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PROJECT TOPIC- REPOSITIONING MODERN AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA FOR EFFECTIVE RURAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF NDUBIA COMMUNITY

PROJECT TOPIC- REPOSITIONING MODERN AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA FOR EFFECTIVE RURAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF NDUBIA COMMUNITY

ABSTRACT.

This research work was carried out to ascertain how modern and traditional communication media can be repositioned to make it more effective and efficient for development in our rural dwelling using Ndubia as a point of study. Data for this study were issued and collected from 200 respondents using purposive sampling technique. The instrument for data collection was drawn from well structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed with frequency distribution table and simple percentage and Chi-square goodness of fit for testing the research hypothesis. Result of the analysis showed that modern and traditional media can be repositioned for effective rural development. Based on this recommendation were made on how to achieve this.  This is through: Provision of balanced communication environment for both media to thrive; training and retraining of communicator to operate both modern and traditional media successfully; and utilizing both media in the promotion and sustenance of development in the rural area.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Nigeria before the colonial period had a rich culture and organized traditional media system through which they communicate with each other. Through these channels, the people were adequately informed and educated on issues bothering the community. It could be the death of a village hero or summon for an important briefing. These were carried out using the traditional media such as the town crier. These media ensured that the cultural norms and values of the community were promoted, transmitted and preserved from generation to another. Supporting this view, Akpan (1987) quoted by Sambe (2005:63) noted that,

“transmission of social heritage from one generation to the next involves shaping values, notions, traditions, customs etc, and passing them on from one generation to generation… they can teach community members to have respect for a common set of institutions, similar customs, traditions, beliefs, articles and way of life”.

 Wogu (2006) also observed that “the indigenous communication systems have always existed to, inform, educate and solve social conflicts”. The unique nature of this tradition media have helped to bind the indigenous community together as one. This was the situation until the European stepped into Nigeria amid series of opposition and resistance from the indigenous people or community.

But through Christianity (which tends to preach peace, obedience and harmony), they succeeded in penetrating Nigeria. This was accompanied with a massive influx of their cultural systems – style of education, dressing, dancing and as well as their religion which was Christianity. There culture instead of promoting peaceful and harmonious environment for maintaining and sustaining the decorum that binded the indigenous people together, it further displaced, destroyed and “placed sword on the things that brought us together”.

Its literary nature made it possible to preserve and promote European culture at the expense of the indigenous culture. The implication according to Aligwe (2002) is the indigenous “cannot be relied upon to preserve cultures and traditions of the African people. Neither can it be relied upon to preserve knowledge and skills”. This was the case until 1959 when Rev. Henry Townsend, a missionary to Abeokuta, established first indigenous newspaper (modern medium) known as IWE IROHIN.

The newspaper was published in Yoruba and later in English language until 1867 when it ceased to exist. From then on, series of other newspapers, magazines were established by both foreign and local (indigenous) entrepreneurs/publishers. Later in 1935 and 1959, the first radio and television broadcasting station were established. Today, there are numerous established modern mass media both nationally and locally based.

Despite the massive surge of the mass media, majority of this media are all centered in the urban area to the detriment of rural dwellers which constitutes the majority of the population. In view of the above mentioned facts, Nwosu (1990:23) asserted: “the mass media in Nigeria is still very much an urban phenomenon in spite of the known fact that 80% of Nigerians live in the rural areas”.

Although the figure may have reduced because of oil boom which has led to series of development that have taken place since then. The implication of this is massive information gap between the urban dwellers and their rural counterpart. Again, these media (modern media) have not really achieved the desired result in the area of promoting national development at grassroot level, which comprise majority of the population.

It is against this background that the researcher intends to ascertain means of achieving effective rural development using both the traditional and modern media system using Ndubia community as the main focus. This is equally important in African society, especially “in rural areas where modern media are yet decidedly inadequate in meeting the information needs of the rural populace. Traditional media- especially a complementary channel-little success will be achieved with rural mobilization campaigns, census, immunization, family planning, etc”. Wogu (2006:46).

PROJECT TOPIC- REPOSITIONING MODERN AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA FOR EFFECTIVE RURAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF NDUBIA COMMUNITY

1.2    STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

Over the years, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of media system in Nigeria. Unfortunately, majority of these media are centered in the city or urban area. These have lead to a massive information gap between the urban and rural dwellers, the rich and the poor, the have and have not. Because of this, several efforts have been made by both government and individuals to bridge this massive gap.

But these have seemed not to have produced the much desired result. Among them are; The Community Concord by Mushood Abiola, Afikpo Today and a whole lots of them. These efforts have been in one way or other hampered by several factors. Among them is the lack of basic rural infrastructure such as accessible road, water, electricity. These amenities are inevitable for these media to thrive very well.

For instance, poor road network affects circulation of newspaper while poor electricity supply affects radio and television transmission. Even when this is possible, the villagers do not have the kind of fund to buy generating set to power their television. Again, the literacy rate is low while the poverty rate is high. This affects the use and dissemination of information to the people who are the recipient. This supports why traditional media which are cheaper and effective among the rural people together with the modern media system need to be used together in dissemination of vital information to them.

1.3    OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The broad objective of this study is to ascertain how the modern mass media and traditional communication media can be repositioned for effective rural development. However, the specific objectives are:

  1. To ascertain if the traditional communication media are essential for rural development.
  2. To ascertain factors inhibiting access to modern mass media.
  3. To evaluate the level of influence of modern mass media over the traditional communication media.
  4. To find out how the modern mass media and traditional communication media can be repositioned for rural development.

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Is traditional communication media essential for rural development?
  2. What are the factors inhibiting access to modern mass media?
  3. What are the levels of influence of modern media system over the traditional media system?
  4. How can modern mass media and traditional communication media be repositioned for rural development.

1.5       RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H1:  The traditional communication media are essential for rural development

H0: The traditional communication media are not essential for rural development.

H2: There are factors inhibiting access to modern mass media.

H0: There are no factors inhibiting access to modern  mass media.

H3: Modern media systems have influence over the traditional

       communication media.

H0: Modern mass media do not have influence over the traditional

       communication media.

H4: The modern mass media and traditional communication media can

       be repositioned for rural development.

H0: The modern mass media and traditional communication media  

       cannot be repositioned for rural development.

1.6. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

In the words of Mandler and Kessen (1959) as cited in Baridan (1993:18), theory is “a set of statements understandable to others, which make predictions about empirical events…is an explanation of why something happens, and, sometimes, how something happens, as well as a statement of what happens”. Therefore, a theory is very imperative in the study of any discipline and this study or research will not be exceptional especially in the field of mass communication.

Thus, the theory adopted by the researcher and relevant to the topic under study is Development theory. The theory according Ogunsiji (1989:165) argues that “the press must be placed as a tool on the path of a country’s economic development”.  It is one in which the government mobilizes and directs the media to serve national goals, in economic, political, socio-cultural and even technological growth. This theory applies mainly to developing societies such as ours. Ijwo (2006:87). Therefore, the emphasizes is on the media and their roles towards promoting developmental goals and objectives of the nation.

1.7   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research will actually help the government in the use of both the modern and traditional media in disseminating important government policies at the grassroot level.

          It will also reveal the importance of the indigenous media for development planning in the rural communities.

          It will also be an asset to the existing literature for future reference.

1.8     DEFINITION OF TERMS

          Here, the conceptual and operational definition of the following will be given. They are:

  1. Communication
  2. Development
  3. Modern mass media
  4. Traditional Communication media

CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION

  1. Communication: This is an exchange of message between the sender and the receiver.
  2. Development: This refers to all efforts aimed at improving the condition of a place, activity by providing the needed infrastructure needed for such development to be attained.
  3. Modern mass media: This is the modern way of disseminating information to a large audience through advanced medium such as radio and television etc.
  4. Traditional communication media: This refers to those traditional means of disseminating information in a rural setting.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION

  1. Communication: This according to Jayawara (1991) cited in Okunna (1991:17) is, “An interaction process through which persons or groups relate to each other and share information, experiences and culture”.
  2. Development: This is an activity which accords great success if the targets of development are part of the process of execution or actualization of the plan. It is a process which requires that people be empowered to develop themselves so as to develop their environment. Nwabueze (2006:119).
  3. Traditional Communication media: This according to Chukwu (2005:66) refers to “as channels or modes of communication which are original to a people in any typical society.
  4. Modern mass media: This according to Chukwu (2006:107) refers to those new means of communicating with large numbers of peoples; precisely to a heterogeneous, undifferentiated mass audience. These are the television and the radio which are the electronic media and the print media such as newspapers and magazines among others.

PROJECT TOPIC- REPOSITIONING MODERN AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA FOR EFFECTIVE RURAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF NDUBIA COMMUNITY

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