THE ROLE OF MASS COMMUNICATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

(A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA)

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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to examine the role of mass communication in developing countries with specific emphasis on Nigeria, as a case study. As such, relevant literatures were viewed from conceptual, empirical and theoretical perspectives. The research used descriptive and survey method of data collection in an attempt to empirically examine the influence of news commercialization on the news credibility in broadcast media. In course of carrying out this research work, our population of the study was made of 120 respondents selected from Port Harcourt metropolis around Rumuokoro axis. The simple random sampling technique was used. The instrument used in the data collected is interview and questionnaire method which are seen as being more effective and stable for a research of this nature. The method used to analyze the data was simple descriptive method stated in tables and expressed in percentage. The researcher in the course of this research work four research questions were stated to give bearing for the research work. In order to test the validity of already stated hypothesis, the chi-square statistical test was employed this test was used due to the nature of the questionnaire designed for the purpose of the hypothesis testing. The chi-square test requires the following steps. This test was used due to the nature of the questionnaire designed for the purpose of the hypothesis testing. Based on the study, the following findings were made: Firstly, that mass communication plays a developmental in Nigeria. Secondly, it was also revealed that there are limitations faced by mass communication in Nigeria. Thirdly, it was also revealed that mass communication have effect on the rural area in Nigeria. Lastly, it was also revealed that there are differences between mass communication in developing countries and mass communication in developed countries.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In recent time, mass communication has played a vital role in the growth and development of developing countries around the world.

Communication evolved as a result of the persistent natural human love to promote unity some time and at other times conflict, from this arises the traditional definition of communication as a process or art of transmitting information, ideas and attitudes from the source to a destination (Age etal1988). The concept of communication has it basic idea transfer transmission or exchanging something from one person to another.

According to Chinyere O. (1994) to communicate, basically means to share ideal, information, opinion’s feeling or experience between people, that means communication allows message flow with way and results to sharing of experience!

Jayawara (1971) defined communication as an interaction process through which persons or group relate to each other and share information, experience, and culture. From the above definition, it could be seen that communication is important in the development of any country since it deals with the sharing of information, experiences and culture, which are the basic for development.

In other hand mass means many are involved at the same time of the sharing.

Mass communication is the study of how people exchange information through mass media to large segments of the population at the same time (John B. 2000).

In other words, mass communication refers to the imparting and exchanging of information on a large scale to a wide range of people (John B. 2000). It is usually understood to relate newspaper, magazine, and book publishing, as well as radio, television and film, even via internet as these mediums are used for disseminating information, news and advertising (John B. 2000).

Mass communication differs from the studies of other forms of communication, such as interpersonal communication or organizational communication, in that it focuses on a single source transmitting information to a large number of receivers (John B. 2000).

Mass communication is chiefly concerned with how the content of mass communication persuades or otherwise affects the behavior, attitude, opinion, or emotion of the person or people receiving the information (John B. 2000).

According to Eric R. (2002) Mass communication is a term use in a variety of way, which depute potential for confusion are usually clear from the context. These include

1) Reference to the activities to mass media as a group.

2) The use of criteria of a concept, massiveness to distinguish among media and their activities.

3) The construction of questions about communication as applied to the activities of the mass media significantly only the third or these uses does not take the actual process of communication for granted.

Mass communication is often used loosely to refer to the distribution of entertainment arts, information and messages by television, radio, newspapers, magazines movies, recorded music and associated media (John B. 2000).

According to Chinyere S. (2011) Mass communication is the processes of transmitting information ideas and attitudes to many people usually through machine. It is the scientific study of mass media, the message they produce, (Information, ideas, attitudes), and the audience responses (people) they transmit these message to. In mass communication, the source may be one person, but most time it’s a group of people.

From the foregoing therefore this study was determine to examine the role of mass communication in developing countries with special reference to Nigeria as a case study.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

The mass communication through the media is perhaps one of the most vital agents of development in the modern world. As such no one can deny the fact that, the issue of information and communication is a source of national development as free and responsible media is necessary for development particularly in countries where development has not taken deep root. The media as an agent of mass communication rose and developed to the present stage in the industrialized and developed countries, therefore the rise of the media could be linked to the growth of national cultures with a linguistic unity, to the increase of literacy, which invariably has led to spectacular events in the technological resolution from the early movable type printing to the transistor. The mass communication, as the sounding rods of information, are on the very sharp cutting edge of modern development and civilization.

However, problems identified in the study are as follows:

  1. Lack of trust in the mass media as the peoples believed the media is a political tool.
  2. Limitations like cost, weak feedback system, time and poor productions hinders the performance of mass communication in developing countries.
  3. Poor transmission to the rural areas.
  4. Lack of mass media liberty in Nigeria hinders development.

The study, therefore analyse and evaluate the nexus between mass communication and development in Nigeria. The need to do this has become very vital especially at this time when Nigeria is in dire need for development. It is in this contest that, this study examines the role of mass communication in developing countries with special reference to Nigeria.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective is to examine the role of mass communication in developing countries. The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To examine the developmental role played by mass communication in Nigeria.
  2. To find out the limitations faced by mass communication in Nigeria.

iii. To examine the effect of mass communication in the rural area.

  1. To examine the differences between mass communication in developing countries and mass communication in developed countries.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What are the developmental roles played by mass communication in Nigeria?
  2. Are there limitations faced by mass communication in Nigeria?

iii. What are the effect of mass communication in the rural area?

  1. Are there differences between mass communication in developing countries and mass communication in developed countries?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study has examined the role of mass communication in developing countries.

Basically, if not for any other thing we need it to reform our society, to share experiences, information, and diversify and unify our cultural values and attitudes.

Another significant is that; it will help all sectors of the economy to be informed on current economic trends around the world. It is as well as educating and informing the masses or populace on these areas. It will also be of benefit to researchers that will intend

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study covers the role of mass communication in developing countries. It will too large to study Nigeria as a whole, therefore the researcher decide to limit the study to Port Harcourt Metropolis.

1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The major limitation of the study is the short time frame the research lasted, coupled with the tight academic time table, which prevented a very comprehensive study. The fund available to the researcher was also limited and therefore the study was limited to a small portion of the survey population.

Another limitation is the difficulties, encountered by the researcher in obtaining all needed information and materials from the right source and compilation of data for the project.

1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Development- this is a country or society’s development in area of machines and equipment that help in the easy procession of thing that were done crudely before.

Media: The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively.

Mass: A large number of people or objects crowded together.

Communication: The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

Mass communication: The imparting or exchanging of information on a large scale to a wide range of people.

Mass media: Mass media means technology that is intended to reach a mass audience.

Developing countries: A poor agricultural country that is seeking to become more advanced economically and socially.

 

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