The Oxford Advance Learners’ Dictionary defines Television as a process of transmitting a view of events, plays, etc (while these are taking place, or from films or tapes on which records have been made) by radio to a distant television receiving set with synchronized sound. The word Television is a combination of two Latin words, “Tele” (far), and “vision” (seeing); representing a medium of communication whose duty is to transfer information from one source to another.
Television with its superior visual effect makes information memorable, convincing and appealing by breaking down the pictorial information into easily recognizable symbols. Television provides us with a regular communication channel through which we keep up with the latest news, discover what the weather is likely to be, enjoy game shows, movies, talks and discussions and learn more about the world in which we live.
Just like the television, radio is also another medium of communication. Before its arrival, especially in Nigeria, people communicate and send messages across through the word of mouth or person to person. Unlike the television, radio broadcast is very easy and cheap to produce. It also has a wider coverage, more penetrating than the television; hence transistor radios are portable; very easy to carry along anywhere. In other words, people are more who listen to radio broadcasts than they do to televisions. Another added advantage the radio has over television is that its messages are translated into various international languages.
Having revolutionized a world of mass communications which was then dominated by print and until recently an upstart offspring, television, radio is looked upon as a dead means of mass communication especially in a modern media world that is dominated by images, where the visual seems to mute the aural. Radio, the marvel of the age, has a special place in people’s lives. It has helped in no small measure in the times of disaster, war and economic depression in holding the nations together through its unbiased reports. For so many years, before the advent of television, radio has remained a companion that kept people informed about world and local events without asking for anything in return.
Radio seems to have lost credibility simply because of its omnipresent nature. People took it for granted because they wake up every morning with radio, and do so many other things with radio. The perception that television’s birth meant radio’s death is false. Seeing that radio which is only limited to sound forcing the audience to always listen before they could hear and understand, its audience is still in the increase with people listening to its news – in the car, at home, in offices, on the street, in restaurants and stores, etc. No matter the claim that television has an added advantage over radio broadcast it still remains the dependable modern-day town-crier of society’s news in good times and bad due to its fast, easy and user-friendly nature.
Though television has the ability to combine sound, motion and colour in its broadcast, radio with its audio effect occupies a corner chair at the media family’s gatherings. Because of the high importance of radio, people of various nationalities believe that television can do better if it becomes transforms into a radio (born again), having the key components of a radio and the ability to get essential, breaking information out to people fast, when it happens and the people need it. It is undeniable that when disasters happen, or anything that makes news, it takes radio only few minutes and then the world will be reached with the news.
In Christianity where the word “born again” originated, it simply means leaving behind old, but bad lifestyles, and picking up new and better ones. Television producers should be able to understand that the world is moving and changing fast, and as a result, attention must be paid to the areas of carrying people along as the world moves on. Despite the high improvement in technology today, the whole world looks for a better means of reaching the general public faster than it is known today. Moreover, like radio news broadcast, the television has a long way to go in terms of accessibility to the commoners no matter how remote. Transistor radios will continue to topple the lead as the most penetrating medium until television becomes born again!