The Effects of Media Programme on Rural Development


Most of the literature cited in this chapter are from empirical studies by professionals in the field of mass communication and in a few instances, philosophers and psychologists. A number of these studies are published in journalism and mass communication journals and in mass communication textbooks. In other instances, some relevant comments and theoretical viewpoints from various other sources are also cited for explanation of certain points.


While we are researching into this project topic, we collected some materials, which are considered relevant to substantiate the study. Social and economic development in development of people and achieving this requires learning, motivation and effective communication. The effect of mass communication on audience no doubt has been the topic of scientific figures among social scientists and other researchers.        While we are researching into this project topic, we collected some materials, which are considered relevant to substantiate the study. Social and economic development in development of people and achieving this requires learning, motivation and effective communication. The effect of mass communication on audience no doubt has been the topic of scientific figures among social scientists and other researchers.

Stressing the importance of mass media effect, Donald Robert in  his book titled  Nature of Communication effects writes:

When prehistoric man sat before his campfire describing to his son the most efficient way if stalking a prey, one of his concerns was the effects his lesson would have on the child. When the media count Jester practiced a new trick or learned a new joke, he was concerned with how his communication would be received by members of the court. A presidential candidate rewrite a speech for the second or third time carefully stages the speakers platform, and live to make up man, he is obviously concerned with the effect his message will have on the voting public. In short, the assumption that communication can and do have effect underlies almost all communication behaviours.

In the case of our area of study. The producer of the programme “ONU OHA” Mr. Charwoman Ogbonna often travels to various rural areas in Enugu state. He concentrated more in the small towns in Nsukka Zone to find out the effectiveness of the programme.

According to Kark Noredenstreng in his research work titled comprehensive and effective of media programme, reveals that the process or receiving documentary message did follow a certain radio were relatively being informed about their subject. However early systematic forces was not found to operate among most poorly informed viewers or listeners.

The study also showed that even though the farmers for whom the programme was meant were concerned of the effectiveness and collective farming in the soviet union. They also contended that programmes favorable to the soviet system of farming would not be necessarily favorable to finish TV viewers.

There is therefore no gain saying the fact that the programme affect the understanding of the audience.

A similar radio farm forum lunched in Ghana by the UNESCO also recorded positive results. This experimental project demonstrated when skin fully used, radio broadcasting can be an effective medium of communication for rural development. An evaluation of this project revealed that about 43% of the respondent were able to identify or differentiate farm radio forum from other types, while at least 81% of them said that they listened to this development throughout it’s duration.

Klapper in his contribution says that:- “Mass communication is highly effective in creating attitude on newly evolved issues and that the point of view first expressed would prevail our later persuasive communication to the contrary.

Klapper faith in efficacy of mass communication in creating attitude has been shared by a good number of researchers like Rose (1948) stressing the strength of radio programmes content, a communication scholar, Victoria Ezeokoli, point out that the radio of all media has achieved near saturation of the population. This has been enhanced following the ownership and operations of radio stations by all state government in the country. Radio coverage extends to every inch of Nigeria and she believes that this has been facilitated by the battery powered transistor radio, the creditability of radio as a source message is sticking.

Ezeokoli, in her lectures further says: “on that fateful “Ali must Go” day, the radio was silent on the event, and so the workers left the offices and blithely drove into rampaging bands. The loss of man-hours, destruction of life psyche and property are estimated”

Pares Rieuth (1951) in his study, “Children and Radio” uses the listening habit research method when he studies the radio habit of 3, 125 elementary and junior high school children in water burley Connecticut, to find out their attitude towards laws.

The producer of the programme are aimed at both the literate of the city dwellers as well as the rural peasants as an effective means of getting the rural dwellers well informed and educated on things that are vital to their existence as groups.

Writing on the uses of radio, Richard Aspirant (1977) states that

Within limit radio can persuade and effectively influence large audience, thereby contributing substantially to the thinking of the nation:”

Ekwuijum ( February 21 1986) in his article says that

“The moral development programme of the present administration not only hopes for the eradication of moral mystery, it makes a progressive shift in public policy. In our twenty five years of conquered existence as a politically independent nation, the lot of the rural dwellers have been one of the wanton deprivation. Illiteracy, device vast poverty, and total degradation hence mass media should be involved in correcting this imbalance in development.

Furthermore, the writer talk of the report of industrial development magazine of (1984) of how radio is being used in the Himalagam country of Nepal to help small-scale industrialist to improve their industrialization acquaint industrialist with how to set up industrial management.

Lazardfeld P.7 et al (1975) stated that the influence of radio in relation to communication media is obvious. It’s impact as an instrument of campaign is clearly given in these people’s study during the U.S. Presidential campaign of 1974. in the comparative study which aims at ascertaining the impact of radio and newspaper as a factor in political opinion and voting. It was found that radio forms the single most important source of influence. Half the subjects who mentioned the radio have considered it their most important source of information, whereas only a third of those who initially mentioned the newspaper regarded it as the most important

By virtue of the aforementioned ESBS radio and television is deemed that most effective instrument for public and rural Enlightment.

P.I. Tochna et al in a study titled Community pluralism and perception of television contents held the news that

Effective media on attitudes knowledge and behavior are generally found, to be more immediate and direct when the audience regards the content as either the report about actual circumstances or as highly accurate portrayal of life and the everyday environment also effect of media exposure tends to be greater when the content is perceived by the viewers as containing realistic and appropriate models or standard for behaviors.

Ekwelie S.A in appraising the effectiveness of the mass media especially the radio in bringing about development writes:

“The mass media have valid credentials for contributors towards the improvement of every fact of scientific life. In the case of Nigeria, the attempt to reach by radio has spread the whole period of huger for mass communication. Radio has been described as the most powerful medium for influencing and educating the people and also the most potent mass dissemination of the culture and information.

Because of the instantaneous nature of broadcasting coupled with the fact that it’s signals are easily remembered. Radio is capable of achieving these objectives. Moreover, radio has high fidelity sound effects. In such countries as Nigeria with many languages, it is easier to manipulate languages with the use of radio.

Cattup et al argue that radio is very cheap and is sometimes much more flexible. There is no doubt that radio as a medium of communication has an overading influence in relation to others.

They content that radio offers to the publicist a wide range of possibilities because it is mobile medium well suited to the mobile society. It reach the breakfast table and even room, and rides to and from work in the car. Television finds it hard to match the flexibility.

Ugboaja, in assessing radio broadcasting in Nigeria stated that the Nigeria mass media have resorted to increasing use of the 198 local languages as a means of bringing the knowledge gap in the communication of development issues. Although English still dominants there has been a gradual increase in broadcast programmes in various Nigeria languages.

Lolisse on his own part argues that radio is providing to be the best equipped address itself to different specialized groups owning to the multiplicity of programme stations and receiving sets. It can broadcast specific messages at a given moment to any given group, guaranteeing both the information and instruction.

This goes to establish the flexibility and versatility of radio as mass communication medium 23. it will be logical to state that the mass media generally have much impact on a developing society. On this promise, Schramm and Roberts writes

“When we turn attention to developing nations, it is clear that without mass communication the course of change will be slow indeed, many of these nations are characterized by isolated people whose loyalties have been traditionally directed towards a tribe or a nation, people who have been only vaguely aware or alternatively to the so long existed. Given the mass media however, many of these obstacles can rapidly overcome”

in his own book titled “Mass communication” Edger Crane defined, communication as the study of who says what to whom, in what setting, by channel and on what purpose. The effect of mass communication on audience have been the topic of scientific enquires among psychologist, sociologists as well as researchers in mass communication written by Joseph Klapper, he says that mass communication ordinary does not serve as a necessary and sufficient course of audience effects but rather functions among and though the means of mediating factors such that they typically renders mass communication a contributing agents, but not the sole course in a process of reinforcing the existing condition. 26 going further Klapper is also of the view that the radio produces greater retention of simple materials than does print, especially among the less educated and intelligent. The further assert that it is perhaps that most effectively used of all the media. In effect the carriage employed in the dissemination of programme message by electric medium obviously would enhance it’s effectiveness in achieving objectives of the programme.

As the effects of communication in public opinion was able to find enough data to conclude that communication content was more effective in influencing public opinion on new or structural issues that is, those not particularly correlated with existing attitude clusters. The limited effect model of mass communication practically dismisses mass media as in effectual because of their apparent failure to concern large numbers on individuals to new positions to narrow society’s definitions of problem in compact packages.

Making more contribution, ent lip et al asset that for people to learn from the knowledge the message must be pursuable as to arouse latent opinions or conserve them.

According to them, the conservation of favorable opinion through reinforcement is the primarily effect of most communications programme

For the ESBS (radio “ONU OHA” to be the effective, the message must be arranged in a way that arouse interest effectiveness in this context means the ability to achieve set objectives whether by attracting large audience or influencing opinion and behavior and hear selectively. They pick out, adapt and translate from what is before them to fit in with orientation set in their mind. Before hand. So they can be and is resistance to media persuasion. Yet the truth of that there is no way media influence can be ruled out



The role of mass media includes among others things to inform and educate. From the receiver of related literature, it became clear that the impact of mass media is remarkable.

The review started by establishing the influence of mass media generally, studies dealing on the role of media as a powerful instrument in influencing attitude and opinions were reviewed work of scholars like LAZARFELD, SETTRAM, UGBOAJA, DAVIDSON and others in the area of mass communication were cited to support organ for educating it’s audience both. The literature and the illiterate. Related studies including past unpublished academic thesis were cited to lend support to the powerful role radio can play in changing people’s attitude. Evidence of the credibility of radio were stated in the review note, is the work of Schram and Roberts which form a very close example of how clear it is that without mass communication the rate change will be slow.

Since “ONU OHA” is transmitted through the radio this and other related work tend to show the program has been effecting changes in attitude of people.

The programmes has been affecting changes in attitude of people. This various distinct characteristic of radio as a medium of mass communication were highlighted in the study. They include it’s flexibility, availability, ability to manipulate languages and it’s portability. In ascertaining the influence of communication on the audience. Theories of attitude formation and learning were referred to in the study.

The programme “ONU OHA” is designed to enable the people embark on industrialization effort.

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