Mass Media As A Vehicle For Promoting Community Development (A Case Study Of Orumba South Local Government Area Of Anambra State)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Mass Media As A Vehicle For Promoting Community Development (A Case Study Of Orumba South Local Government Area Of Anambra State)


The mass media as a vehicle for promoting community development. The research work tried to explain how mass media through social function bring about development in the community. This work analyzed how the mass media through its persuasion influence people’s opinion and channel their action towards the development of its community, by emphasizing on the need for development.

The relevant literatures were reviewed stating the opinion of different authors on the need for communication between the people and government, which will enhance political, economic and educational development among others. The research method adopted in this work was survey and considering the large number of towns in Orumba, ten towns were selected out of these and the instruments adopted were questionnaires and oral interview.

Data presentation and analysis were also discussed in this work, 19.23% of the population had the view that the media are ineffective in realizing community development. 46.5% of others have the view that for community development to be effective, that both the government and the people need to assist the media towards this. Finally, summary and recommendations were made, since it has been discovered from the research adopted that the mass media’s efforts towards community development in Orumba South is still below expectation due to in-objectivity and biasness.

The researcher recommended that the mass media should improve by making its coverage mobile. This will enable them to cover the essential areas in the community. The community on the other hand, should always inform the mass media on any developmental issues. This co-operation between the media and community will help the community in its developments.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitations of the study
  • 1.8 Definitions of terms

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.3 Sample size
  • 3.4 Sampling procedure
  • 3.5 Sources of data
  • 3.6 Instruments for data collection
  • 3.7 Validity of instrument
  • 3.8 Administration of the instrument
  • 3.9 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation And Analysis

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Data presentation
  • 4.3 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaires

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

A medium is the channel through which message travel from the source to the receiver. Mass media include not only the mechanical devices that transmit and sometimes store the message e.g. Television, Camera, Radio, Microphone, Printing press etc. but also institutions that use these machines or devices to transmit the messages. In other words, when we talk about mass media, we are referring to the people, the policies, the organizations and technological devices that go into producing mass communication.

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, International student’s edition, mass media is defined as information and news such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television that reach an influence large number of people. It is a well-known fact that most raw materials provided for the urban areas are produced by the rural communities. Despite this, the contributions of the rural communities have not received adequate attention which they deserve.

According to Nwosu Ikechukwu (1990:5), “Communication is central to rural national development and that is catalytic effect to the development of other sectors of the economy which should never be neglected”. Ekitudo (1986:120) observed that “the role of mass media in global community has dynamically grown in concepts of communication, changing with the proper use of communication media in shaping and channeling the minds of the rural communities in the use that cued them, and it will go a long way in blaring their condition. It is therefore important as a matter of fact, to investigate the affairs of the mass media in Nigeria even down to local government level to make the rural communities develop.

This research work will focus only on Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, looking at the mass media as a vehicle for promoting community development.

In primary requisite for the organization of any community or state effective mode of communication, people must come in contact whether directly or indirectly for mutual understanding. It is through communication that a social system is held together.

The concepts of the mass media, taken in its widest analytical sense, means that institutions and technologies by which specialized groups employ technological devices to disseminate information to a large heterogeneous and diversified audience. These include the print and electronic media like the press, radio and television. The extent of the media role which has always been described as the watch dog of the society performs three basic functions.

They Include The Following:

  • Information (creation of awareness)
  • Education (mobilizing for positive response)
  • Entertainment

These activities of the media ensure positive changes in the society.

Community development implies the use of effective communication measures in influencing people’s value system to bring about positive changes at the rural level. That is, the transformation of physical and human environment through social interaction with others for the betterment of the rural dwellers and the society at large. This development process when achieved provides better living conditions for the people.

Therefore, the need for mass media as a vehicle for promoting community development activities or as a means of eliminating ruralism in Orumba South Local Government Area cannot be overstressed. In the annuals of Nigeria history, establishment of the “Iwe Irohin by Rev. Henry Townsend, paved way for rural, community, national and cultural developments. The pioneer media (Iwe Irohin) mobilized and exonerated Nigerians from the shackle of cultural and national impoverishment and exploitations.

Although illiteracy was at its apex as at that time , the epoch of the early media as they were fondly called were able to encode and decode almost effectively, meaning from radio and television messages they are found pleasurable.
Suffice its task of course, whether the media of this age are effectively satisfying the information needs, educational needs, social requirements, desires, innovation needs and aspiration of the people of Orumba South as required in the community development. These and others would be explicitly surveyed in the various chapters of this work.

This research work is divided into five chapters, including the basic components of a research design. This includes the introduction, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitations of the study and definition of terms.

Chapter two will deal with literature review while research methodology, research design, population of the study, sample size, sampling procedure, sources of data, instruments for data collection, validity of instrument, administration of the instrument and method of data analysis will appear in chapter three.

The chapter four will discuss the data presentation and analysis of findings while chapter five will start with summary of findings conclusion, recommendations, reference and bibliography, and questionnaire.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

In this information age where communication has been taken as a vital instrument for rural , economic, social and political development, even in most rural communities where media are complexity or partially available, information is shared among the people who cannot read or write and get them to maintain a stable system of living.

This work intends to find out the impacts of mass media on communities in the context of development. As a matter of fact, Most media organizations in the country seem to have completely lost sight of the onerous task assigned to them especially at this period when much emphasis is placed on community development. More often than not, the flow of information in Nigeria is more urban directed. The rural populace is left with little or no concern.

In view of this, the research work would be handled to give a forum for X-raying the functions of the mass media to mobilize the rural populace towards a given development project and how the media react to the needs and aspirations of these ruralities. Furthermore, the seemingly insurmountable communities and the urban centres will be succinctly surveyed. Therefore, this work sets out to find out if this imbalance really exists and how can it be remedied.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The objectives of this study are to examine the effectiveness of mass media as a vehicle for promoting community development in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

  1. To examine the extent which mass media has contributed to the development of rural communities in Nigeria.
  2. To discover what can be done to improve the role of mass media in the development of the said community of Orumba South Local Government Area and other communities in the country.
  3. To determine if there is any adverse impact of exposure to mass media on the people of Orumba South Local Government and how can this be eliminated or minimized.
  4. To evaluate, interpret and analyze the effectiveness of the mass media on the actualization of community development project bearing in mind that what affects a locality will automatically apply to others.
  5. To survey other situation devices that would be adopted by the mass media to alleviate the problems of the imbalance in communication suffered by the people in the rural areas.

1.4 Research Questions

In order to give this research work an in-depth coverage, some obvious questions worthy of note must be passed:

  1. Has the mass media made any effort in extending its activities to Orumba South Local Government Area?
  2. How often have communities in Orumba South Local Government Area initiated community development programmes through the efforts of the mass media of communication?
  3. What have scholars done in this field of survey and what impact?
  4. What have the media done to overcome the neglect on the information needs, desires and aspirations of the rural communities?
  5. Of what relevance is this research finding to the ruralities?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

There are many people that will benefit from this research work. Both the young and the old will gain a lot of things from work. However, the level of education will not only be improved by the mass media among the youths but also among the old ones. This research work will be of advantage to everybody in the community because the knowledge of how to provide solutions to community’s problem will be acquired.

The tactics of modern education system through the use of computer will be gained by the help of mass media. Though this research work is based on community alone, it is organized in a way to highlight the effectiveness of mass media in community development and improvement passed through effective communication.

Consequently, mass media will provide education, entertainment, information, enlightenment,. Technological advancement etc. which will move Orumba South Local Government forward among other communities. This research work of the effectiveness of the mass media as a vehicle for promoting community development got inspired from the fact that communities must be enlightened and mobilized for community development projects, government policies and programmes, and ensures positive responses or changes.

Thus, the mass media have been regarded as the right channel of effective purvey of such caliber of innovation, policies, programmes and information that could fasten community development in Orumba South Local Government Area, hence the need for this research work.

This research work will explore how the mass media has contributed to the elimination of cultural backwardness and other impediments to the development projects in Orumba South Local Government. It will also form part of creating awareness, re-emphasizing and re-establishing the relationship between the rural dwellers of Orumba South and the mass media.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study mainly focused on the mass media as a vehicle for promoting community development, using only Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State as the area of study.

1.7 Limitations Of The Study

The sample size used may be too small to be generalized but not withstanding, the areas covered are within acceptability. The sample size limitation is sequel to financial constraints.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

This is the definition of some important concepts used in this study.

1. Journalist:

A journalist collects and disseminates information about current events, people, trends and issues. His or her work is acknowledged journalism.

2. Reporter:

Reporters are one type of journalists. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspaper, television, radio, magazines, documentary, films and the internet.

3. Printing Press:

A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an ink surface resting upon a print medium (such as paper or doth) thereby transferring the ink.

4. Community:

The term community has two distinct meanings:

  • A group of interacting people, living together in a given geographical location and also share common objectives or goals.
  • A self-organized network of people with common agenda, cause or interest, who collaborate by sharing ideas, information and other resources together. A community is a social unit larger than a household that share common values and has social cohesion.
5. Mass Media:

This consists of the various diversified technological devices and the organizations that control these devices through which information are disseminated to a large heterogeneous and diversified number of audience.

The technology through which this communication takes place varies. Mass media include the following: newspaper, magazines, radio, television, books, recordings, movies, cameras, cable networks, journals, the internet and other social networks. All these grouped into print and electronic media of communication.

6. Vehicle:

This refers to anything that is used to express, embody or fulfill something. It could also be referred to as a film, television programme, song etc. that is intended to display the leading performer to the best advantage.

7. Development:

this has to do with the process of economic and social transformation that is based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions. Development is the systematic use of scientific and technical knowledge to meet specific objectives or requirements.

8. Information:

This refers to the valuable facts presented or conveyed about something or somebody by the mass media to the general public, which can positively or negatively affect their lives, behaviour or decisions.

9. Education:

This has to do with the process of facilitating learning, knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of group of people transferred to other people through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training or research. This could be formal or informal education.

10. Entertainment:

This is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. Entertainment could be in form of music, drama, storytelling, dance, film, sports or other kinds of performances.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Summary Of Findings

The writer wishes to state here that it is the responsibility of the research project to determine the impact of the mass media as a vehicle for enhancing community development in Orumba South Local Government Area as on point of reference for the response elicited from the interviews, if it motivate and inspire community development.

As is already known, some hypothesis formulated to evaluate and verify the data so collected. The first hypothesis said that the development and enhancement of the rural area rely on the effectiveness of the mass media illiteracy, which was as a major hindrance to the appreciation of the mass media efforts towards community development.
Again, it was discovered through the research study that majority of indigenes of Orumba South Local Government Area still rely on the opinion leaders as a vital means of getting development information.

It was gathered also, through the research study that the mass media in Nigeria was never an objective one. It was a combination of objectivity and biasness.

Finally, the writer may without reservation sum it up by saying that the level or extent to which mass media have helped to create awareness or foster attitudes that would contribute to the development of Orumba South Local Government Area is still below expectation.

5.2 Conclusion

It has been established that the Nigerian mass media have degenerated into agencies of mass communication. This is definitely an undesirable situation especially no that every social institution in Nigeria is expected to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. The remaining part of the study would be devoted to recommendations on how the situation an be red redress such that Nigeria mass communication may no longer continue to ex-communicate the masses of Orumba South Local Government Are . We start by viewing singly the various types of media starting with the print media.

More so, to ensure that our newspaper are true mass information, there is certainly a need for more development-oriented features and news stories that are targeted to the general audience, most especially rural areas like the people of Orumba South. Also, the language of the newspaper published in English will need to be made more accessible to the general reader. This is necessary bearing in mind that Orumba South is a rural area with population made up of mostly farmers and artisans with little education. The preference should be for short simple sentences, two syllabus words and little or no technical vocabulary all of which should commune to enhance the readability of the newspaper.

As a matter of fact, the broadcast media have shown to be as unhelpful in community development efforts as their print counterparts programming specifically could be more creative and innovative than is the case at present by trying as much as possible to evolve the target audience in its conception, planning and even execution.

Programming that is dreamt of by some placed producer in the comfort of this studies are often found to be quite irrelevant to the realities of situation they seek to he describing and are consequently met with apathy and rejection. It is at this point that I make a case for a rural radio in Orumba South. Such of the people in its programming and ensures that the cultural variables of the people such as the attitudes of the people, the values they hold, group norms to which they held, their belief system are adequately taken care of.

The television, the other broadcast medium in cm chic medium, urban-based and therefore, at the moment is of little or no value as a medium of communication. It would be relevant at this junction to recommend the provision of community viewing centers, as is being attempted already in Anambra State to Orumba South. Such rural viewing stations have proved to be very successful ventures and should be considered an important way of exploiting televisions potentials to serve more than urban needs.

5.3 Recommendations

After the study of this research work, the following recommendations were made by the researcher:

  1. It is hereby recommended that the staff of the media houses be more mobile than they use to be. Federal, State and Local governments must come into help to media houses in this direction by providing vehicles for adequate coverage of the rural areas to bridge the communication imbalance already existing between our urban and rural communities.
  2. The government and private individuals should come into the scene by establishing more media houses such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television. This will help to make the mass media of communication more accessible to the rural dwellers and equally bring information closer to their door steps.
  3. It is also recommended here that the people of Orumba South, who from the point of reference in the study have a role to play, must identify to the world by extending invitations to the media houses whenever they wish to recognize any event that might require public participation and awareness. They have to encourage journalists by ensuring their transportation to and from the area. It is by engaging in communication sharing of the participation that the present state of mass communication concerned with impressive assemblage of communication hindrance in the urban centers will metamorphose into meaningful mass communication, the equitable participation of all citizens in the information gathering, dissemination and consumption process.

Finally, it is not until then that the present mass in communication media will become true mass communication media that can contribute meaningful to community development of Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State of Nigeria.

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