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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This work is designed to study how rural dwellers utilize radio in comparison with television message to effect social change.
Other communication channels, like the inter personal communication, traditional communication or what Frank Ugboajab called (Oramedia), newspaper and magazines are not quite effective as the radio and television especially in the much desired rural development. Those who found fault in the face – to – face communication and oramedia, did so due the lack of persuasion and inadequate coverage characteristics of them. For the newspaper and magazine, the high level of illiteracy prevalent in the rural areas constitute an impediment to the messages since the illiterate ruralite cannot read and even when the messages are coded or written in his own language.
To further establish the inadequacies of the oramedia, Ikechukwu E. Nwosu (1990) in his article “An overview of the Relationship Between Communication and Rural/National Development” in mass communication and National Development (ed), said that “The problem in employing these media of traditional communication as potent instrument of development communication lies more in the area of changing the attitude of the communicators, policy makers and researchers toward them. We also need to improve the level of massage storage, retrieval and replicability among these oramedia forms. It lies more in expanding our understanding of their functions, nature, content and uses, and may be coming up with standard technical vocabulary for describing its various forms in our various communities”.
The radio and television in this regard, are the most effective means of reaching the rural dwellers, and to effect social and development changes in these neglected or totally forgetten rural areas.
To Nzam Community in Anambra West Local Government area, in Anambra state, radio set are more easily affordable – hence found in most homes. Even in the rice farm’s, yam farm, in the river fishing, an Nzam man is seen with his transistor radio, conscious to get the giot of the day from his favourite radio station who is ever-ready to broadcast in his language of understanding.
Television sets, on the other hand, are owned by some well-to-do individuals, whet her literate or illiterate. Though Nzam community is characterized by non-availability of electricity those that own the television sets, make use of the electric generating plants, and chargeable batteries to operate the sets.
Therefore, to this community, television ownership is not confined to literate class, as illiterate but well-to-do villagers own television as luxury, capable of providing relaxation from the stresses of the daily life.
No doubt, in his “mass media organisation and management” lecture, Nnamdi Okewa of the development of mass communication E.S.U.T. Enugu, maintain that:
Most Yoruba purchase television sets not just for the luxury of it, but for the sake of Babasala’s drama, which provides an excellent comic relief to the Yoruba man after his activities during the day”.
This study compares radio and television messages as agent of rural development of Nzam community in Anambra.
Previous researchers in this field, confined themselves to the study of urban and rural dwellers in terms of media exposure. But this research aims at specifically finding out which of the two mass media of communication – radio or television is mostly used by the Nzam Community in Anambra, in obtaining development information. We also intend to study the two media in the daily life of this rural people. We also, will find out whether the community embarked on any rural development project, and what roles the radio played as against the audio – visional – television.
In mobilization, this study found out the role played by radio based on the ban placed on importation of foreign products eg Textile, Can Foods, Flour, Sugar, Foreign Shoes etc as it affected the unabilitants of Nzam as compared to television.
It is quite undisputable that rural development as a socio-economic phenomenon is not a new as the current emphasis on it portrays. It is as old as the rural communities themselves. These communities have no doubt recorded some degree of development in the past; but to what extent and through which means?
The rate of development have been so slow it they either been unnoticed or neglected or decades. This unfortunate situation unabatedly could be attributed to lack of suitable mess media.
With the availability of more sophisticated and well directed mass media, like radio and television the ruralities, especially Nzam community, now sings a different tune of music that tune is rural development.
The rural man is not raw as we think, however, he may not understand what he is doing if he is not adequately informed and persuaded. He wants to hear from the authentic medium (radio), and see it done through the television, especially in his native language. It is thus not a sure that the rural man rushers to his or set whenever and wherever he hear his village pronounced on the radio.
1.2 THEORETICAL FRAME WORK
Lack of infrastructural facilities like good roads, electricity, pipe-born-water, hospitals, schools, among others, are for almost permanent in the rural areas especially in Nigeria.
These point above, make life difficult in the rural areas, hence the present urban migration. But with the present of the radio and television, government have been called upon to develop the rural areas and people through the provision of these infrastructures to them. The call comes on daily bases.
The world develop because people ask why, and because the world is full of complexities. In this study “The Role of Radio and Television in Rural Development”, the researcher used two suitable theories to that effect.
They are: THE DEVELOPMENT THEORY AND AGENDA –SETTING THEORY.
The scientist considered Developmental theory because we in the developing world need information and communication to effect change and bring out rural development.
On the other hand, the Agenda – setting is a situation where the mass media (Radio and Television) tell the rural people what to do, how and the importance of doing such in order to bring development.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
In a traditional African Society, communities undertook various form of development projects, these projects includes village hall, construction of access roads to farm – settlements, neighbouring villages and towns, and other traditional project.
Added to this aforementioned projects are the provision of good drinking water, building of modern school, cottage hospitals, and health centres, post offices and even modern markets and electrification project.
More of ten the execution of such projects depend on effective leadership of the town and village heads (chief) and available resources of the community, and their level of awareness.
However, in the present circumstances, communities are beginning to be exposed to different influences of development. Government project are not found at every nook and crary in different rural communities. This is to say that our government have regarded these hardworking rurlaities as isolated or totally forgotten, especially as the government faces austere or harsh economic realities.
Although, electricity supply does not exist in Nzam community, the well-to-do individuals in this community make use of electric generating plants for their television sets, while others make use of chargeable motor batteries to that effect. To this community, television ownership is not confined to literate class, as illiterate but well-to-do villagers own television as luxury goods. Therefore, the community has exceeded the UNESCO’s, mark of 2 television receivers per 50 inhabitants.
In the usual village life, children and adults visit the homes of television owners to watch the latest in the days program. This helps them to relax their nerves after the days farming activities and other jobs. To those who cannot go to the homes of the well-to-do individuals or that of their relatives that has the television sets, the story of each days comes to them on second hand basis. To them, the much desired satisfaction and influenced in not there.
On the other hand, the radio transistor is relatively low in cost, appears in various sizes and broadcasts in the language under-stand able to the community. Radio transistor is found in 1 of every 5 inhabitants of Nzam community. Therefore, the radio has become to a great number of Nzam people, a household property and companion. Companion in the sense that while the rice farmer does his tilling and planting, he has a transistor radio by his side providing him with information, jokes and important government announcements. He is also doing that in expectation that one of his relatives or friend could send a request programme to him through the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) radio AM or FM. The “Ogeolu Ugbo” or “Oge Omen a ani” Igbo programmes of ABS and Minaj Radio respectively are some of such numerous entertainment programmes that farmers does not want to miss, therefore he carries along the transistor radio to the farm.
The questions that might then basked or arise are:
1. Are the Radio messages more effective in rural development for the rural dwellers?
2. Are the audience of radio larger than those of television rural communities?
3. Are the radio and television stations directing their programmes towards rural development?
4. What is the attitude of rural dwellers to people towards radio and TV programming?
5. What is the level of the ruralities involvement in radio and television programme?
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Communication in central to every human existence and activities, prominent scholars in the field of communication are not wrong when they defined the world as a global village owing to the sophisticated technological innovations like the radio and television sets.
Radio and television are the two outstanding and distinguished broadcasting media. Talking about grassroot broadcasting, the radio enjoys the greatest effect.
The radio (transistor) comes in various sizes and thus makes it relatively cheaper to afford. Because of this, the village wine tappers who can afford the small size radio, can also easily tie it to his waist enjoying his favourite programme while carrying the days business on the palm tree.
The language barrier usually associated with some other mass media, does not show its ugly head. This is to say that the radio stations broadcast in the language of the audience (listeners), making it possible for them to understand. The rural man in this case, does not need to be literate in order to hear his own language. Even with about 250 languages scattered across Nigeria, the radio has solutions to them.
It is the broadcasting media that can reach the widest number of listeners (audience), on the maintain, in river-line areas, and even the most remote areas. Added to this is the instantaneous nature of the radio. It has the power to broadcast an event direct, ie at the same time the event is taking place.
On the other hand, the television combines the audio and visual effect to make it an interesting can effective medium of communication. Because of the mentioned characteristics, it could be more effective, in appealing and persuading to the public, however, the cost of the gadget now lives one in doubt especially the ruralities as to how many of them can afford it.
Rural development as a socio-economic phenomenon, is not as new as the current emphasis on it portray. It is as old as the rural communities themselves. These communities have no doubt, recorded some degrees of development in the past. But to what extent? However, the rate of these developments have been so slow that they have either been unnoticed or neglected for many decades now. If rural development has in the past been that slow and so produced little results, then the rural machinery or agent for development must be faulty.
Researches in the area of rural development has shown that government in the past has been looked upon as the sole agent of rural development or transformation. Suffice it to say that community contributions, towards such development as a result of this negative attitude, have been rare and minimal, if at all the exist.
The answer to the cause of this situation is not far, it has been largely because of ignorance or lack of sufficient awareness on the ruralities. This promoted Akin Mabogunje, in his unpublished article “community organisation, and collective action” to state that “a verile community organisation cannot be sustained unless the members consciousness or awareness as to why the need the organisation is raised”.
In the same vein community participation in 8 rural project on programme is guided by the same ideology. Jerry Gana quoting the United vations committee on Rural Development (UNCRD 1985) pointed out that the capacity of a rural community to respond to a specific local development plant and/or market force differs dramatically, depending on the socio-economic and cultural foundation of the community.
What is being pointed out here is that rural communities need to be properly mobilized in order to create the awareness basic for appreciation and participation in any development process. In other words, they need to be educated, not in school, but to change the attitudes toward development in the society.
Therefore, the implication is that for any rural development programme/project to be functioned and meaningful, it has to be oriented towards the people (ruralities in this case). The rural folks must have effective participation in the decision-making process of that project programme.
As this research revolves around “development”, one can vines the concept development to mean different things to different people.
To the first world, development suggest a process of improving structures, or greating new ones. It is in line with this thinking that the United States government stated that development of nations abroad. To them, (U.S), it means using organisation to develop other nations. In developing countries like Nigeria, the United States for Information Agency (U.S.I.A), is used in development communication.
The second world (Maxist) sees development as a means of Ideological or geopolitical expansion.
For the third world countries, whose characteristics include:-
Relatively low per capital income, a high rate of illiteracy, agriculturally based economy, short life expectancy, low degree of social mobility a strong attachment to traditions, and histom, of colourization.4
Some writers see development as most important in the sphere of international communication. They pass this judgment because almost all activities of the third world governments are attached to the development in a manner. They also see the mass media as an instrument of development, no matter who owns the media (private or government).
It becomes important to note that development depends on the political framework of a given nation. The degree of freedom enjoyed by the mass media is related to the political structure of the particular nation. Because these writers see the mass media as an instrument of development, they try to use the mass media to achieve developmental goal.
International bodies like UNESCO look at development as helping the third world countries to develop. An organisation like UNESCO seems to be supports the third world demand for the New World Information and communication order (NWICO) as its perception of the concept of communication. In other words, UNESCO seems to accept the view that communication as well as other things form part of development in the third world especially when it comes to the rural areas:
Thus, such definitions as a process of structural change in the technical, economic, political, and social arrangements by which resources attributed in a society, towards the end of providing the mass of the populations with the means of living a reasonably secure, healthy and satisfying life,5
Would appear to be much more acceptable because they reflected the positive steps currently bein taken by some writers and researchers in the development field towards extricating development studies from the dutuches of conventionalism, and apparent short sightedness.
Which ever way development is defined, there exist remarkable agreement on the view that certain countries of the worl desperately need to acquire all or at least most of the attributes of development in virtually every aspect of lives of their people, especially the ruralities – hence rural development.
On this note, the use of radio and television to effect or realize rural development becomes most suitable and appropriate. In doing this, one socio-economic group must be identified and treated. This group is the rural dwellers, predominant illiterate, subsistent/peasant farmers.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research project tried to find out whether the hypotheses were supported through the available data, and give recommendation to government so as to help the radio and television to raise the standard of the rural people of Nzam in Anambra West L.G.A. to an urban status by providing rural development projects to them.
In other words, various governments have been neglecting rural community in this country, and that is why most rural dwellers find life difficult, and subsequently rush to urban cities where they think that they can “enjoy” life.
The development nature of the socio-political structure in this country has made the broadcast media highly sensitive. The broadcast media radio and television, do perform very crucial rules in shaping the destiny of the Nigerian audience. It is this vital role that has led to heavy reliance of the masses on the apparent “credibility” of the broadcast media. Such confidence – carrying remarks like “I heard it on the radio” and “I saw it on the television (screen)” go long way to unveiling the extent to which the masses took upon the broadcast media for guidance and development.
Therefore, examined in this study was the role played by these broadcast me (radio and television) in raising the rural community awareness of development project.
The important of this present research is to show the relationship or pattern of inter-connections between radio and television messages as agent of rural development of Nzam community. For instance, agriculture is mostly practice in rural areas of Nigeria like Nzam. This community lack electricity and therefore seemingly denied the use of some mass media like television, expect the few well-to-do, that find it difficult to be exposed to new farming techniques and newly advertiser farm products, implements etc. on the television, except for the radio.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Are the Radio messages more effective in rural (Nzam) community development for the rural dwellers?
2. Are the audience for radio larger than those of television in rural community especially Nzam?
3. Do the inhabitants of Nzam have more radio set them they have television sets?
4. Are the radio and television stations directing their programmes towards rural development?
5. What is the attitude of rural dwellers (Nzam people) towards the radio and television programmes?
6. What is the level of ruralities involvement in radio and television programming?
7. What significant change(s) has been recorded by the Nzam community as a result of their exposure to radio and television?
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS AND NULL HYPOTHESIS
H1: Radio plays more significant role in rural development than the television.
Ho: Radio does not play more significant role in rural development than the television.
H2: Radio and television programmes have been well directed toward rural development, hence the people of Nzam have been mobilized through the two media (Radio and Television).
Ho: Radio and television have not been well directed toward rural development hence, the people of Nzam have not been mobilized through the two media (Radio and Television).
H3: The attitude of rural dwellers on self- oriented development via television programming has been encouraging.
Ho: The attitude of rural dwellers on self – oriented development via television programming has not been encouraging.
H4: Even with visual advantage, financial and other constraints have render television ineffective for Nzam community.
Ho: With the visual advantage, financial and other constraints have not render television ineffective for Nzam community.
1.8 CONCEPTUAL DEFINITIONS OF THE VARIABLES
Rural Development: It is designed to give profit or unpuliftment, such as roads, schools, hospitals, industries, market and the changes of attitudes.
Audiences: The assembled listeners or people to hear or listen to a speaker or witness an event.
Ruralities: The inhabitants of rural communities who are mostly substation farmers and petty traders, and mainly illiterates.
Community: Human settlement located within a particular geographical or local territory, sharp things together and identical in culture.
Television: It is a system for converting visual images (with sound) into electrical signals, transmitting them and displaying them electronically on a screen. Or a process of transmitting a view of event, plays etc, while these are taking place or from films or tapes on which records have been made.
Rural Development: Projects executed by the people of Nzam community such as rural feeder, raods, good drinking water, health center, schools and the current electrification project.
Ruralities: The inhabitant of Nzam community in Anambra West L.G.A, Anambra State.
Audiences: The people of Nzam who are expose to the radio and television messages and programme.
Community: Nzam inhabitants.
1. This study assumes that about two-thirds of the people of Nzam community are illiterate farmers.
2. That because majority of the people cannot read and write, radio and television will be more effective in carrying the message of development.
3. That people who are not exposed like the Nzam community see development project as the sole responsibility of the government.
4. That if the results of the findings and the recommendations are followed, rural communities will be seen competing for self help project which contributes to rural development.
5. It is assumed that the youths in rural areas migrate from rural to urban areas due to lack of infrastructural facilities which keep life “enjoyable”, in this rural base.
6. That communities who are more exposed to the mass media (specifically radio and television), are more development conscious than those who are not.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Other mass media like the newspapers, cinema, billboards, etc are deliberately excluded from this study since emphasized is on television and radio.
Due to time constraints and limited financial resources of the researcher, the study is in Nzam Community in Anambra to enable him reach the sample population easier.
The questions administered were limited to adults from 18 years old who understand what rural development entails.
1. David O Edeani: Lecture Note on Rural Development,
2. Robert N. Aknobi: Integrated Rural Development in
Nigeria: The Anambra State Experience, In Mass Communication and National Development, Ike E. Nwosu (ed), Frontier Publishers Ltd. Aba. 1990 page 5.
3. Sigimund N. OIkenwa: Language As a Problem of
Broadcasting in Nigeria, In Mass Communication and National Development Ike E. Nwosu (ed), Frontier Publishers Ltd. Aba, 1990
4. Ike E. Nwosu: The Rural Press as a Vital
Component of the Rural Information System. IN Mass
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