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IMPACT OF RADIO BROADCASTING ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Broadcasting should not just inform, educate and entertain, it should also influence. That is why the Nigerian Broadcasting Code describes broadcasting as “a most potent mass medium,” capable of reaching audiences simultaneously and availing man with the best means of information dissemination and reception, thereby enabling the individual to share in, and contribute to the best of his ability, to the world around him. According to the code “by means of broadcasting, every Nigerian is expected to partake of ideas and experiences that will enrich his life and help him live in a complex, dynamic and humane society (4).” This means that broadcasting in Nigeria should not only influence societal values positively, but should improve and strengthen the social, cultural, economic, political and technological values of the nation and indeed set agenda for public good. The Broadcast Regulation in Nigeria also states that “broadcasting has been and continues to be a very potent catalyst for social mobilization and development” just as it is “a powerful instrument for positive change (109).” Moemeka, posits that: “The part which radio plays in the transmission of information and culture is generally beyond question. It is the only medium of mass communication which makes news of events and activities available to the widest possible audience in developing societies (42).” Thus radio should feed the people with such information that is capable of making individuals and communities to re-adjust themselves in positive ways. It is based on these postulations that this research is embarked upon, essentially to find out whether or not there is any relationship between public service broadcasting such as Cross River Radio, Ikom and the rural development of those adjourning/catchment areas that receive and consume its programmes.

Statement of the Problem

According to Nwuneli, one of the challenges facing developing nations today in Sub-Saharan Africa is how to reach majority of the human population particularly, those in the rural areas, with information on development programmes on agriculture, health and family planning in order to improve their life-styles (103). This is particularly so because in the last three decades or so, successive governments in Nigeria have attempted severally to expose its citizens to socio-political programmes with widespread mass media implications with very little success (103). The poor results no doubt is due largely to the fact that most of the programmes have no known impact on the rural people because research was not done to monitor the effectiveness of the messages, just as some producers or broadcasting stations, especially public service broadcasting stations did not produce programmes that are very relevant to the targeted rural audience. The problem of this research therefore is that the programmes of Cross River Radio Ikom, as a public service broadcasting station, do not seem to aid the process of rural development. This study therefore seeks investigated the effects of Cross River Radio, Ikom, as a public service broadcasting station to the development of the adjourning rural areas.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided this study:

1.  Does the Cross River Radio Ikom broadcast sufficient rural Development Programmes to listeners within its catchment area?

2.  Is there any relationship between the rural development programmes broadcast by the state towards development and the attitude of listeners in the rural communities?

3.  Are there specific rural development programmes embarked upon by the communities as a result of a broadcast by the Cross River Radio Ikom?

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