EVOLUTION OF THE ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
This article provides an expository analysis of the evolution of the role of communication media in enhancing innovations and infrastructural development, especially in the Third World. It examines the evolution of the media from its traditional role of disseminating information to a veritable tool for the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the country. The media is the reflection of our society and it represents what and how society works. The primary function of the media is to aid in making and keeping people informed. It also helps in entertaining, educating and making people aware of the current happenings around them, this is seen in major news headlines dominating the country today such as the outbreak of coronavirus and acts of insurgency in Nigeria.However, the role of the media has evolved, thus the media has become the voice of our society (Nity& Gaurav, 2017). Information is necessary and also important to all forms of human activity. No matter the field; there is the need for exchange of information to ensure completion of task. Where this exchange of informaton is slow, delayed or cut off totally, difficulties usually arises in achieving efficiency. Hence, information is regarded as vital resources that need to be properly developed, because it has an enormous effect on society. Consequently, a society that has poor communication and information infrastructure perpetually falls behind others that are exposed to efficient information infrastructure (Moemeka 1985). Thus this study examines the evolution of the role of the media in inducing innovations and infrastructural development by using Harmony FmIdofian, Ilorin, Kwara State as a a case study. The population of the study comprised of staff of the aforementioned media station as well as other media practitioners in the state, and also citizens of Iilorin town, Kwara State. A sample population of 100 respondents was used for the study. A questionnaire was distributed among the respondents in order to obtain reliable information for the study. The Pearson Product analytical tool was used to analysed the data obtained. The result revealed that the media has evolves to become a veritable tool for national development in Nigeria. It also revealed that Illiteracy and language barriers are the major restraints limiting the media in inciting development in the country. The study recommended that some programmes should be presented in local dialect to enable proper understanding by the audience in order to aid development.
Every nation’s development and growth is not all about the plans that are made but how the plans are revealed to members of the society as their level of participation determines the success of these plans (Okoyi 2007). Nigeria is no different as its plans must be discussed at all stages of formation and implementation to ensure that it is what the people need for their individual and societal development. The success of any plan depends on the people’s understanding of the development projects (Ibid). Their understanding can only be guaranteed if the necessary information is passed through the medium that members of the society pay attention to. The concept of using the media as a platform of sharing development related information with others is what is known today as development communication.
Anaeto (2010) sees development communication as an instrument in the development process. It is concerned with the use of communication tools and methodologies to spread knowledge and information to contribute to behaviour change and ultimately development. Communication tools here refer to the mass media genres of print, broadcast, electronic and of recent the new media. This article looks at what development communication is like in Nigeria, its successes and failures as well as how the technology driven new media can be used as a communication tool for Nigeria’s development. It is however necessary to delve into the principles of the development media theory propounded by Dennis McQuail in 1987.The principles of the development media given by McQuail (1987) in Anaeto (2010) are as follows:
The media must accept and carry out positive development tasks in line with established
Freedom of the media should be open to economic priorities and development needs of
Media should give priority to news and information that link with other developing
countries which are close geographically, culturally or politically.
Journalists and other media workers have responsibilities as well as freedom in their
information gathering and dissemination tasks.
Since development communication has emerged as a veritable tool for national development, it therefore means that the modern role of the media has encompassed the functions of national development. Mass media are the channels of mass communication through which messages, ideas, thoughts, innovations, initiates and developmental process could be disseminated to a large, dispersed and heterogeneous audience. Mass media channels such as radio, television, newspaper, satellite, internet books, magazines, billboards, films, recordings have always been part of developmental projects from the medieval time (McQuail 2010). Though the nature and size of these media have witnessed tremendous change and improvementfrom time to time due to technological advancement which automatically determine their capacity and viability at a particular given period. In essence, these mass media undoubtedly, have greater roles to play in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa.
In todays world, the media as a medium of communication is used for more than just passing on information from one person to another. It is often used as a tool to enhance the participation of people indevelopmental activities. Such form of communication is known as development communication. According to Everett Rogers (1994) “Development communication refers to the uses to which communication are put in order to further development.” It can therefore be said that communication is an approach which provides communities with information they can use in bettering their lives. Development communication has two primary roles, i.e. Transforming role, as it steps social change in the direction of the hygiene taste of today’s generation in this competitive market and a socializing role by seeking to maintain some of the established values of the society.According to Payel (2015), Development communication thus can be said to have two primary roles, i.e.,
(a) transforming role, as it seeks social changes for a higher quality of life.
(b) Socializing role, by seeking to maintain some of the established values of the society.
This paper therefore sought to examine the evolution of the role of the mass media in innovation and infrastructural development in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Over the last few years, African media operations has improved significantly. New strategies, laws and regulations have been put in place which has aided the opening up of the airwaves and the uprising of government and private broadcasting services. In modern parlance, there exist only a handful of African countries where state broadcasting monopolies prevail(Steve, 2013).This changing media communication mode has been seconded by new standards and measures for broadcasting policy, law and regulations which have been approved by African governments and which sets the required standard against which progress can be measured in the development of a liberteranian environment for the media. Since the government is adopting policies to ensure effective media operations in Nigeria, enormous responsibility shoulders on the part of the media stations to not only provide useful information’s to Nigerians but to also touch lives by introducing innovations and even infrastructural developments in communities where such outlets reside for business. Since information is an important as well as essential ttool of national development, given the deteriorating nature of Nigerian society, mass media operators become part of the major stakeholders in developing the country.
It is in light of the aforementioned role of the mass media towards national development that this work seeks to evaluate the impact of mass media in developing effective innovation and development in Nigeria with Harmony FM Idofian used as a case study.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Therefore, the following questions will be examined in this study:
What is the trend and pattern of media reporting in Nigeria?What are the impacts of the mass media in inducing innovations and infrastructural development in Nigeria?What are the challenges limiting the media in inciting development in Nigeria?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to examine the impact of mass media in bringing innovation and infrastructural development to society.
However, this broad objective is subdivided into the following specific objectives:
To analyze the trend and pattern of media reporting in Nigeria.To examine the impact of mass media in inducing innovations and infrastructural development in theTo identify the challenges limiting the role of mass media in inciting development in Nigeria.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Media for most of us are entangled with almost every aspect of life and work. Understanding media will not only help us to appreciate the role of media in our day-to-day life but also helps us to be a more informed citizen, thus creating a platform for expanding societal development. Mass media has a political and a persuasive power over us. Radio, TV, the ‘press’ etc. can manipulate whole societies. Political propaganda, advertising and other means of media power are longstanding causes of debate and concern. Media has a great effect on our social behaviour which in turn influences the role we play towards societal development or otherwise. As a result, the media can impact the society negatively as seen in the upspring of terrorist activities constantly aired in media platforms thus bringing to limelight acts of insurgency, which in turns illicits the urge for intending terrorist. However the media also plays a positive role as seen in the transfer of much needed information on the risk factors and prevention measures of the deathly coronavirus infection presently plaguing the world. This study aims to elucidate the importance of media in impacting the society positively.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses exclusively on the impact of mass media in inducing innovations and infrastructural development in Nigera, by using Harmony Idofian FM, Kwara State as a case study. The study appraises the potential of the media in creating a conducive and inspiring atmosphere for general societal development. The study would also make use of assumptions and postulations of various authors in other parts of the world relating to the subject matter under discussion.
1.6 ASSUMPTION AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
This study is based on the assumption that the selected respondents represent the Population. It is also assumed that the information given by respondents will provide will be truthful, accurate and without bias. The major limitations of the study include: Lack of funds; the research was carried out within the limit of available funds. As a selfsponsored research,it was not possible to generate enough funds to service the project. Hence, the budget project was drawn based on available funds. This has placed significant limitations on the scope of the study.
The research has also been limited by time frame. The available time allotted to the study was too short to explore every avenue connected to the research. The best way to go around the work was to use selected sampling strategy to generalize the survey. The study also experienced sampling limitation. This study has used a narrow approach to infer a general assumption by exploring specific case study to generalize the context. In other words, the use of media in its broad sense has been examined and evaluated within the limited parameter of the a selected case study. Using a single case study design has provided a rather narrow perspective of the media.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Development: The gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced or stronger.
Evolution: The gradual development of plants, animals, etc, over many years from simple to complicate forms.
Innovation: The introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something.
Infrastructure: The basic systems and services that are necessary for a country or an organization, for example building, transport, power sub.
Mass Media: According to Afamuefuna, it is a technical concept which refers to the devices employed by anyone involved in a mass mediated communication situation for moving messages across distance and time. Conceptually, the mass media are technological agencies and corporate organization, engaged in the creation, selection, processing and distribution of message that are produced at speeds and in quantities possible only with mass-production methods. Mass media, therefore are the broadcast common currencies of public interaction in a society. Thus, the mass media are the organized means of reaching large number of diverse kinds of people quickly and efficiently (Pate 2003).
EVOLUTION OF THE ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
Post Views: 12