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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The power of communication as an agent of change and development cannot be overemphasized. The current age of communication is regarded as the information age. This is the age when the vehicle of mass communication comprising of television, radio and the print media have become imperative to the development of all.

Radio has been singled out as the most effective instrument for the rural dwellers, thus; making its advantages over other media in comparable in terms of coverage, portability, cheap, cost effectiveness, etc.

Radio as a medium of communication was however not popular in Nigeria before the mid-70s, its high cost and was restricted to the rich. Today, as a medium is now poular as it is found in almost every homes.

Okigbo (1990) states that the attraction radio has for the rural dwellers is derived from its cheap price and cost of operation. Radio sets are easily portable and can be used by both the educated and the illiterate. This is so because some radio stations broadcast more than 80 percent of their programmes in vernacular languages. In the developed world, radios pervasive impact in the life of the people is due primarily to its immediacy and flexibility.

Even the government in this current political dispensation have taken giant strides towards integrating the rural dwellers into the scheme of things. In otherwords, efforts are being geared by the government in bringing its programmes, policies and government closer to the rural dwellers through the use of radio programmes.

The idea of wireless communication “Radio” after being first showed in theoretical and mathematical form in 1864 by James Clerk Maxwell that electromagnetic waves could propagate through a free space, has today become an effective tool for the dissemination of information, educational, entertainment programmes to rural dwellers. This communication through the radio can be referred to as purposive communication because the information sent is meant to mobilize the listeners. It is the only medium of mass communication that is affordable in the economic situation of developing countries.

The radio is also versatile because it can be used to transmit messages and information in different languages. For instance, when one is broadcasting or transmitting messages to the people you can use radio and broadcast in the languages of their choices.

The growth and development of people in rural areas depend on how communication and information flow between the media (radio) and the people in the rural area. For development to occur, the people in the areas must be fed with information that will educate, integrate, mobilize and empower the people, this will help to keep the people at the same level with the urban and also call the attention of the government to the aid of the rural dwellers.

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