Broadcasting as an industry produces programmes as goods and services for the consumption of the audiences which may be scattered over a given environment. These goods do not have or possess physical measure like goods produced by the automobile industry or other manufacturing industries. The consumers of broadcast goods can only feel the impact of such goods. The goods may also have some effects on the audience. All the programmes produced have objectives to be achieved among the audiences as consumers. That is why programmes are patented just like the physical goods produced by other industries. According to Owuamalam (2007:4), the goods and services are recognised as intellectual property of artistic value. They are copyrighted to ensure their protection from bootleggers and artistic marauders. This means that permission must be sought from the original owner-station when an already-produced programme is to be used by another broadcast station, particularly for public consumption.
At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  1.  define broadcasting as an industry 
  2. explain what programme content is 
  3. discuss Experience, Knowledge and Proficiency in programming.


3.1 Definition of Broadcasting as an Industry

Broadcasting as an industry can be defined as an establishment principally meant to inform, educate and entertain the audience. The industry is made up of persons and materials who work together to achieve the station’s purpose by structuring programmes to recreate events and society which tend to give satisfaction to the audience who react to them the way they are affected or the way the audience react to such events.

The persons in the broadcast station come together and use materials to produce programmes that meet the needs of the audience who in turn tend to appreciate the efforts of the station. If the content of the programmes meets the desire of the audience, the station works the harder to provide more and more of such programmes.

Owuamalam (2007:6) aptly states that, this means that broadcasting is a business institution. It sets goals which define the expectations from the station’s purpose and stipulate the specific objective, which programmes must realise for the sustenance of the station. It is a system created to satisfy society’s needs and desires. Broadcasting is, therefore, designed to meet people’s aspirations, needs, desires and wants (Burskirk, Green and Rodgers, 1976).


In what ways is broadcasting regarded as an industry?

3.2 Programme Content

Programme content cannot be realised without having an idea of what the programmes are going to be. The producer first develops ideas and then he stores such ideas in his mind and recalls them whenever the need arises. An event can materialise into action or thought than can address issues. The ideas may be many but it is the coherent and orderly arrangement that result into meaningful content which is put up for the consumption of the audience.

It involves creativity so as to determine the best approach to address the issue. This is an indication that every problem in the society has a background. For example, the declining reading culture among university undergraduates has a background in the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs). If the background to an issue is not properly understood, then it will be very difficult to design an appropriate programme to address such an issue. This is very important in handling programmes or contents of the programmes in broadcasting.


  1. Discuss the background of any social problem, with reference to your country. 

3.3 Experiences in Programming

The programme producer might have done or seen programmes done in the past. Mistakes might have been made and corrected. It is the recounting of what had happened and attempting to find solutions to the situation that present itself that is known as experience. For example, a pupil who grew up in the rural area and had the ambition of studying science-related courses but does not have the opportunity of doing so because of lack of teachers in the sciences. He may end up studying one of the arts courses when he eventually attends university. On graduation, he may be employed as a producer in one of the broadcast media stations.

By his experience, he may come up with a programme based on teaching sciences. The objective may be to introduce some form of lessons in the sciences for rural schools. This may go a long way in aiding those students who might otherwise have had no science education and would not have realised their aspirations and desire. This kind of programme is arrived at as a result of experience. Experience can, therefore, provide the idea for programmes in broadcasting.


How does experience help in coming up with programme ideas in broadcasting?

3.4 Knowledge and Proficiency

Having knowledge of a certain issue may lead to competence and proficiency if utilised very well. The producer may handle issues or programmes well, based on the knowledge acquired during performance of similar or various tasks in the course of production.

The audience tends to appreciate a programme if it appeals to them and they find some rewarding benefits from watching or listening to such programme. For example, in the recent past, there was a programme on national television, the “African Dish”, which took the
producer/presenter to various cultural entities. The programme was interesting and exciting as various dishes were prepared by a variety of cultures across Nigeria and beyond. Such a programme can achieve the following:

  1.  arouse interest in other people’s dishes, 
  2. bring about social integration, and 
  3.  create harmonious relationship between cultures. 

Owuamalam (2007:8) says ‘such programmes can also make housewives, spinsters and bachelors to try the menu as prepared in the studio kitchen.” The programme may even be of benefit to those who operate hotels and restaurants who could start preparing such dishes to attract customers outside their culture. It is therefore the responsibility of the producer to use his knowledge appropriately to stimulate audience interest and to retain such interest throughout the duration of the programme.


  1. Why are knowledge and proficiency considered very important in broadcasting? 

3.5 Inspiration

The programme producer may think and come up with an idea which if broadcast may appear as real to the station’s audience. For example, sometimes we watch or listen to stories told by animals. These stories are told as a matter of fact in reality and in a believable manner. Often some of the stories are imagined but they have effect on the audience.
Sometimes, animations are used in narrating such stories and they meet the same desired effect. Also the voices adopted suit every animal and its character. Further, the use of robots instead of human beings in science fiction is another example of inspirational creation by the programme producer.

The voices used by animals sound according to the appearance and behaviour of such animals. For example, it is expected that a lion should talk in a deep voice but a squirrel would not be expected to do so. If it does, then it ceases to be a squirrel and the audience would not be convinced.


  1. Why are inspirational programmes acceptable and believable by the station’s audience? 


Broadcasting as an industry or institution employs people who work with the materials to attain the required result, that of meeting the desire and demands of the station’s audience. The station ought to know what the audience wants through careful research and carry out the assignment in such a way that the cost of producing acceptable programmes is not prohibitive. The station should employ people who are knowledgeable and would use their experience effectively and would also use their inspiration in producing convincing programmes that are acceptable by the heterogeneous audience.


The principal aim of broadcasting is to present programmes through or by means of electronics. The activities presented should have human values so that they may be appreciated by the station’s audience.  Not only that, more of such programmes have to be aired from time to time so that such audience would be retained by the station. This is because it does not make sense to win an audience and all of a sudden lose it to another station for dearth of desired programmes.


  1. In what ways do goods produced by the broadcast industry differ from those produced by other industries? 
  2.  Why are animated programmes accepted by audience members as normal programmes? 
  3. How would you use knowledge and proficiency in developing acceptable programmes for your broadcast station?


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