RADIO AS A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT: A STUDY OF KALUBALE ON FREEDOM RADIO, KANO.

RADIO AS A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT: A STUDY OF KALUBALE ON FREEDOM RADIO, KANO.

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ABSTRACT

Radio is considered to be a very powerful tool for engendering community empowerment due to its capacity to cover wide audience and its easy and accessible nature. However, despite these qualities, empowerment programmes aired through radio often do not achieve their aim because media houses fail to include the target audience in all stages of designing messages intended for them. The aim of the study is to enhance Kalubale programme through effective participatory communication for community empowerment. The study seeks to determine the level through which audience are carried along when coming up with topics for Kalubale, a radio programme aired on Freedom Fm Kano; to evaluate the role of Kalubale in Fagge D2 and Mekiya communities of Fagge and Gabasawa local government areas of Kano state; to identify the factors that limit Kalubale programme from achieving community enpowerpment in FaggeD2 and Mekiya communities and to suggest ways through which the programme can be improved. The study is anchored on the Theory of Dialogic Communication by Paulo Freire(1970) who proposed that empowering people should not be seen as dissemination of information but rather participatory in all stages emanating from the people in the atmosphere of equality and respect for one another. The study employed both the qualitative and the quantitative research methods. Data for this study were generated from Questionnaire, Focused Group Discussion (FGD), Key Informant Interview (KII) and Documentary Observation. The targeted populations for the study are: Fagge D2 in Fagge Local government and Mekiya community in Gabasawa local government areas in Kano state. The findings of the study revealed that the target audiences are not consulted before designing topics for the programme. It was also discovered that the programme is aired during the period when the target audience are busy and as a result, they miss out of the programme because it is a live programme. Findings also revealed that the feedback mechanism is poor. Audience participation is low because Short Message Service (SMS) is the mode through which audience participate in the programme. It is recommended that audiences’ opinions be sampled before deciding on the topics to be discussed. The programme should be replayed so that audience who missed it when it was aired live will benefit from it. Other modes through which audience can participate and contribute to the programme should be devised aside SMS.

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CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of Study

Communication is central to all forms of human endeavours. Its centrality arises from man’s

inevitable need to interact and share information in a bid to ensure societal growth and

development. From time immemorial, man communicates his inner most feelings by constant

interaction with his environment. FAO (1994) stresses the importance of communication as key

to human development. Communication is a process of sharing information, news, views, ideas,

feeling, sentiments and anxieties between two or more individuals or group of people.

Odunlami, (2005) avers that communication is a crucial index in development. This implies that

central to development is communication. Development is a multifaceted and normative concept

meaning different things to different people Adebayo (1997). According to Adebayo (1997),

development is a rapid and sustained rise in real output per head and an attendant change in

technological, economic and demographic characteristics in a society. Yahaya (2003)

summaries development to mean a trend in technologies, organizations, activities and values of a

society. From his point of view, a people is said to be developed there is growth in their economy

equality in income and an increase in technological advancement.

Contrary to the above, more detail is given to those intangible development which although

cannot be seen or touched but can be felt through actions and expressed in change of behaviours

and attitudes Anaeto and Anaeto (2010). Development is therefore a generic concept which is

interpreted contextually depending on the subject of discourse. It is seen here in relation to

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empowerment of people to full capacity. Okunna (2002) sees development as a process social

change that should impact the lives of people in a positive way, thus giving them better living

conditions.

The World Bank (2009) sees development as empowerment of people and a process of

increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choice into desired actions and

outcomes. From the arguments made by Okunna (2002) and the World Bank (2009),

development within the context of this study is the empowerment of people to make choices and

take actions on positive attitudes. For development to have reached its apex, individuals or

communities need to be strengthened in the following:

i. Knowledge power; an understanding of how to cope with development

ii. Resource power; access to and influence over resources to deal with development

iii. Positional power; it entails the capacity to negotiate rights and entitlements, and

fulfill responsibilities and obligations to cope with development.

iv. Personal power; personal power is said to be achieved when an individual or a group

has a sense of self-esteem and self worth. This is when there is a realization and

motivation to claim knowledge, resource and positional power to cope with

development

The need to empowering people with the right information to take actions and change their

attitudes and behaviours instigated the use of the mass media to make that dream come to

materialization. The exposure to the mass media ushered in the concept of the diffusion of

innovation developed by Everest Rogers which was solely focused on how new practices, ideas

and concepts can be widely spread. Melkote (1991:57) summarizes the role of the mass media in

the world of development during the 1950s and 1960s as follows:

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