Suffice it to say that a lot of research has been made in the area of the role of Mass Commutation / media in national development as well as rural development.
The incontrovertible point has been that there can be no meaningful national development without rural development . as an off shoot and most integral part of a country, the need for priority in rural transformation cannot be over emphasized.
The mass media as a vehicle for information gathering and dissemination has a major role to play in the area of rural development.
In the light of the above, the researcher close the topic mass media coverage of Rural Development News; A content Analysis of The Champion, Guardian, Pointer and daily Star Newspapers.
This is in view that the finding and conclusions derived from this study will go a long way to determine the contributions and impact of the nations mass media (particularly Newspapers) in the area of rural development and at the same time make useful suggestions for the attainment of desirable results in this aspect.
TABLE OF CONTENT
TITLE PAGE II
APPROVAL PAGE III
TABLE OF CONTENT IX
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 1
- STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM 3
- THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 5
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY 7
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 9
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS 11
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES 12
- CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITION—
OF TERMS 13
- LIMITATION OF STUDY 17
- INTRODUCTION 18
- REVIEW OF EXISTING LITERATURE 19
- THEORETICAL BACKGROUND /ASPECT 24
- EMPIRICAL ASPECTS 26
- SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW 29
- RESEARCH METHOD 32
- UNIVERSE AND TARGET POPULATION 33
- RESEARCH SAMPLE SIZE 35
- SAMPLING TECHNIQUE 36
- SOURCES OF DATA 37
- INSTRUMENT FOR DATA COLLECTION 37
- METHOD OF ANALYSIS DATA 38
- MEASURES TO ENSURE VALIDITY 38
- INTRODUCTION 40
- DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION 41
- SUMMARY 52
- CONCLUSION 54
- RECOMMENDATION 56
- AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 59
CODE CATEGORIES 65
CODING INSTRUCTIONS 65
CODING SHEET 67
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
To achieve National development, rural development is a Sine- quanon that can not be jettisoned. The hope of developing Nigeria and all other developing countries lie in the development of our rural areas.
The mass media stands out as “filler” of the communication gab between the government and the rural dwellers on one end and the urban and rural populace on the other end. By this, the mass media (especially community Oriented ones) succeeds in making the rural citizens active participants of the government of the day as they become aware of polices and programmes of the government and equally work towards being benefactors of these policies and programmes. By and large, wide publication of rural development news will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst in bringing about meaningful development to rural communities, which will in turn boost or improve on the standard of living .
With improved living standard for the rural populace, the age-long problem of rural-urban migration would be drastically abated. When this is done, there will be a rational development in the country, a situation that gives room for a comfortable harnessing of both mineral as well as human resources in their places of existence.
A careful observation of the quality of life of rural dwellers vis-à-vis that of urban dwellers in the country shows that not much has been done by the government to improve on the lot of the rural masses. The emphasis has been on urban development.
The mass media has a role to play in rural development through the level, quantity as well as quality of rural development news it disseminates.
The fact that our rural communities stand out as the food basket of the nation can not be thrown aside and for this, it becomes imperative that these rural arrears be given important place in the scheme of information.
Besides, development of rural areas is an inevitable and indispensable condition for diversification of the indispensable condition for diversification of the economy. And equitable distribution of wealth and social amenities is the only panacea for urban- rural migration with it’s alternant problems of over population, hunger, moral decadence, pollution, out break of epidemics, insecurity; unhealthy living, inadequate accommodation and high cost of living.
It is against this background that the researcher embarked on this study mass media coverage of rural Development news A content Analysis of the champion Guardian, pointer & Daily star newspapers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
This study is geared towards the Nigerian mass media and the extent to which they cover rural development news, with a view of determining the level of commitment of the nation’s press towards rural transformation and emancipation from the doldrums and shackles of poverty, low standard of living, illiteracy, Unemployment, epidemic and diseases.
In the absence of community Newspaper like the “community concord” purely devoted to the coverage of rural activities, this research work is pre-occupied with the task of ascertaining whether the amount and quality of rural news carried by urban mass media (with special concentration on the newspaper) are sufficient and capable enough to bring the much desirable development in the rural communities .
Using four newspaper as a point of reference, the study in set to find out the reasons for the low coverage of rural news by Nigerian Newspapers with reference to such factors ass the location of the newspaper and ownership.
The problems brought about by the extremely small coverage of rural development news by the Nigerian Mass media is also a major concern of this research work. This study is also out to determine the development undertone of the rural news carried by private and government controlled mass media as well as national and state based mass media.
1.3 THEORETICAL FRAME WORK
This project work is predicated on two major theories the development media theory and the Democratic participant “media theory. Both theories emerged out of the realization that the four original normative theories namely, the Authoritarian, libertarian, soviet communist and social responsibility theories do not apply to developing countries or where they can be applied, have limited potential benefits because of some peculiar characteristics of the developing countries.
The Development theory for instance was made to suit the developing needs of the third world as evident in the shortage or some times absence of professional skills, communication infrastructure, low production and cultural resources, illiteracy to mention a few.
According to the theory, the freedom of the mass media should be open to restrictions based on the economic priorities and development needs of the people in the society, stressing that the state has a right to intervene in or restrict media operations in the interest of development needs. In the interest of development needs. In this way, devices of censorship subsidy and direct control can be justified . This theory emanates from several sources, notably the Mcfrides report of the UNESCO international commission for the study of communication problem.
The second theory that has bearing on this work is the Democratic participant media theory. This is the latest addition to the body of the normative theories and McQuail strands out as a major proponent of this theory. The theory emphasizes the right to relevant information, the right to feedback, the right to use the means of communication for interaction in small scale settings of community, interest group and sub cultural: In short , it emphasizes what contemporary development communication scholars term participatory press.
Basically, these theories X-rayed here to give focus and direction to this project work are mainly modifications of existing theories on how the press ought to perform in a given society.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
There have been concentration of development effort in the urban cities of our country at the detriment of the rural areas and this had always brought about the problems of urban-rural migration because of basic amenities missing in the rural areas.
In view of the aforementioned, rural development and diversification of the Nation’s economy is top in the priority list of both past and present government. Thus is why there have been various grassroots development programmes like Development for food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), The Better life Programme (BLP) and The family support Programme (FSP) to mention but a few.
On rural development as a major concern in Nigeria, a media practitioner, Nwuneli Onwora once said.
A country like Nigeria probably now realize that building sky scrapper and modern express ways and purchasing vast numbers of cars among other things are on only aspect of development that do not necessarily change the basic attitude of a significant percentage of the population towards life”.
De-emphasizing the importance of communication in social development process, Nwuneli affirmed that “while social change in desirable, social development programmes can easily run in to problems if they are not effectively communicated to the people”.
By content analyzing the coverage of rural development news by four national Newspaper, this research work have the purpose of finding the extent to which the mass media notably the newspaper has succeeded or failed in carrying out it’s rural development functions through the quality and quantity of rural news it carries.
Bearing in mind that there are no or very few clearly marked community newspaper that are fully dedicated to the coverage of rural activities and selfless services with a view of bringing about rapid grassroots development in all ramification as it concerns the rural communities, one of the objectives of rekindling and reinforcing the burning desire for the coverage of rural development news by national as well as state dailies .
This project write-up is equally purposeful in the area of determining which of the tow class of newspapers i.e. government and private owned newspapers that is more poised towards rural development through the nature of rural news each publishes.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
One of the significance of this work is that it highlights the place of the newspapers in the transformation, mobilization, industrialization and education of the rural dwellers with a view of enhancing their quality of life.
This study offers readers that opportunity to access the level of commitment of Nigerian Newspapers in furthering the cause of rural development through full objective reporting of community events, activities, achievements aspirations, efforts as well as problems.
It is indeed significant in that it stressed the need for newspapers to use developmental events from rural areas in conspicuous positions such as front or back page. Most times when we see events from rural areas making front pages, these events are mostly horrors, tragedies or some other negative reports as against self- help development projects.
This practice is against the fairness doctrine of the press and stands out as a long in the wheel of rural development . Hence, one of the significance of this project work is that it is geared attaining balances reporting through equal coverage and treatment of rural development news vis-à-vis urban news. This in turn help bride the wide communication gab between the government and the rural dwellers so as to pave the way for participatory governance and grass root development.
This project work is a guide and mirror to policy makers in terms of designing a suitable editorial policy that will give a newspaper upper hand to give adequate coverage to rural development news.
Besides it might be one of the needed penance for Nigeria to attain National development as it is geared towards rural development without which there will be no national development.
Furthermore, this project work stands out as a reference material for other researchers working on this field or related communication & development work.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Is there any relationship between newspaper ownership and coverage of rural development news ?
- To what extent does location of a news paper affect us coverage of rural development news?
- Does readership size of a newspaper influence its coverage of rural development news?
- Is there any correlation between a Newspaper house style or location and its placement as well as treatment of rural development news ?
This research work revolves around four hypothesis. These are:-
H1 Government controlled Newspapers carry more of rural development news than privately – owned newspapers.
H0 Government – controlled newspapers does not carry more of rural development news than privately – owned newspapers.
H2 State- based (municipal) newspapers carry more of rural development news than national dailies.
H0 State-based (municipal) newspapers does not carry more of rural development news than national dailies.
H3 That government newspapers give more prominence to rural development news than privately owned newspapers.
H0 That government newspapers does not give more prominence to rural development news than privately owned newspapers.
H4 That state- based (municipal) newspapers does not give more prominence to rural development news than national newspapers.
1.8 CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
A rural community may be viewed as a set of people with the same historical heritage and cultural affinity, exhibiting an awareness of their uniqueness location, sharing common socio-economic and political interest but with little or no social amenities and basic infrastructures like pipe-born water tarred roads, electricity, telephone, well- equipped schools, recreational and tourist centres as well as high standards of living.
According to a pamphlet of the Anambra State Development Authority “focus” a rural community is a unified body of inherited cultural affinity and common socio-economic, political interest based on a common poor social amenities state that binds them.
Operational Definition:- Rural development here means the conscious, planned and systematic efforts geared towards the transformation or modernization of the rural areas through the provision of basic amenities and public utilities needed for good living as well as their full integration in the scheme of things.
Conceptual definition _The world Bank (1975) defines rural development as a strategy designed to improve the economic and social life of a group of people (rural poor). It involves extending the benefits of development to the poorest among those who seek a live hood in the rural areas. This group include small scale farmers tenants and landlords.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Operational Definition:- Rural Development news here takes the form of an accurate and timely account of events aimed at bringing about meaningful economic, Industrial, technological, educational, structural and general development in the rural areas including features, opinion, editorials, letters and pictures.
Conceptual Definition :- According to Ducan Broadly, a communication a scholar, Rural Development News is the coverage of events pay the mass media rural communities to enhance rapid development of these communities.
Operational Definition:- This is a publication usually printed daily or weekly which report news of current events happening around the globe.
Conceptual Definition:-F.U Nwanze of the mass communication department, federal polytechnic Oko sees newspaper as “a mechanically reproduced tabloid, published daily or weekly, accessible to anyone who can afford the cover price and contains a variety of news of public interest as well as marked with a continuity of Organization.
Operational Definition:- Mass media encompasses all communication medium through which information are passed or communicated to a large audience.
Conceptual Definition:- Mass media has been perceived as formal Organisations which process events which are not predictable (Kunczik, 1988).
This project work is carried out based on certain assumptions. Some of these assumptions are already stated as part of the hypothesis.
This not withstanding, this project work is under the assumption that rural development news on rural communities is no getting enough coverage as it deserves both from the state and privately owned mass media (Newspaper).
That both the private and government owned newspapers do not place rural development news at conspicuous positions like front or back pages rather, they sensationalise and report more on “negative” news from rural areas so as to capture more of the available market audience.
- LIMITATION OF STUDY
The scope of this study is limited to four Nigerian Daily New papers; The champion, Guardian, pointer and Daily Star Newspapers. In the process of this research work, there were some limitations and constrain. The greatest being the challenges of combining the research work with other pressing academic work under a very limited time as mapped out by the school calendar for the semester.
Apart from time constrain, it was a challenge gathering the four newspaper content analyzed. Especially in the case of the Daily Star in Enugu where very old editions has to be looked for since the paper is no longer producing on a daily basis.
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