This paper takes a look on perspectives on community media and rural development in Nigeria. It espouses the view that community media are well appreciated by the people because they are well ‘bonded’ with them. Anchored on the agenda setting and agenda building theories, the paper articulates the view that community media are well suited to the needs and aspirations of the communities they serve, thereby promoting development in various aspects. In achieving their objectives, community media are constrained by financial inadequacy, political interference, illiteracy and low patronage, among others. In order to ameliorate some of the difficulties, it is recommended that prospective investors come together and invest in community media; community media should and endeavour to effectively cover their areas while ensuring that they are run professionally. Government, it was also suggested, should intervene in the economic affairs of the rural dwellers so as to empower them for greater participation in the affairs of their environment.
Application of Development Communication in Africa’s Rural Development: Need for a Paradigm Shift (Published)
Development communication was introduced as an integral part of rural development in Africa in the 1950s and 1960s to promote and facilitate the participation of the rural poor in the sharing of the benefits of development as well as the responsibility for development decision making. The development communication system models derived essentially from dominant economic development theories of the west which emphasised information and persuasion, increases in production and consumption, technological innovation, high level of capital investment and the trickle down of benefits. The extensionist dependent, pro-urban, pro-liferate, pro-mass media, one way flow of influence oriented messages from development workers at the top to the rural peasantry at the bottom (otherwise known as top-down) encouraged source oriented, authoritarian, manipulative and persuasive communication that created dependent rather than collaborative relationships between the source and the receivers of development messages. This paper reviews the impact of development communication in Africa rural development and observes that most programmes did not achieve the desired goals. The paper therefore, calls for a bottom-up, horizontal and participatory communication approaches that actively involve the rural people in the conceptualisation of the problems, setting of objectives and designing of strategies and messages that are capable of reaching all and producing uniform comprehension and acceptance of development messages