understanding, especially when we need to explain social reality as it is constructed through the interaction of people.

Drawing on his doctoral dissertation on media coverage of maternal health issues, Dr Raheemat Adeniran from Lagos State University highlighted the need for quantitative researchers to pay attention to issues related to the use of human subjects in research. She has also illustrated her versatility in using multiple qualitative research methods with her study of Nigerian journalists’ experiences of fact-checking training. She has used thematic analysis, in-depth personal interviews and qualitative content analysis in her various research engagements.

The presentations elicited many comments and questions from the more than 65 attendees, who were promised unfettered access to the full set of slide decks immediately following the webinar. Many participants expressed interest in further training on the use of computational tools in qualitative data analysis, the issue of sample size in qualitative research, and the applicability of focus group methods. in the online search parameters. Prof. (Rev. Sr.) Ezumah encouraged attendees to be receptive to new computer tools such as Excel, which is uncomplicated and comes free in some Microsoft Office packages.

These special educational and demonstrative webinar series are the brainchild of the members of the UNN Mass Communication Association with Prof. Chinedu Mba of Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada as coordinator, and Dr. Chuks Enwerem of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) as moderator. Next month’s topic is Quantitative Research with Dr Kayode Mustapha Lambe, Head of Mass Communication Department at the University of Ilorin as special guest, and Professor Idowu Sobowale (ex-UNILAG) as guest speaker.
The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Marcel Mbamalu, an alumnus of UNN Mass Communication, former editor of the Guardian and now publisher/editor of Prime Business Africa. in which he noted that the webinar aims to build bridges between “the city and the dress”.

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