IMPACTS OF RADIO PROGRAMMES ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT
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This study was carried out to examine the impacts of radio programmes on rural development in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State. The method used is the case for the study and the study employed the use of questionnaire in gathering data. A total number of 200 questionnaires were analyzed and graphically explained with the use of table and simple percentage method. The data analysis revealed that radio programmes has had much impact on rural development. The study therefore, recommends that the government should establish a community radio in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State for effective involvement in radio programmes especially rural development programmes and radio users or listeners should be given more time to participate in reporting and discussing issues that are related to the promotion of rural development In Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This work is designed to study how rural dwellers in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State utilize radio message to effect development. Other communication channels, like the inter personal communication, traditional communication or what Frank Ugboajab called (Oramedia), newspaper and magazines are not quite effective as the radio especially in the much desired rural development. Those who found fault in the face – to – face communication and oramedia, did so due to the lack of persuasion and inadequate coverage characteristics of them. For the newspaper and magazine, the high level of illiteracy prevalent in the rural areas constitute an impediment to the messages since the illiterate ruralist cannot read and even when the messages are coded or written in his own language.
To further establish the inadequacies of the oramedia, Ikechukwu E. Nwosu (1990) in his article “An overview of the Relationship Between Communication and Rural/National Development” in mass communication and National Development (ed), said that “The problem in employing these media of traditional communication as potent instrument of development communication lies more in the area of changing the attitude of the communicators, policy makers and researchers toward them. We also need to improve the level of massage storage, retrieval and replicability among these oramedia forms. It lies more in expanding our understanding of their functions, nature, content and uses, and may be coming up with standard technical vocabulary for describing its various forms in our various communities”.
The radio in this regard, are the most effective means of reaching the rural dwellers in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State, and to effect social and development changes in these neglected or totally forgotten rural areas.
To Ogbadibo Local Government area, in Benue state, radio set are more easily affordable – hence found in most homes. Even in the rice farm’s, yam farm, in the river fishing, an Ogbadibo man is seen with his transistor radio, conscious to get the gist of the day from his favourite radio station.
Previous researchers in this field confined themselves to the study of urban and rural dwellers in terms of media exposure. But this research aims at specifically finding out the effect of radio programme to Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State, in obtaining development information. We also intend to study the media in the daily life of this rural people. We also, will find out whether the community embarked on any rural development project, and what roles the radio played as against the audio.
It is quite undisputable that rural development as a socio-economic phenomenon is not a new as the current emphasis on it portrays. It is as old as the rural communities themselves. These communities have no doubt recorded some degree of development in the past; but to what extent and through which means?
The rate of development have been so slow it they either been unnoticed or neglected or decades. This unfortunate situation unabatedly could be attributed to lack of suitable mass media.
With the availability of more sophisticated and well directed mass media, like radio the ruralities, especially Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State, now sings a different tune of music that tune is rural development.
The rural man is not raw as we think, however, he may not understand what he is doing if he is not adequately informed and persuaded. He wants to hear from the authentic medium (radio), especially in his native language. It is thus not a sure that the rural man rushes to his set whenever and wherever he hear his village pronounced on the radio.
Radio is one broadcast medium which almost all experts identify to be the most appropriate for rural emancipation programme. It beats distances, and thus has immediate effect. It has been identified as the only medium of mass communication the rural population is very familiar with (Kuponiyi, 2000). This is because a radio set is cheap to obtain and is widely owned in the rural areas. This is made possible by the advent of the battery-operated transistorized sets. Furthermore, radio is favoured as a medium of communication in rural communities because of the advantages ascribed to it in form of (i) transcending the barriers of illiteracy, and (ii) demanding less intellectual exertion than the print media messages (Folarin, 1990).
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
In a traditional African Society, communities undertook various form of development projects, these projects includes village hall, construction of access roads to farm – settlements, neighbouring villages and towns, and other traditional project.
Added to this aforementioned projects are the provision of good drinking water, building of modern school, cottage hospitals, and health centres, post offices and even modern markets and electrification project.
The execution of such projects depend on effective leadership of the town and village heads (chief) and their level of awareness which is most effectively by radio programmes.
Radio programmes remains the most powerful, and yet the cheapest, mass medium for reaching large numbers of people in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue state. Thanks to the revolution of the transistor, even the remotest villages have access to rural radio, which builds on the oral tradition of rural populations. Although men own the majority of radio receivers, women can listen to programmes at home in the evenings when the main chores of the day are finished.
Radio programmes brings rapid diffusion of important messages on new agricultural production ideas and techniques as well as on health, nutrition, family planning and other social and cultural issues in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State. Combined with other media, this radio programme helps for training and transfer of technologies.
Radio transistor is found in 1 of every 5 inhabitants of Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State. Therefore, the radio has become to a great number of Ogbadibo people, a household property and companion. Companion in the sense that while the rice farmer does his tilling and planting, he has a transistor radio by his side providing him with information, jokes and important government projects and announcements. He is also doing that in expectation that one of his relatives or friend could send a request programme to him through one of the radio AM or FM programme. Without radio programmes it will be difficult for a community of Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State to develop.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
i. To find out if majority of Ogbadibo local government residents use Radio Set.
ii. To find out if Radio messages are more effective for the development of Ogbadibo rural communities.
iii. To ascertain if radio programmes received by Ogbadibo residents are target toward development.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. Do the majority of Ogbadibo inhabitants use radio set?
ii. Are the Radio messages more effective in rural (Ogbadibo) community for the development of rural dwellers?
iii. Do radio programme received in Ogbadibo directed towards rural development?
iv. What is the attitude of rural dwellers (Ogbadibo people) towards the radio programmes?
v. What is the level of ruralities involvement in radio programming in Ogbadibo?
vi. Are there significant change(s) recorded in Ogbadibo community as a result of their exposure to radio programme on rural development?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
i. That communities who are more exposed to the mass media (specifically radio), are more development conscious than those who are not.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research project tried to find out the effect of radio programmes through the available data, and give recommendation to government so as to help the radio to raise the standard of the rural people of Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State to an urban status by providing rural development projects to them.
In other words, various governments have been neglecting rural community in this country, and that is why most rural dwellers find life difficult, and subsequently rush to urban cities where they think that they can “enjoy” life.
The development nature of the socio-political structure in this country has made the broadcast media highly sensitive. The broadcast media radio, do perform very crucial rules in shaping the destiny of the Nigerian audience. It is this vital role that has led to heavy reliance of the masses on the apparent “credibility” of the broadcast media. Such confidence – carrying remarks like “I heard it on the radio” go long way to unveiling the extent to which the masses took upon the broadcast media for guidance and development.
Therefore, examined in this study was the effect of radio programmes on rural development in raising the rural community awareness of development project.
The important of this present research is to show the effect of radio programme as an agent of rural development of Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State. For instance, agriculture is mostly practice in rural areas of Nigeria like Ogbadibo. This community lack electricity and therefore seemingly denied the use of some mass media like television, expect the few well-to-do, that find it difficult to be exposed to new farming techniques and newly advertiser farm products, implements etc. on the television, except for the radio.
1.7 THE SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study concerns with impacts of radio programme on rural development. This research work is limited to Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State.
In the course of investigation and interviews on the subject, some challenges were encountered, these includes; photocopy of relevant documents and purchase of textbooks for literature of the work. Time constraint; the time with which to carry out the research was short and hence combing it with studies in the class was an obstacle.
Some informants were uncooperative in answering question, this unwillingness stems from their self-centeredness, pride, fear of incitement and misconception about the motive behind the research. Consequently, these limitations could have affected the quality of the data assembled, but notwithstanding, data have been successfully collected and objectively interpreted to suit the aim of the study.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION
Rural Development: Projects executed by the people of Ogbadibo community
such as rural feeder, roads, good drinking water, health center, schools and electricity.
Ruralities: The inhabitant of Ogbadibo local government area of
Audiences: The people of Ogbadibo who are expose to the radio
messages and programme.
Community: Ogbadibo inhabitants.
Radio Programme: The medium of communication with Ogbadibo
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