The Role Of Newspaper And Television As Agent Of Social Development

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Role Of Newspaper And Television As Agent Of Social Development


This study was carried with the sole objective of determining the role of Newspaper and television as agent of social development (A case study of Amodu in Nkanu L.G.A Enugu State). The researcher identified the research problems and use them to raise four research questions. Literature relating to the topic under study was review through both primary and secondary sources of literature. The researcher used survey research design that enable them to seek for experts opinions on the topic as well as collect data and interpret same. Also, the researcher used 200 respondents as the sample size used to present the population of the study. She analyzed the data for the study and tested the findings of the study. The findings of the study showed that, Newspaper and Television are agent of social development in Nkanu L.G.A of Enugu State. The researcher summarized the topic under study drawn from conclusion and made recommendation based on the findings she made.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Newspaper and television are too powerful media of communication use to achieve all sorts of social development. Their roles in inputs in the socio-political, economic and other forms of development, cannot be over emphasized, both are mass media which use a number of characteristics to make impact media which use a number of characteristics to make impact on their different audience members. For instance, Newspaper requires the skill of reading for its messages to be understood as well as making meaningful impact on its readers/audience.

In the other hand, television requires that the viewers understands the language used as the medium of communication for the need to combine sight and sound to make meaning to the viewer. This is why Okenwa (2002: 1) stated that “Communication is central to the process of development to an extent that the dependence of one on the other has virtually been taken for granted also Ukozor and Nwodu (2003: 27) States that the primary motive of embarking on development communication is to create adequate awareness about the development projects meant to enhance about the well-being of the inhabitants of a given society and by so doing sensitize their adoption of the project. In line with this, the role of Newspaper and television as an agent of social development can be said to be effective when the two media are properly used to achieve the process of development in all ramifications.

To develop is to grow and advance, Growth and advancement cannot be achieved without proper information flow: as Udeze (2002: 8) states “He who controls information controls the economy”. It means that economic advancement brings about development and development at any level can only be said to be sustained where there is media use, media access and media impacts. These factors are at the heart of development. This may have prompted Nwosu (1990: 17) to states: the mass media effects on people because they reinforces people’s attitude and behaviours.

This is because they saw the mass media of communication as possessing that magical awareness creating, innovative, knowledge – imparting, employ raising and knowledge and skil – multiplying capacities required for rural and national development.

This means that the role of newspapers and television as agents of social development in the development of Amodu community in Nkanu Local Government Area of Enugu State cannot be over emphasized.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Many rural communities in Nigeria today have not embraced development because they do not have access to what it takes to develop. It must also be said that the role of mass media in general and newspaper and television in particular has not been properly determined in the achievement of development as well as their functions of rural development because they have been under-utilized.

Also, newspaper and television are two different mass media that uses different means to make impact on the mass or their audiences.

The problem now lies in the fact that rural communities like Amodu have not properly used these media for their social development. Also, the rural dwellers in these communities are not properly informed by the two media on what social development entails.

Again illiteracy level is a problem in reading newspapers as well as an understanding its contents on social development and lack of basic amenities like steady power supply, poor telecommunications use among others have made it impossible for television to be effectively used in rural areas for all kinds of development.

These problems listed above among others led the researcher to embark on this type of study embark on this type of study

1.3 Objective of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study they include:

  1. To determine whether newspaper and television play an important role as agent of social development of Amodu community in Nkanu L.G.A of Enugu State.
  2. To determine whether rural areas in Nigeria have access to development communication for their social development.
  3. To determine whether mass media in general play an important role in the overall development of Amodu community.
  4. To find out whether newspaper is more effective in social development than television of vice versa
  5. To find out if illiteracy is a problem in social development of rural area in Enugu State.
  6. To find out if these are basic amenities in Amodu community in Nkanu L.G.A of Enugu State to encourage social development.
  7. To make recommendation for further studies on the topic and for policy formulation on the topic of study.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The problem which the newspaper and television media poses affects virtually every child directly or indirectly, so the significance of this work cannot be ignored in that it will help the newspaper and television media practitioners know the extent of the effects of their programme content on the social development of an individual.

This work was to advance the frontier of knowledge in the field of mass communication as well as serve as a repository of knowledge and also contribute to available literature in the field of mass communication. Issues pertaining to media effects on individuals have become a serious matter which demands attention by all and so this work serves as a reference material, to interpret and recommend appropriate actions.

1.5 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:-

  1. Does the newspaper and television media have any influence on the lives of individuals?
  2. To what extent was this influence?
  3. How helpful was the newspaper and television media in the socialization process of an individual?
  4. To what extent has this help been?

1.6 Theoretical Framework

Ohaja (2003:63) posits that in every discipline, a body of theories provides the explanation for observable phenomena in that field.

The better the theory, the more adequately it can explain the phenomena under consideration and the more facts it can incorporate in a meaningful structure of ever-generalizability, Osuala (2003:16). He went further to say that a theory must be stated precisely and clearly if it was to serve as an adequate guide to research.

In this study, the researcher adopted the social learning theory and the individual differences theory. The social learning theory also known as modeling theory was based on the assumption that people learn how to behave by observing others including those portrayed in the mass media. Folarin (2002:89) asserts that individuals tend to learn aggression from the mass media and to model their behaviour on that of the dramatis personae. Social modeling was considered an important part of the process of socialization.

LaRose (2004:374) explains that the rewards which television characters receives for their antisocial behaviour – including not just the loot from their robberies but also their very appearance on a glamorous medium such as television encourages imitation. This theory developed from many studies including the Payne fund studies and the surgeon general’s reports. It was introduced to the general public through the experiments of Albert Bandura in 1963. The individual difference theory as the name suggests looks at how media users with different characteristics are affected in different ways by the mass media.

According to Rodman (2006:458) some types of media users are more susceptible to some types of media messages than others are. Citing example that a viewer with a high level of education tends to be more susceptible to a message that includes logical appeals than would a viewer with a low level of education.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The issue of media effect on individuals is a broad and controversial topic but specifically, this work was only limited to the Newspaper and television media and Enugu metropolis shall serve as the base area in the generation of data for the purpose of investigating into the subject under study.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Under this subheading, a researcher operationalises the key concepts and variables in his research. He states clearly what they mean in the context of his study which may be different from what they mean in another context, Ohaja (2003:68).


This means how individuals relate with people in the society, the kind of attitudes and mannerisms they exhibit, in order words their behavioural pattern.

Newspaper and Television Media

Media which is not the print and which utilizes newspaper and television or electromechanical energy.


Individuals are individuals who are not more than 18 years of age. This was also in line with the UN’s definition adopted on 20th Nov 1989 in the convention on the rights of the child.


This includes both the beneficial and harmful derivation from a thing.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary / Conclusion

The fundamental aim of this research has been to investigate the influence of the newspaper and television media on individuals’s socialization using Enugu Metropolis as a study.

From the analysis of data collected and its interpretation, it can be deduced that the Newspaper and television media serves as a powerful device in the lives of the individuals, even though its importance cannot be overemphasized.

It was found that individuals in the metropolis enjoy viewing violent programmes and puts it into practice as well, they even regard the characters they are exposed to as their role models and also affects the way they rapour with people though for majority, it does not affect the relationship they have with their parents.

However, there are certain things which they do not imitate from the screen like mode of dressing and some behavioural patterns of the characters involved.

Some of these findings conform with the studies cited in chapter two. Individuals learn easily from the newspaper and television media than the print media as the later does not attract their attention.

5.2 Recommendations

  1. In order to curb the negative influence of the newspaper and television media on individuals’s socialization in Enugu metropolis, media literacy programmes should be designed to enlighten the individuals about the implications of the negative media content.
  2. Parents should evaluate a means of regulating what their individuals/wards view on air or read to.
  3. The media practitioners have the challenge of providing the individuals with healthier and educative programmes that will even enable them interact with fellow individuals in Enugu.
  4. Health and church workers in Enugu should also help and sensitize the general public especially the adults about the implications of exposing individuals to antisocial media content.
  5. Government’s help is also of necessity as they could sponsor some of the media literacy programmes.
  6. Survey was used as the research design for this study, future research on similar work can also use content analysis.

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