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The research study was aimed at radio broadcast programmes and rural development in Nigeria; A study of residents of Awgu local government area. The study addressed four research questions. The study adopted the survey research design method using the questionnaire as the research instrument. The findings revealed among others that there are factors that hinder development of rural areas and its dwellers through the broadcast media (radio). The study recommended amongst others that the government should put up more and effective developmental programmes on radio ranging from educational programmes to enlightenment programmes and instructional programmes to foster development in rural areas and its dwellers. The study also suggested that further studies should be carried on radio broadcast programmes and rural development to eradicate the possible challenges emerging from rural development.
1.1 Background of the Study
From time immemorial, information has always played a prominent role in human life but the emergence of social progress and the vigorous development in science and technology has immeasurably increased the role of information in every facet of human endeavor. Information means different things to different people, some it may be in form of news on radio or television, and the print media, to some it may be a medical report which may be used for taking health decision, to an investor, financial report of an organization as a vital information to decide whether to stake ones investment in such or to divest, to some is the stock analysis and daily trading in the stock market (David, 2012).
However, one of the recent means of information dissemination and communication is the radio gadget. Radio came to be as a result of the invention of technology, therefore the history of radio in Nigeria started way back with British Broadcasting Corporation. Radio broadcasting was introduced into Nigeria in 1933 by the then colonial government; it relayed the overseas service of the British Broadcasting Corporation through wired system with loudspeakers at the listening end (Harrison, 2011).
It is asserted that information aids and facilitates development at all levels. Information is now accepted as an important factor in the sustained development of any society because it reduces uncertainty, and enhances awareness of possible actions to take to solve problems. Lack of information is argued to act as a barrier to economic development because of importance of information provision in “capacity building” and “empowering communities” (Apata and Ogunrewo, 2015)
One of the vital sections of an economy that hungers for sustainable development is the rural areas. Hence, rural development remains one of the priorities of every present administration. Rural development is used to describe a strategy that is designed to improve the economic and social life of the people in the rural areas. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sees rural development as a process of socio-economic change, involving the transformation of agrarian society, in order to reach a common set of development goals, based on the capacities and the needs of the people. Rural development is a strategy that is designed to improve the economic and social conditions of a specific group of people, that is, the rural people. It involves extending the benefits of development to the poorest, among those who seek a livelihood in the rural areas. Rural development generally, is used to denote the actions and initiatives taken to improve the standard of living in non-urban neighborhoods, countryside and remote villages (Johnson, 2013).
Through various developmentally oriented programs disseminated by various radio stations, it is expected that development will be triggered in rural areas. The three radio stations considered in this study are Radio Nigeria, Dream FM and Urban Radio. These radio stations broadcast various programmes ranging from entertainment programmes, political programmes and economic development programmes. However, the major programmes broadcasted by these radio stations that has the prospects of enhancing rural development are Economic Table, Political Voices and Talk Parlour hosted by Radio Nigeria Enugu, Dream FM Enugu and Urban Radio Enugu. In line with this, this study aims at carrying out empirically radio broadcast programmes and rural development in Nigeria (A study of residents of Awgu).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The importance of Radio in promoting development at both the rural and urban areas cannot be overemphasized. This is because the advent of radio and their associated programs have tremendously transformed the way information is disseminated, prior to its invention, people most especially in primitive Africa society had their peculiar way of disseminating information such as the use of town criers and assembling people in strategic locations in the village such as market square to disseminate information to them. However, the massive and rapid growth and expansion of radio stations has raised concerns over whether they are contributing to the development of their designated states or the interests of advertisers and their profit minded owners (In the case of private stations).
There are schools of thought who argue that radio is a conduit of Western cultural products like music and advertisements, which are suppressing rural development-oriented local content. On the other hand, there are those who believe that radio has taken the government and its policies closer to the rural people than in the days back, and therefore helped to raise the level of awareness among the rural people, on government policies, national and international events, etc.
It is not however certain if the Radio stations and their associated programmes in Enugu state promote the development of Awgu local government. This becomes the rationale behind this study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
In a general form, the study seeks to find out if radio broadcast programs influence rural development in Awgu local government area of Enugu state. Therefore the major focus of the study will be to:
1. Find out the extent to which residents of Awgu listen to radio programmes on development.
2. Find out how often the residents of Awgu listen to radio programms.
3. Ascertain whether the residents of Agwu have experienced development through listening to the programs.
4. Ascertain the challenges preventing the development of Awgu local government through local broadcast developmental programmes.
1.4 Research Questions
In the course of this study, the following research will pilot the study
1. To what extent do residents of Awgu local government listen to radio programmes¬?
2. How often do the residents of Awgu local government listen to radio programmes?
3. What is the influence of these radio development programmes on residents of Awgu local government?
4. What are the existing challenges preventing the development of Awgu local government?
1.5 The Scope of Study
This study will be limited to Awgu local government area of Enugu state and also to find out the radio broadcast programmes the residents of this community listen to. Reasons are the researcher has to be thorough with the investigation to produce realistic results on how radio broadcast programs influence rural development. The population will include all adults irrespective of gender, educational status and religion as well as income level in these communities.
1.6 Significance of study
The study will be significant to the community socially, morally and economically, especially in terms of development in the communities. It will also help the broadcast media to shape their programming pattern and content in order to suit and appeal to the viewing and listening abilities of the audience making it possible for the government to always be aware of the pressing issues of the communities. It will be significant to the government in terms of provision of information and training especially in the areas that are imperative for development.
The academic significance of this study is that it will be of great significance to students and researchers who might embark on a related study. It will serve as a point of reference and literature enhancement.
1.7 Operational definition of terms
RADIO- Radio is a medium that can be used to mobilize the rural dwellers and even urban dwellers for development purposes if effectively used.
BROADCAST PROGRAMMES- this is the practice of organizing and ordering of broadcast media programmes (internet, television, radio, e.t.c) in a weekly, monthly, quarterly or season-long schedule
RURAL DEVELOPMENT -Rural development is a strategy that is designed to improve the economic and social conditions of a specific group of people, that is, the rural people. It involves extending the benefits of development to the poorest, among those who seek a livelihood in the rural areas.
DEVELOPMENT: This is seen as the multidimensional and radical changes and improvements at the social, economic, psychological and related dimensions.
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