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Linguistics and communication studies



1.1  Background of the study

Over the years, man has lived in the dark era; been of certain information, but today mass media has played a significant role in the development of our communities, a medium through which message travel from the source to the receiver.

       Mass Media is designed as information and news such as newspapers, magazine, television that reach and influence large number of people. It is said that big minds discuss issues but small minds discuss persons.

       The significance of communication for human mind cannot be over estimated. This is true because beyond the physical requirements of food and shelter, man needs to communicate with his/her fellow human beings.

       There are specific roles which mass media play in the development of our communities which include, the transmission of social heritage, entertainment functions of the environment, correlation of part of the society, educating the masses and mobilization function, that is to say that without communication, no society can exist much less develop and survive.

       For the existence as well as the organization of every society, communication is a fundamental and vital process. It could be seen from the forgoing functions that mass media provide information and education, personal identity, entertainment and most importantly, integration and social interaction, by giving insight into the circumstances of others as well as helping the development of social empathy.

       The role of mass media in rural community has grown in context of communication changing with the  proper use of communication media in shaping and channeling the minds of the rural communities in the use that help them, and it will go a long way in helping their condition. It is therefore important to investigate the role of mass media in community even down to local government level to make the rural communities developed.

       This research will focus on youths in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State looking at the role of mass media in the development of Obubra communities. In this information age were communicated  it has been taken as vital instrument for rural economic, social and political development. Even in most rural communities where media are complex are partially available, information is shared among the people who cannot read or write and get them to maintain a stable system of living.

       This study intends to finds out the impact of mass media in communities in the context of development. It will also look at the extend of variables such as educational qualification, occupation and income differentials among youths in Obubra.

1.2  The purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to examine the role played by the mass media in contributing to the community development it is also to examine the extend which mass media has contributed to the development of the community in Obubra.

       It will also determine the means and sources of mass media that are available to the people of Obubra.

       The study hopes to find out what can be done to improve the condition of the said communities of Obubra Local Government Area   of Cross River State.

       The work will determine if there is any adverse impact of exposure to mass media on the people of Obubra and how this can be eliminated or minimized.

       It will also examine problem faced by mass media practitioners in this community.

1.3  The scope of the study

This study is restricted to Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State. Respondent cut across  Onyadama, Appiapum, Ovokuwa, ofat, Ovonum, Oderegha, Ofoduga, Obubra village, Ofongbongha No 4, and Ahaha-these are communities that have been selected for this research. The primary concern of this  research is on the mass media, community development and youths in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.

1.4  The significance of the study

There are many people that will benefit from this research. Both the young and the old will gain a lot of things from this work. The level of education will not only be improved by mass media among the youths but also among the old ones. This research will be of advantage to everybody in the community because the knowledge of how to provide solution to community’s problems will be acquired. The knowledge of modern education system through the use of computer will be gained by the help of mass media. Though this research is based on Ten communities, it is organized in such a way that highlight the role played by the mass media in community development.

       Consequently, mass media will provide education, entertainment and technological advancement, to the youths of Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.

1.5  Research design and methodology

 The research design that will be used for the study is survey research due to its through proper information gathering.

1.5.1      The population of the study

The population of the study consists of youths in selected villages in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State. The villages include; Appiapum, Onyadama, Ovokuwa, Obubra village, Ahaha, Ofat, Ofoduga, Offobongha No 4, and Oderegha. A total of (45)respondent would be surveyed. The researcher will administer a set of structured question to respondents who will be randomly selected from each village: the age range of these respondent  will be between 18 -35 years: the reason for choosing these set of respondent is because they are the more likely target of mass media impact.

1.5.2      Sampling  techniques

In other to give the people equal chances of selection, the random sampling methods is adopted. The proposed sample size will be (20) comprising mainly respondents from Obubra communities.

       It is in the view of this paper that the size of the sample will be a true reflection and the respondents of Obubra communities, hence this proposed sample size, the respondents are chosen as research universe because when we talk of mass media, the class of audience is within this class. To this effect, (45) pieces of papers would be cut and wrapped in the same size (25) of those papers would contain the role of Mass Media in Community Development, while the remaining (20) would be blank.

       After this (25) persons had picked, the researcher would be able to adopt the random sampling method. This is to ensure that bias is not introduce regarding who is included in the survey.


1.5.3      Method of data collection

The questionnaire and an oral  interview formed the  tools used will be the basic instrument to be used in collecting the data. The questionnaire will consist of open and close ended. Questionnaires, the open ended question will give the respondents free opportunity to express themselves. While the close ended question consist of multiple choice question, the questions are the sample questions of the Yes and No” that the respondents will choose one option, while the multiple choice questions would require the respondents to choose from a  set of questions, the most appropriate  one.  The youths of Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State would consulted and interviewed  on issue concerning how the  media have affected their lives,  value, culture, believe (religions) etc.

1.6  Limitation of the study

The study of this research would be limited to youths who are literate, semi-literate. The respondents play a vital role in determining the role of mass media in community development.

1.7  The delimitation of the study

This research does not intend to discuss issues relating to the electronic media for this study and other media related matters, and for this reason, the researcher has decided to limit herself to the main area of her interest, which is the role of mass media in community development.

1.8  Definition of terms

The following terms have been define for further clarification and to enhance proper explanation of viables.

1.8.1      Community

The term community has two different meanings;

1.    A group  of people living in the same proximity (i.e, in space, time or relationship. Community usually refers to a society or unit larger than a house hold that shares common values.

1.8.2      Community development

Community development is a way of strengthening civil society by coming together to take collective actions of communities and their perspective in the developments of social economic and environmental policy. It seeks the empowerment of local communities taken to mean both geographical communities; communities organizing  around specific themes or policy initiatives.


1.8.3      Mass media

Mass media refers to channels of communication that involve transmitting information in some way, shape or forms to large numbers. Mass media also refers to print, radio television, and other communication technologies.

1.8.4      Printing press

A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium (such as paper or cloth). Thereby transferring the ink.

1.9  History of mass media

The history of Mass media can be traced to the days when dramas were performed in various ancient cultures. This was the first time when a form of media was “broadcast” to a wider audience.

       The first dated printed book known is the “Diamond sutra”, printed in China in 868 AD, although it is clear that books were printed earlier.

       Movable day type was invented in 1041 in China. However, due to the slow spread of literacy to the masses in China, and the relations high cost of paper there, the earliest printed mass medium was probably European popular prints from about 1400.

       Although those were produced in urge numbers, very few early examples survives, and even more known to be printed before about 1600 have not survived. The term “mass media” was coined with the creation of print media, which is notable for the first example of mass media, as we use the term today.

       This form of media started in Europe in the middle ages.

Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the of the printing press allowed the mass production of books to sweep the nation. He printed the first book on a printing press with movable type in 1453.

       The Gutenberg Bible, one of the book he published, was translated into many different languages and printed through out the continent. The invention of the printing press in the late 15th century gave rise to some of  the first forms of mass communication by enabling the publication of books and newspaper on a scale much larger than was  previously possible. The invention also transformed the way the world received print materials, although books remained too expensive really to be called a mass medium for at least a century after that. Newspapers developed from about 1612, with the first example in English in 1620; but they look until the 19th century to reach a mass audience directly. The first high circulation, newspapers arose in London in the early 1800s, such as the times, and were made possible by the invention of high speed rotary steam printing presses, and railroads which allowed large-scale distribution over wide geographical areas.

       The increase in circulation, however, led to a decline in  feedback and interactivity from the readership, making newspapers a more one- way medium, the phrase“the media began to be used in the 1920s. the notion of “mass media” was generally restricted to print media up until the post-second world war, when radio, television, and video were introduced. The audio-visual facilities became very popular because they provided information and entertainment, because the colour and sound engaged the viewers/listeners and because it was easier for the general public to passively watch TV or listen to the radio times, the internet became the latest and more popular mass medium. Information has become readily available because of the websites and easily accessible through search engines.

       One can do many activities at the same time, such as playing games, listening to music and networking, irrespective of location. Whilst other forms of mass media are restricted in the type of information they can offer, the internet comprises a large percentage of the sum of human knowledge through such things as google books. Modern day mass media consist of the internet, mobile phones, blogs, podcasts, and RSS feeds.

       During the 20th century the growth of mass media was given by technologies such as printing, record pressing and film duplication allowed the duplication of books, newspapers and movies at low prices urge audiences. Radio and television allowed the electronic duplication of information for the first time.

       Mass media had the economics of linear reduplication: A single work could make money. An example of Riel and Neil’s sold, and as volumes went up, unit further, vast fortunes were to be made in mass media. In a democratic society, the media can serve the electorate about issues regarding government and co-operate entities (see media influence). Some consider the concentration media ownership to be a threat to democracy.

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