The media industry in the contemporary Nigeria is basically urban centered. This is in contrast t the situation of the industry in the wake of our independence.
The urban centeredness of our media industry has brought with it an imbalance flow of information between the urban and rural areas and verse versa.
In Nigeria, the urban centers are much more enlightened, socially, economically, educationally, politically, through the media. This tilt towards the urban centers uses encouraged by government whose activities over this period have been urban centered, too. Hence in the urban centers, people are more financially bought to buy, television sets, radio sets, newspapers, magazines, journals and the likes in order to acquire knowledge and get themselves with events happing around them.
Given that about 75% of the population re-side in the urban areas and that governments have through their various activities marginalized the rural areas, a greater number of people in the rural areas are poor. Poverty is a living condition in which an entity id faced with economic, social, political, cultural, household, community or nation can be subjected.
The current drive by president Olusegun Obasanjo and his regime to alleviate poverty in Nigeria is a welcome development. But the question that readily comes to mind is whether the programme will be effectively implemented. And more importantly, how could the media play a role in the effective implementation of the programme?
Thus, it is this question of determining what role the media will effectively play in the realization of government alleviation of poverty proramme that has arrested the attention of the researcher, who intend, by x-raying how the media industry, through community journalism in Nigeria will be instrumental in the successful implementation of the above government sponsored programme against poverty.
Community media are vital and effective instrument for informing the rural dwellers because it acts as a link between the government and the grass roots, thereby bridging the communication gulf that had always existed between the two especially in the formulation and implementation of developmental policies.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of content
- Background of study
- Statement of research problem
- Objective of the study
- Significance of the study
- Research hypothesis
- Definition of terms
- The concept of community journalism
- Community journalism practice in Nigeria
- Community journalism and poverty alleviation in Nigeria.
- Primary data
- Secondary data
- Research method
- Ezeagu local government “As a case study
- Research design
- Research sample
- Statistical roots of analysis
- Data presentation and analysis
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
- Summary of findings
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The earliest form of mass communication namely; town crying was used in the dissemination of information about important ceremonies and events such as inter-tribal wars, disasters, marriages, births, deaths and so on. Even today, town criers are still being used in many villages in Nigeria to communicate vital information to the villages dwellers (Nnanyelugo, 1998:26).
But today, mass communication has assumed another dimension in which both the electronics and print media are Urban centered. In December 1859, Iwe Irohin, the premier newspaper in the country, and the only means of mass dissemination of information or communication, began circulating. Such settlements like Lagos, Calabar, Ibadan, Kano and Sokoto were already enjoying their semi-urban status at least. But by special design, Rev Henry Townsend opted for the rural set-up. According to him, “My objective is to get the people to read it, to get the habit of seeking information by reading.” The motive of the paper was, therefore, to get people to read so as to arouse their awareness, just as any other newspaper today.
The paper combined social, cultural and political commentary with religious reporting with an effort to reach a large number of native readerships throughout Egba land and Yoruba.
As the war continued, he shifted his position and identified himself and his paper with the Egbas, probably to seek political advantage. By doing this, Iwe Irohin involved itself in the first press controversy in the history of Nigerian journalism.
The controversy reped in another paper, the Anglo Africa, established in 1863 in Lagos by Robert Campbell. It opposed Iwe Irohin.
A lot of reasons accounted for the formation of the early press. Among them was the need for African representation in the colonial administrations,
As a result, therefore, each religions in the 1960’s sought and established its own means of dissemination of information to its people clearly along ethnic or parocliol lines.
However, today, the media in Nigeria is an urban affair with over 90% of the country’s mass media located in the urban or cosmopolitan centers of the country. Ironically over 70% of the country’s yeaning populations are rural dwellers. The consequence is that majority the formers, hards men, fishermen, labours, artisans, petty traders and artisans who mainly dwell in the rural areas, are denied the benefit accruing from the derivable from the media, like information, education, enlightenment, entertainment etc.
Hence, the need to reverse the trend. Find doing so it is perhaps now in the economic interest of the media and its operations. By concentrating its location, operation and activities of the urban areas. By concentrating its location, operation and activities of the urban areas, the media creates dispensity and deprivation. First, it makes possible the existence of gulf and not just gap, between the urban and rural inhabitants in the area of development amenities and infrastructural resources.
These necessitated the quest for a change, a reversal which will enable the balancing of the emphasis the media place on human and rural areas.
An ambitions and lofty goal of government is tenable only through determination to succeed through communication policy, through community journalism etc- all directed towards penetrating the rural and far flung country side inhabitants who constitute a programme geared towards reaching the rural dwellers who significantly sustain national economy by feeding the teeming population in the urban cities through agro-based activities, should be encouraged and applauded by all and sundry. Among such programmes could be the enhancement of literacy level of rural communities, creation of awareness and consciousness for development in the sphere of economic, social, cultural, political, and even infrastructural position of government policies and programmes.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
A close study of the communication situation in the country has revealed a clear inadequacy of the journalist to reach the grassroots.
In addition to this, and following the newly mapped out policy of the government to eradicate poverty, the ruralities are still not well served by media organization. They are marginalized and yet they constitute the greater percentage of the country’s population.
This becomes a major problem because it is in the communities that the poverty-stricken are found and the poverty alleviation programme should be channeled in this direction. It should be brought to their door steps and not to the urban dwellers who already have added advantages of good roads, pipe borne water, electricity, hospital, white collar jobs, modern markets, etc.
Meanwhile, there are some problems associated with the ineffectiveness of community journalism and this new poverty alleviation programme which includes bad roads, the level of education of community dwellers, absence of radio sets or televisions sets, and lack of electricity and general ignorance. It is an well known fact that the media, as presently constituted, cannot given adequate and effective coverage of the rural dwellers, for it may be considered commercially unviable to embark on such activity of opening of the rural areas through communication and information dissemination.
In order to satisfy this study’s enquiry, the following problems are to be addressed:
- The press has failed in one of their major duties to informed the masses. And yet, do Jose Luis Cobaco, Mozambique minister for communications, was reported to have observed in an interview, sometimes in 1978, that “Journalists must maintain close contact with the people, they must know the needs of the people.
- To find out why government should embark on the poverty alleviation programme without adequate plan on how to reach out to the grassroots.
- To reverse the fluctuating fortunes of the rural people.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The essence of this study is t state the need for effective practice of community journalism. However, in this study, I wish to treat the information imbalance between the rural and urban population from the point of view of the involvement of the ministry of local government in ensuring that both rural and urban population are duly informed on all major government policies, especially poverty alleviation programme.
Other objectives envisaged in the study are as follows:
- To communicate adequately the policies of this present regime in poverty alleviation.
- To revitalize the practice of community journalism.
- To be able to communicate to the government the needs and feelings of the members of the community.
- To reduce urban migration.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This work on the relevance of community journalism in poverty alleviation programme will be of great assistance to researcher who would wish to carry out research n this related topics.
This work will act as a stepping-stone to nation building, that is to say that there will be sustainable economic development if some of the finds articulated in this project are given attention and implemented by government. It will enhance proper and more effective dissemination of information on new governmental policies.
Also, the rural dwellers will benefits as the study will encourage greater job opportunities for educated ones and it will give them a sense of belonging when they see or listen to programmes about country-side activities which are done in their local language.
It will also expose the inefficiency of the media to inform as well as represent the rural dwellers. It will also make some recommendations on the need for community journalism.
And finally, government will improve on their policy making process which comprises formulation, implementation and feed back and evaluation of government programmes.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Based on the aforementioned, the following hypothesis were formulated to guide the researcher in the study.
Hi: Community journalism is a motor to a successful poverty alleviation programme.
Ho: Community journalism is not a motor to a successful poverty alleviation programme.
Hi: Community journalism is essential for sustainable economic development.
Ho: Community journalism is not essential for sustainable economic development.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Conceptually community could be defined as a group of people that live in a particular geographical area. operationally, community in this context is the geographical location of Ezeagu local government Area is thus bounded in the south by Anambra/Oba, west by Uzo Uwani, North and North-west by Udi. They live a communal life.
They share a lot of things in common that bind them together. They care for one another.
Conceptually, journalism is the act of collecting, writing and publishing materials in newspapers and magazines, or broadcasting on television and radio. It is communication with large number of people.
Operationally, in Ezeagu Local Government Area, the communication process ranges from the Out Ogba, village assembly etc information is passed down to the villagers through the town criers, churches and the above-mentioned bodies. In some cases, the radio are also used.
- COMMUNITY JOURNALISM
Conceptually, community journalism is defined as the products of the interplay between a traditional community’s customs and conflict, harmony and strife, cultural covergencies and divergencies, cultural specific tangible and intangible, etc
Community journalism, whether print or electronic, should serve the interest of the people.
Conceptually, poverty is a living condition in which an entity is faced with economic, social, political, cultural and environmental deprivations. It is a state of involuntary deprivation to which a person household, community or nation can be subjected.
Operationally, many of the citizens in Ezeagu are poverty-stricken. They are the palm wine tapers, hunter, farmers; market women who cannot afford to eat and feed their family on three-square balanced meals.
- POVERTY ALLEVIATION
Conceptually, poverty alleviation consists of series of purposive acts and measures designed nationally and internationally, or at other levels to address the poverty problem. It focuses on meeting the basic requirement for a permanent reduction in poverty through the provision of basic needs, such as health services, education water supply etc.
Operationally, based on the above standard of living of the ruralities in Ezeagu local government area that the researchers deemed it fit to use Ezeagu local government as a good case study for this work.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The research has some constraints. In the first place, it was different for the researchers to get somebody from Enugu North to talk with.
Also, due to time constraint and finance the researcher and not travel to all the remote areas to find out how effective the media has been in bringing the poverty alleviation programme to them
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