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THE ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

Abstract

The Mass Media play crucial roles in achieving developmental objectives at local, national and international level. The mass media has been recognized as an important resource for mobilizing an entire nation towards national development. Being an integral part of the social system, the mass media is a major stakeholder in the realization of sustainable development in Nigeria. However, several factors like corruption, poor communication channels, illiteracy, inadequate infrastructure, poor implementation framework and political instability has continued to pose great challenges to the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria. The study is anchored on the theory of functionalism and development media theory. Considering the fundamental role the mass media occupy in national development, the paper argues that for sustainable development to become a reality in Nigeria, the identified issues that impede the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria should be addressed, so that the mass media can effectively championed sustainable development efforts in all the sectors of the economy.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the study

The Nigeria media over time and consistently has been on the vanguard of championing the cause for sustainable development in the country. The strategic role of the mass media in achieving national development in any society cannot be downplayed. The central role of the mass media stems from section 22 of the 1999 constitution which states thus: The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people (constitution, 1999) By this provision, the mass media is expected to join hands with the government to promote programmes and policies that will lead to national transformation of the country. Nigeria government over time had come up with series of development plans, programmes and policies that would have enlist the country among the top economically developed country in the world. Successive regimes embark on the execution of wonderful plans to see this noble dream achieved. Popular among these policies includes; National Accelerated Agricultural Food Production Programme and co-operative bank (NAFPP) introduced in 1972 by the General Yakubu Gowan administration. The Green Revolution of the 1980’s, Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) of General Olusegun Obasango in 1976, War Against Indiscipline of General Buhari and Idiagbon administration, and General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) among several other programmes. With the return of democracy in 1999, the new government of Olusegun Obasango rolled out so many policies and reform programmes in a bit to put Nigeria on the path of national development. The administration came up with programmes such as; Poverty Alleviation Programme, Hearth of Africa project, Vision 20-20, electricity for all in the year 2000, Health for all in the magic year of 2000, and food for all in the year 2000. The administration quest to fight against corruption in the country led to the establishment of anticorruption agencies such as the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Also, the administration established the office of due process, budget monitoring and implementation in the presidency. This was aimed at making Nigerians and government alike adhere to procedural process in all activities. In furtherance with the Olusegun Obasango’s policies, the Musa Yar’adua regime provided a blue print for the development of Nigeria in what he termed as the “Seven Point Agenda” which serve as his transformation plan for the nation. These plans cover major sectors of the economy like power and energy, rule of law, security, human capital development, agriculture, land reform, and industrialization. It is worthy to note that the mass media threw their weight behind these programmes by making sure that people were acquainted with them. However, despite the massive support of this programmes and policies by the media, achieving sustainable development in Nigeria is still not very visible. This is pathetic considering the billions of naira usually spent on the execution of government programmes, and yet there is no any tangible evidence of development in the nation. Unemployment is still high, our health services are in a deplorable condition, and the power sector is decaying by the day. Likewise the manufacturing sector has totally collapsed and political instability and insecurity is growing worse by the day. In view of these un-ending national problems, this study attempts to examine the place of the mass media in sustainable development in Nigeria. It also discusses some of the challenges that the mass media faces in promoting sustainable development in the country. The paper concludes by recommending some measures that will help transform the country.

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

the impact of the mass media especially radio is enormous despite the problems facing them in discarding their responsibilities. One thing certain is that radio helps in economic development due to its easy reach and penetration to diverse and scattered listening audience, the literacy level notwithstanding. But of all these impact and contributions to the economic development of Nigeria, there are still case of poor funding and poor management of the electronic media especially radio to effectively carry out these impacts of economic development. The ESBS radio as an agent of news, information, education entertainment and advertising organ of mass media has been affected due to poor funding, obsolete equipment and poor management.

1.3   THE OBJECTIVES OR PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

Radio as a medium of information has been recognized as the most useful media that its message out across the barrier of literacy, “In her assessment about radio, Stella Okunna has this to say, “Radio is the tune mass media in third world countries because it really reaches the masses.  In Nigeria, for  example, the use of radio as a source of information is truly widespread even among rural dwellers who make up the majority of the country’s population.

Radio as an electronic media have been known in recent decades as key mode of mass communication, an audio dimension or channel which is capable of providing, a great deal of details, description that are not communicable through written and visual communications. The impacts of radio in education which help to foster national unity and understanding cannot be waved without contradiction.

It also goes that radio helps in advertisement, public service announcements its enlightenment and educational programmes are diverse in its impacts to promote products and enhance the training of professionals. Since radio has these impacts above other electronic media in the economic development of Nigeria should be studied. The focus of this study based on terms and parameters defined by the researcher was to find out how ESBS Radio has faired in the economic development of Nigeria, through its duty of information dissemination.

It would also be pertinent to point out that this study was undertaken to explore this area so as to contribute to the whole of a must stream of knowledge. It was also hoped that data generated in this study could be used to solve other problems in other studies.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In order to carry out this study the researcher wishes to ask the following questions as a guide post to the research.

i)             Has the ESBS radio helped in creating impact towards the economic  development of Nigeria through its advertisement programme?

ii)           Has the ESBS helped to create awareness on the economic development of Nigeria through some of its education programmes – ESBS/IMT UNIAIR ESBS study guide Academy for GCE/JAMB candidates.

iii)          Does the ESBS Radio assist in the development of socio-economic development of Nigeria through its variety of entertainment programmes like the rise and shine early morning show, Ndu enu uwa, oge ndi olu bi and other social, agricultural, health and political programmes?

iv)         Has the ESBS Radio contributed in the economic development of Nigeria in form of training and promotion of musicians and other allied professionals.

1.5   SIGNIFICANCE/RATIONALE OF THE STUDY

Radio as a medium of information has been recognized as the most useful media that its message cut across the barrier of literacy. In her assessment about radio, Stella Okunna’ this to say. “Radio is the true mass media in third world countries because it really reaches the masses. In Nigeria, for example, the use of radio as a source of information is truly widespread even among rural dwellers who make up the majority of the country’s population”. Radio as an electronic media have been known in recent decades as key mode of mass communication audio dimension or channel which is capable of providing, a great deal of details, description that are not communicable through written and visual communications. The impacts of radio in education which help to foster national unity and understanding cannot be waved without contradiction. It also goes that radio helps in advertisement, public service announcements. Its enlightenment and educational programmes are diverse in its impacts to promote products and enhance the training of professionals. Since radio has these impacts above other electronic media in the economic development of Nigeria should be studied. The focus of this study based on terms and parameters defined by the researcher was to find out how ESBS Radio has fared in the economic development of Nigeria through its duty of information dissemination. It would also be pertinent to point out that this study was undertaken to explore this area so as to contribute to the whole gamut of stream of knowledge. It was also hoped that data generated in this study could be used to solve other problems in other studies.

1.1      SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers the role of mass media in economic development in Nigeria with emphasis on ESBS. In the cause of the studies there were some factors which limited the scope of the study

(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient thereby limiting the study.

(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Mass media

The mass media is a diversified collection of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologies through which this communication takes place include a variety of outlets

Radio

Radio is the technology of using radio waves to carry information, such as sound, by systematically modulating properties of electromagnetic energy waves transmitted through space, such as their amplitude, frequency, phase, or pulse width

Economic development 

Economic development is the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people. The term has been used frequently economists, politicians, and others in the 20th and 21st centuries

1.8 Organization of the study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.

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