The Impact of Mass Media Campaign against Aids among Teenagers

 The Impact of Mass Media Campaign against Aids among Teenagers

The literature for this study  was mostly drawn from the existing theories and empirical studies that are related to the subject matter.  The impact of mass media campaign against Aids among the teenagers of Benin City. This study is an attitude or behavioral survey since impact is most time a determinant of attitude or behaviour.  This literature will therefore, focus on efforts of the mass media on the audience.  It is also considered proper and appropriate to review relevant materials on the campaign against AIDS and past studies in the areas mass media campaigns.

The literature very much depended on the existing theories and empirical studies in the field of mass communication sociology, political science and psychology, consequently, articles in professional journals, newspapers, magazine, unpublished works and other relevant tests served useful purpose in this study.


There has been a great deal of controversy about, and some rather inconclusive research into social efforts of the modern mass media.  Do they help persuade people to change the way they behave?. And, were they depict the less savory side of human behaviour namely:      violence, crime and sexual perversion, Do the encourage or discourage such activities?

We need not go very deeply into these controversies here.  What is important for us to note is the obsession there has been with discovering impacts, radio, television and the poplar press seem to have been regarded as intruders which the actually are not, in an already established social scene


Bill llewlett et al (19878) have indicated that as a result of the impact of mass media campaign against AIDS, the government of the United State of America Instituted Mcudatory testing for all those appling for permanent resident visas in the country.

But it has not been fully ascertained as to the social affects HIV positive could have on its victims via-a-vis the society in general.

Lynn Norment (1987) expressed fears that if the black community (1987) expressed fear that if the black community in the United States of America does not take an active role in halting the spread of the disease, in a few years, black will be the major social group carrying the disease.  He is of the view that in addition to killing off a significant portion of the population, the disease will pave yet another excuse to discriminate against blacks in the housing, employment, health care and social services.  He pointedly changed that

“Already, AIDS victims overall, experience a housing employment and insurance discrimination” Also, in 1987, senator Jesse Helms suggested that it may become necessary to isolate all Aids carriers from the rest of the population. He said: But Helms is scarely the only political leader to suggests such extreme measure as he Penn in a popular French television “Hour of Truth” said AIDS is the French acronym for AIDS)

John Dawson (1987) says “we are in danger of a blackish that will do tremendous unnecessary damage to establish freedoms and civil liberties, without having any effect on the course of the disease. Akinsote (1994) suggested that the war against Aids should be taking to the workplace to get men involved.  This she said is necessary because when AIDS spread among men, that work force will be deistically affected.  This may have been informed by the panic among the people of the central Japanese Port city of Kobe in 1986 after a local women died from complications of Aids, many resident clarnored to tested to see if they, too, had been infected.  So widespread was the fear than 20,000 people, many of them who have visited prostitutes, mobbel oluntary AIDS screening facilities.  As it tuned out, the high anxiety in kobe was completely uncalled for, not a single person testes positive for exposure to AIDS.


Over the years, mass media scholars have emphasized that it is ones need, recognized or not, that dictate once exposure to mass communication.

As for back as the 1940s M defleur S. Ball-Rockeah established that “people will attend to, perceive  and remember information that  is pleasurable of that will in some way help satisfy their need” media audience every were have been shown to be selective in their use of the mass media, choosing from the available media fact only those messages that will serve the function of satisfying audience needs which are generated by individuals and group differences.  This principle of selectivity is well established and has been adequately documental by research. The nature of the active audience and their selective use of the mass media, is apthy summarized in the world of Lacsh mama Rao (1975) a well known researcher.

Media audience are not passive and it is they infact who reach out media of their choice— making up their own minds, guided by they own needs and directed by their own media content which interest them most. This is saying that in every mass communication situation, the message receive usually have specific needs, and consciously and selectively and expose themselves to mass communication to satisfy or gratify these needs. Even specifically designed campaign can fail when the selected perception of the audience plays a negative role.  There was a famous campaign in the United States which attempted to ridicule those who where radically prejudiced, but  which in fact gave the target audience the wrong message.  It was thought that the cartoons of “Mrk Bigott” actually support racial prejudice.

If people into contact with that conflicts  with deeply held beliefs and practices they frequently misinterpret, distort or neglect them.

The “magic Bullet” theory, sometime referred to as the “Hypodermic needle theory” or the mechanistic stimulus Responses theory of mass communication was one of the first theories developed to account for the presumed all powerful  effect of the media on audience.  The bullet and the many subtle variations of its were derived from the stimulus response view taken by several early mass communication theorists and researchers (eg Lasswell, 1927).  This view assets that any powerful stimulus such as a mass media message can provoke a uniform reaction or response from a given organism, such as an audience.  The “magic Bullet or Hypodermic Needle”.  The theory suggested that the mass media could influences a very large group of a people directly and uniformly by “shooting or “injecting them with appropriate message designed to trigger a desired response.  The difficulty effects of mass communication was indicated some years ago by Bernard Berelson, who summed up the problem by nothing that “some kinds of communications on some kinds of issues brought to the attention of some kinds of people under some kinds of conditions, have kinds of effect”

It may be assumed that informal group relationships are probably important in attitude formation in all societies.

The mass media are now or are in the process of becoming absorbed into a total order of things wherein they, together with other institutions, play a part in influencing behaviour, contributing to knowledge and helping to prevent or bring about change. “what happens to the individual at the end of mass communication chain is determined by his background and needs”.  One is likely to be affect by media content which one either has no use for or rejects as being irrelevant to one’s perceived needs.

As much as there is the emphasis on the effects of media use for campaign against AIDS programs, one should have to face up to the realities of limitations to the use of the media to spreading or disseminating AIDS messages and information. The process of mass communication has been conceptualized by social scientists primarily within a stimulus response perspective. Media messages provides stimuli to which audience members respond (Defluer et al 1971: 417).

In the survenillance function of communication as suggested by Harold Lasswell, the media help forces people’s minds on the world. In other words, in the media’s “watch dog” role handling of the news and the interpretation of news and events help define and arouse consciousness. Media messages proved stimuli to  which members respond.  As a result, therefore, media impact on issues in the society gives impetus, to the discussion of such public issues, that is sets agenda for public discussion.


The creation of awareness and arousal of concern was first examined in the context of the 1968 U.S. presidential election by meombs and show (1972).

They collected simultaneously, data on the agenda of the news media and the public and found a high degree of correlation between those agendas.

The authors (1927:177) argued that the mass media set the agenda for each political campaign, Influencing the salience of attitude towards the political Issues”.  Agenda setting implies that the mass media predete 3-rmine what issues are agenda as particularly Important at a given time.

Depending on the issue, the media influences can be smaller or greater, whereby the rule of thumb is the smailer, the primary experience of recipients, the greater the media’s potential influence.  Quite obviously the mass media create their own image of reality, a media reality.  The media reality is varying obviously important people’s actual behaviour.

Exposure to mass media message does not always take place directly: members of a population can often receive media messages indirectly and second hand through a process described as the two step flow of communication.

In this process a few people who are active in seeking out information from the mass receive such information directly from the media and pass on the media messages through a rely process to other members of the population when rely on the active members for information.  The renowned media researchers Paul Lazar Fiad (1918) called the few active member “opinion leaders”, He showed that ideas often flow from radio and print (and other media) to opinion leaders and from these to the less active sections of the populations.

It therefore, means that those who cannot be reached by these media could benefit from interpersonal flow of information or the Innovation.

Schramm (1948) also believes that other channels of communication apart from the mass media can be categorized under interpersonal communication and these two reinforce one another. A study carried out by Ugbaoja in malasia on family planning motivation reveals that, interpersonal sources than from the ma media which were available but under utilized.  Joseph Klapper has enumerated five considerations or possible reinforcement factors to affect the desire change in behavour.

—This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————
This article was extracted from a Project Research Work/Material Topic



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