May 9, 2024

Abuse of social media: Babcock don canvasses media literacy programme

Abuse of social media: Babcock don canvasses media literacy programme

By Efe Onodjae 

Against the growing incidence of cyber hooliganism and predators in the social media space, a professor of Marketing Communication,  Prof. Kolade Ajilore, has called for the introduction of media literacy programmes in the Nigerian educational system to enhance public awareness of the power of the media and protect society against its abuse.

Prof. Ajilore, who is also Head of the Babcock University Mass Communication department, made the call at the presentation of the University’s 48th inaugural lecture held at the Babcock Business School Auditorium.

In his lecture, “Advertising Practice As Brand Communication Archery in the Age of a Rebellious  Audience,” Prof. Ajilore not only drew attention to the power of the media on consumers’ purchasing preferences, but the need to “ create a balance between marketing for gains and respecting social ethics to inform and protect the vulnerable. “

According to him, advertising has certainly come to stay. But in the age of a highly discerning audience, the need for balance would require “gravitating from dependency on one-sided message to a two-sided message approach.” 

“One-sided message, which is the advocacy of only the benefits and positive attributes of an advertised brand, has been shown to have limited persuasive power among educated and critical audiences,” he said.

He further advocated the adoption of a tracking research to both monitor the progress of the advertising campaign as well as identify and provide corrective measures before “irreparable damage is done.”

Aside this, his lecture called for the government through the Advertising Regulatory  bodies to protect the vulnerable. 

“The increasing incidence of cyber victimization and predation has made the cyber space a toxic environment. The society has a responsibility to protect its vulnerable community.

Prof. Ajilore said while he was not advocating for a regulation of the digital media space, the adoption of a bottom-up approach of educating the society on the dangers of this media would go a long way in providing the needed safety nets. 

“While appreciating the progress recorded in our society through the media, especially the social media, we must also acknowledge the havoc it has caused and will continue to cause if nothing urgent is done to manage its use,” he said.