MASS MEDIA AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN ETINAN FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Communication is that medium which link two or more people together in order to achieve a significant goal. Communication has been the central channel to human existence and has traversed the history of human life and endeavours, going far back to the earliest beginning of man. It is being rated as the cheapest and the commonest means of reaching out to other people in different languages and medium.
Before these sophisticated communication facilities arrived, the primitive ways of disseminating information or messages were there, especially in the rural communities, though not as fast as what we have in this modern age. The essence of the indigenous method was either to give a sign or call for gathering like the use of the gongs, palm fruits, dropping of leaves on the ground, smoke etc. all these signs and sounds call for the attention of the villagers when necessary. Today, since the revelation and civilization have come into play, all the ancient equipment have disappeared in bit and modern equipment take over those functions. Right from the development age where gramophone and pipe instrument were used in communication to what we have today, the high tech of information and communication skills have shaken things up and also provided us with access to reliable information facilities and equipment which will aid easy access to communication
Furthermore, there is no aspect of human endeavour that communication and information is not necessary. The key of any successful organization today is the level of information and communication they get. In government, the information is the key that rolls the activities of such government. The role of communication is very sensitive because every press release, bulletins, speech and news given is critically written, edited and analyzed before getting out to the public. For a news to be aired, it passes through series of stages before being sent to the public.
According to the word of Bill (1998:11) viewed that it is not only when information is broadcasted before the public get it. In most cases, people get updated worldwide through other electronic media such as internet and act fast on it to give ability to make money etc. in different endeavours, the ability to stay informed helps not to get misinformed. Information communication is as essential as the food we eat daily, but to some people in other areas or regions, the ability to get communicated will take longer period which may lead to break in the line of communication or information. This in a way affects the carrying out of some activities in such regions or areas especially in the rural or riverine areas.
The mass media are diversified media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication. The technology through which this communication takes place varies. Mass media consists of the various means by which information reaches large number of people, such as television, radio, movies, newspapers and the internet. Research shows that sociologist study mass media especially to see how it shapes people’s values, norms, beliefs, perception and behavior. Mass media contributes to socialization, including gender socialization as when movies implicity teach young people that it is wrong for a female to have many sexual partners. Mass media also affect social movement e.g. news coverage of the Nigeria civil war helped spark the 1973 antiwar movement. The reaction between media and social power, if mass media has powerful influence, beliefs and behavior and it is controlled by relatively few individuals, these individuals have significant power even in democratic societies.
Rural Development: This has traditionally centered on the exploitation of land intensive natural resources such as agriculture and forestry. However, changes in global production networks and increased in urbanization have changed the character of rural areas. Increasingly tourism, niche manufacturers and recreation have replaced resource, extraction and agriculture that have been major dominant economic drivers over the years. The need for rural communities to approach development from a wider perspective has created focus on a broad range of development goals rather than merely creating incentive for agricultural or resource based businesses. Education, entrepreneurship, physical infrastructure and social infrastructure all play important roles in developing rural region. Rural development is also characterized by its emphasis on locally produced economic development strategies. In contrast to urban regions which have many similarities, rural areas are lightly distinctive from one another.