Effectiveness of Newspaper Cartoons in the Promotion of Politics in Nigeria
Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of the study.
- To determine the effectiveness of newspaper cartoons in the promotion of politics in Nigeria
- To examine the role of newspaper cartoon in the practice of political democracy in Nigeria
- To investigate the extent to which newspaper cartoons criticize bad leadership in Nigerian governance
- To ascertain the effectiveness of newspaper cartoons as a formation of public opinions on social and political issues.
REVIEW OF RELATED AND RELEVANT LITERATURE
The concept of cartoon art
The word ‘cartoon’ is derived from the Italian word ‘cartone’ –meaning paper. The term was used by painters for preliminary drawings on paper which were then transferred either through tracing or punching, onto surface which may be a ceiling, a large cannas or a wall. The word cartoon is wisely used to describe any drawing originally published in a periodical that makes its own point, with or without caption.
The uniqueness of a cartoon is different from an illustration or sketch, in that, the cartoon strip or comic strip usually tells a story and often appears in periodical publications, whereas an illustration simply illuminates a scene or points to accompanying an extended text in a publication [2,3]. The history of cartoons can be traced back to the fifteenth century when it was used as an important element in the completion of stained-glass designs as well as frescoes, a form of wall painting practiced by the Italians. In fact, cartoon is generally understood as any drawing which uses humour, satire or caricature to provoke a response from an audience. It is this function that affords political communicators the opportunity to use the cartoon art, as alternative means of communication, not only in liberal democratic societies, but even in autocratic one. In this sense, it is otherwise known as political or editorial cartoon. Editorial cartoons are designed to satirize current political matters and offer subtle criticism cleverly located with humour and satire Editorial cartoons as it is used today can be traced to the art of ‘caricature’ referred to as make-up features with humorous intention. The first picture to be called a cartoon was John Leech’s drawing in 1843 in the ‘Punch’ newspaper in Britain. The word was first used when a great exhibition of cartoons were given for a competition, devised by Queen Victoria’s consort for the new house of parliament. From the entries which were naught and ridiculous in subject matter John Leech drew a series of limitations in punch, satirizing them and railing at social and political abuses of the day . Earlier than this, Britain, William Hogarth (1697-1674), had established a reputation as the first political cartoonist while, in Spain and France, Goya (1746-1828) and Honore Daumier (1808-1879), respectively, used the medium to launch vicious and satirical attacks on those socio-political practices which they considered repulsive to public sense of decency. During the 20th century, the general course of pictorial comedy was greatly shaped by the First World War . The most interesting features of cartoons and caricature in the first half of the 20th century were the establishment of one. Line-Joke and the pictorial Joke without words with enormous diversity of styles of drawing. “The new Yorkers were probably the inventors of the one-line-joke; the joke without word, often in two or more frames was the extreme of economy of language”. Cartoon got to an advance stage in American after a temporary imitation on European style. The American native school produced renowned cartoonist like Thomas Mast, who was hired by Harper’s Weekly; a magazine founded in 1857 to draw pictures of new events. His cartoon about the U.S civil war published on September 3, 1864, put him in the first rank of the U.S cartoonist. Mast’s drawings were vigorous, simplified in idea and usually humorous.
The word ‘cartoon’ is derived from the Italian word ‘cartone’ meaning ‘paper’, the term was used by painters for preliminary drawings on paper which were then transferred, either through tracing or punching, on to a surface which may be a ceiling, a large canvas or a wall ( Jegede, 1990: 2 and Adekanmbi, 1997: 7). According to Adekanbi (7), the word cartoon is used loosely to describe any drawing published originally in a periodical that makes its own point, with or without a caption. He posits further that the uniqueness of a cartoon can be clearly distinguished from an illustration or sketch, in that the cartoon strip or comic strip usually tells a story and often appears in periodical publications, whereas an illustration simply illuminates a scene or point accompanying an extended text in a publication (8). It is important to make obvious two distinctions about this field: the difference between “comics” and “cartoon,” for Scott McCloud (1993: 2), comic is “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and (or) to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer” (9). This definition builds on an earlier one by Will Eisner (comics as sequential art) and is widely accepted as a standard way of understanding comics. Comics, then, are not just doodles, but rather visual symbols designed with a specific intent or purpose. On the other hand, according to Everette (1974: 662), defining cartoons is trickier because there is not one widely accepted definition. Therefore, he proffers a definition based on an amalgam of current literature and discussions in the field. He states: ‘…generally, cartoons are single or multi-framed images that convey a message both with words and symbols. Both comics and cartoons use symbols, but comics have a sequential nature to them that utilize more panels to tell their story thereby allowing for more depth to the story. Cartoons, on the other hand, invoke two conceptions: their presentation (all information presented in either a single or just a few panels, versus presentation in multiple panels) and their production (animated programs are also called cartoons; however comics are mainly relegated to print). In this, cartoons can be far simpler in their presentation however they amplify that which they want the reader to recognize and understand (665)’ Cartoons are amalgams of images (the symbols), captions (the written words), and social commentary (the spoken and unspoken words). They combine all of the information needed to understand their message into one simple visual form and present it in an easily accessible medium in books, newspaper, or the web. A cartoonist uses various icons which are symbols representing objects within a bordered object called a panel, or frame. These panels represent a single moment in time: a slice of life caught in mid-pose, much like a photograph. Unlike comic strips or comic books (mediums that have multiple panels), all information is found within the single image, thus they may be complicated and difficult to decipher at first glance. Cartoons also utilise specific visual elements in order to replicate human communication. Sound (dialogue, self-talk, music, etc.) is created using words and symbols.
Editorial cartoons also called political cartoons is a type of cartoon that is satirical by nature, using humour to draw attention to a significant social-political issue and are usually featured on the editorial page of newspapers. According to Agberia (1993: 10), editorial cartoons are designed to satirise current political matters and offer subtle criticism cleverly coated with humour and satire. The common features of such cartoons, according to Olaniyan, (2000: 4) are a good grasp of current affairs, clearly identifiable political issues and problems that are local and international, deft craftsmanship and skills in snappy graphic language. Editorial cartoons in its present usage trace its origin to the art of ‘caricature’, which is referred to as made-up features with humorous intention.
According to Jegede (1990), the use of the word ‘cartoon’ dates back to the fifteenth century when it was used as an essential element in the completion of stained glass designs as well as frescoes, a form of wall painting practiced by the Italians. Cartoon is generally understood as any drawing which through the use of humour, satire or caricature provokes a response in its audience (2). The first picture to be called a cartoon was John Leech’s drawing in 1843 in the ‘Punch’ newspaper in Britain. The word was first used when a great exhibition of cartoons were given for a competition, devised by Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert, to prepare designs for Frescoes for the new House of Parliament. From the entries which were naughty and ridiculous in subject matter, John Leech drew a series of imitations in Punch, satirizing them and railing at social and political abuses of the day (Popoola, 1983: 5). Earlier than this, in Britain, William Hogarth (1697-1764) had established a reputation as the first political cartoonist while, in Spain and France, Goya (1746-1828) and Honore Daumier (1808-1879) respectively, used the medium 19 to launch vicious and satirical attacks on those socio-political practices which they considered repulsive to public sense of decency (Jegede, 1990: 3).
During the 20th century, the general course of ‘pictorial comedy’ was shifted by the First World War. Political cartoons during and after the war were excessively partisan while the cartoons about the war itself tended to alleviate the pain of the struggle (Popoola, 1983: 18). The audience for comic publication was greatly enlarged after the war. The most interesting features of cartoons and caricature in the first half of the 20th century were the establishment of ‘one-linejoke’ and the ‘pictorial-joke’ without words with enormous diversity of styles of drawing. The New Yorkers was probably the inventor of the ‘one-line-joke’. The ‘joke’ without word often in two or more frames, was the extreme of economy of language (Adeniran, 1984: 10) Cartoon got to an advanced stage in America after a temporary imitation on European style. The American native school produced renowned cartoonists like Thomas Nast who was hired by ‘Harper’s Weekly’, a magazine founded in 1857 to draw pictures of news events. His cartoons about the U.S civil war published on September 3, 1864, put him in the first rank of the U.S. cartoonists. Nast’s drawings were vigorous, simplified in idea and usually humorous. The trend in American cartoons from 1883 to the middle of the 20th century according to Popoola (1983) ‘…could appear to lie in these directions: greater sophistication, greater obliqueness of presentation, the triumph of the ‘one-line’ caption or even the caption less cartoon and the substitution of vulgularity and illiteracy for charm and fancy ( 27)’.
The researcher used descriptive research survey design in building up this project work the choice of this research design was considered appropriate because of its advantages of identifying attributes of a large population from a group of individuals. The design was suitable for the study as the study sought to examine the effectiveness of newspaper cartoons in the promotion of politics in Nigeria.
Sources of data collection
Data were collected from two main sources namely:
(i)Primary source and
These are materials of statistical investigation which were collected by the research for a particular purpose. They can be obtained through a survey, observation questionnaire or as experiment; the researcher has adopted the questionnaire method for this study.
These are data from textbook Journal handset etc. they arise as byproducts of the same other purposes. Example administration, various other unpublished works and write ups were also used.
Population of the study
Population of a study is a group of persons or aggregate items, things the researcher is interested in getting information which will aid to examine the effectiveness of newspaper cartoons in the promotion of politics in Nigeria. 200 respondents were randomly selected randomly by the researcher as the population of the study.
PRESENTATION ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION OF DATA
Efforts will be made at this stage to present, analyze and interpret the data collected during the field survey. This presentation will be based on the responses from the completed questionnaires. The result of this exercise will be summarized in tabular forms for easy references and analysis. It will also show answers to questions relating to the research questions for this research study. The researcher employed simple percentage in the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of newspaper cartoons in the promotion of politics in Nigeria.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in examining the effectiveness of newspaper cartoons in the promotion of politics in Nigeria.
This study was undertaken to examine the effectiveness of newspaper cartoons in the promotion of politics in Nigeria. The study opened with chapter one where the statement of the problem was clearly defined. The study objectives and research hypotheses were defined and formulated respectively. The study reviewed related and relevant literatures. The chapter two gave the conceptual framework, empirical and theoretical studies. The third chapter described the methodology employed by the researcher in collecting both the primary and the secondary data. The research method employed here is the descriptive survey method. The study analyzed and presented the data collected in tables and tested the hypotheses using the chi-square statistical tool. While the fifth chapter gives the study summary and conclusion.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION
It can be concluded that the cartoon depicting the general elections were mainly satirical. Most of the confrontational cartoons were also satirical. These deductions show that the cartoons were laced with ironies or innuendos and therefore took the direction of satires in the expression of issues on the 2011 general elections. As a clear vision of new functions for cartoons in promoting democratic ideals in Nigeria, we therefore, need to re-examine the concepts of nationalism,” which are not to be confused with patriotism. According to Lamb , “confusing patriotism with nationalism is like confusing faith with blind obedience. Patriotism allows for questioning; nationalism does not. Nationalism is understood as an ideology that demands absolute loyalty and, in doing so, exacts a high price.” Lamb  argues, more or less, that the distinction between patriotism and nationalism collapses “when sensitivities are particularly rarefied” (i.e. moments of crisis), and that patriotism is then incorporated into the category of nationalism, with criticism situated as antithetical to the latter category. Thus, cartoonists that must promote democratic ideals must not allow any crisis to lure them away from true patriotism towards “the so-called, nationalism.” This way, no matter the slant of innuendos involved in cartoon art communication, the objectivity of the propaganda will be retained, the purity of the art will be respected and the dignity of the communication effort will always be the pride of all.
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