The study is a critical examination of the effect of traditional media and communication on rural development in Nigeria. Notwithstanding the various modern means of communication such as radio, internet, television, magazines etc. The rural means of communication is still the epitome for rural development. These traditional medium of communication includes the following Ekwe, Ikoro, Smoke signals, Open market, Age groups, palm fronds, The town crier oja etc. However, both primary and secondary data will be used in gathering information for the study. The secondary data will come as a review of documented materials, while the primary data will be obtained with the help of questionnaire and oral interview, and will be administered to the ruralites with the help of the researcher, who will help the uneducated ones to fill in the boxes by explaining the questions to them. A total of 382 questionnaires will be distributed precisely to the residents of Iwollo Oghe community. The data collected will be tabulated and analyzed using percentages. The three hypotheses formulated will be tested using chi-Square method respectively. The findings of the study will show among others that the traditional medium of communication is a tool for an effective rural development. The study will also recommend that the modern media should be used in conjunction with the traditional media of communication which people are familiar with; this will make for participatory communication to enhance national development.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Different traditional forms of communicating information through acknowledged official channels, such as signs, noises, and symbols, exist in African civilization. Manan et al. (2017) defined development as an increase in individual well-being and an improvement in people’s quality of life. Communication is important to human existence, just as oxygen is to human life, since it aids in the maintenance of human society. Have we ever considered how life might be without communication? There was no time to watch television, no time to write letters to relatives or use social media (Steinberg 2007). With the introduction of traditional media, the process of connecting with people has altered. User-generated media is another term for traditional media. It uses a new approach to educate and inform people about any developments, as well as provide a platform for two-way conversation (Banerjee 2015). Traditional media are described as “those media that aim to deliver a message to a specific group of targeted audience members in a specific time frame in local dialect with amusement” (Mathiyazhagan et al. 2015). This study demonstrates the value of traditional media in the Arigbajo community, as well as other rural communities in general. Because it promotes collective activities and other social behaviors that make life meaningful and exciting for human existence, communication may also be referred to as a social interaction instrument, and because of its importance, no civilization can advance or live without it (Moemeka 1994). The act of transferring messages is communication itself. Therefore, messages are highly essential in communication. Everything we do with our bodies or other media, such as our thoughts and the words we use to express those thoughts, the sounds we make, our gestures, our facial expressions, and perhaps even our touch or smell, all communicate information. This demonstrates how effective communication can be because it involves every second action. Intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, public, and mass communication are examples of distinct types of communication. All of these are ways that we connect, associate, communicate, relate, and exchange thoughts, perspectives, opinions, information, norms, and values with ourselves and others. The medium or method via which communication is conveyed or disseminated is referred to as a channel in communication (Esimokha 2008). Development communication is oriented towards human beings, or the human side of development, since it is communication with a social conscience. Despite the fact that it is primarily focused on rural development, it is equally concerned with urban issues (Moemeka 2000). Nigeria is considered as a multi-channel communicator because of the various channels via which communication is distributed in both urban and rural settings, all of which contribute to a better outcome of what is conveyed. It is successful and effective in reading rural people because it is based on the people’s local culture and tradition, and they use a familiar channel, the local language, to communicate relevant messages, address local issues, needs, and problems, and utilize local resources for societal development. They are viewed as the vehicle through which ordinary people communicate their messages. Because they depict communication channels for, by, and for the common people of a society or area, folk media are some of the most dynamic representations of traditional media (Reich and Godler 2017). Folk media represents the masses of people who are most deprived of specialized messages in rural areas and underdeveloped countries. As a result, folk media encompasses a wide range of traditional communication outlets, such as storytelling, street theater, puppetry, song and dance, the market place, and the Town-Crier, to name a few. Folk media are also symbols of a traditional way of life based on customs, beliefs, and art that contribute to a particular culture. It relies on people’s pasts, presents, and futures to provide them with a look into reality, resulting in both education and enjoyment. African communities, on the other hand, place greater importance on events than on dates. These events, as well as the date, were likely part of their culture (Scannell 2017). When two cultures collide, it frequently results in cultural shock, or a “clash of civilizations,” as researchers call it. African communication experts place a greater focus on the study of new means of communication, such as radio, television, the internet, and billboards, yet most rural people are unaware of these modern media modes of communication owing to a lack of development.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to studies, communication academics place a greater focus on the study of modern means of communication, particularly print, electronic, and internet media, which rural residents are unfamiliar with. The mainstream development process has not adequately articulated traditional media, which should be an effective instrument for dealing with development challenges in rural regions. As a result, projects aimed at disseminating contemporary scientific and technological knowledge to rural people on rural development frequently fail. Rural development is a broad phrase that encompasses a variety of factors, including health, education, job creation, infrastructure, environmental protection, sanitation, energy conservation, and entertainment. Many rural development attempts have failed to deliver the expected results, indicating that there are flaws in the communication processes contained in such efforts, particularly when contemporary media is used instead of traditional media in the rural development process. To determine how they may be made more suitable, the features of the sources, messages, channels, receivers, and feedback involved in the process of interacting with rural areas should be analyzed. A detailed analysis of rural regions reveals that rural people are exposed to a great deal of information; the question is whether the information they get is trustworthy and arranged in such a manner that it achieves stated goals. As a result, the purpose of this study is to discover the rural communication media used by Iwollo Oghe community and how they may be effectively utilized to promote rural development.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY OBJECTIVE
The following research questions guide the objective of the study.
1.To determine if traditional media of communication helps in smooth information dissemination in the Iwollo Oghe community.
2.To determine if the traditional medium of communication has a positive effect on rural development in the Iwollo Oghe community.
3.To determine if the traditional medium of communication is a tool for effective rural development in the Iwollo Oghe community.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following null hypotheses will be tested in this study:
H01: The traditional medium of communication does not help with smooth information dissemination.
H02: The traditional medium of communication does not have a positive effect on rural development.
H03: The traditional medium of communication is not a tool for effective rural development.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research would focus on the effect of the traditional media and communication on the rural development of Nigeria. The research will also add to the current body of literature on this subject and will also act as a resource for academics, researchers, and students interested in conducting future research on this or a similar topic.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on investigating the effect of traditional media and communication on rural development in Nigeria. Also, the study determines if traditional media of communication helps in smooth information dissemination in the Iwollo Oghe community. The study will also determine if the traditional medium of communication has a positive effect on rural development in the Iwollo Oghe community. Furthermore, the study will investigate if the traditional medium of communication is a tool for effective rural development in the Iwollo Oghe community. This study will be delimited to Iwollo Oghe community in Enugu State.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
The study was limited to the Iwollo Oghe community. As that was the basis of the study, other communities were not considered for the study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
TRADITIONAL MEDIA: Any form of mass communication available before the advent of digital media.
COMMUNICATION: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT: Rural development involves efforts that are economic and social in nature intended to encourage concepts of retention, growth, and expansion in areas outside cities, including improving the quality of life for rural residents through such activity.
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